Co-ops Work for Members:
Download our illustrated guide to Capital Credits.
What are Capital Credits?
SMECO belongs to its customer-members. As owners, customers have a responsibility to help finance their business. They do this by using our services and by allowing the Co-op to retain any money collected in excess of actual operating costs.
The money is used to build and maintain the facilities needed to serve the Co-op’s members and to service our long-term debt. This money is considered to be capital furnished by the members—capital that will be returned to the members at a later date.
Capital Credits are refunded at the discretion of the Board of Directors whenever the Board determines that the financial condition of the Co-op will not be impaired. In years when SMECO issues refunds, eligible active members receive credits on their bills. Eligible former members receive a check; and, if the balance in their capital credit account is $100 or less, they receive a full refund. Special refunds are paid throughout the year to estates of deceased members.
Who are eligible members?
Eligible members are SMECO customers who had an active SMECO account during all or part of the year for which we allocated margins (profits) to members’ Capital Credit accounts.
Keep Your Information Updated:
Because you may receive Capital Credits in the future, it is imperative that you keep the Co-op informed of your current address. Even when you discontinue service with SMECO, we ask you to give the Co-op a current mailing address and notify SMECO of any subsequent address changes so that Capital Credit refunds can continue to be sent to you.
Name a Beneficiary:
You can name a beneficiary to receive your capital credits upon your death. Fill out our online form.
SMECO needs to be notified by a relative or other legal representative when a customer of record is deceased so that the account can be put in another person’s name or closed. SMECO will refund the deceased customer’s Capital Credits to the customer’s estate in a lump sum discounted payment if the account was listed solely in the customer’s name and is closed. For an estate to receive a refund, a relative or representative must provide SMECO with a Letter of Administration that designates a legal representative of the estate. To request a deceased member’s unclaimed Capital Credit refunds, fill out the Capital Credits Refund Request Form.
Please note that customers do not receive lump-sum refund checks upon discontinuing service with SMECO. Capital Credit refunds are made upon Board approval and according to the financial condition of the Co-op.