Prairie Land Electric is a not-for-profit electric cooperative with members who share in the ownership, maintenance, construction and prosperity of the cooperative. A benefit of cooperative membership and ownership is the share in the earnings/margins Prairie Land Electric earns each year. 

Prairie Land Electric’s rates are set to bring in enough money to pay operating costs, make payments on loans, and provide an emergency reserve. A cooperative does not earn profits; instead, when revenues exceed the expense of providing electric service it is considered “margins” and returned to you in the form of “capital credits.” Capital credits are the difference in operating costs and revenues and denote each member’s ownership of the cooperative. The margins represent a contribution of operating capital by the membership to the cooperative with the intent the capital will be retired (repaid) to you in later years. 

This information is an effort to help our members better understand capital credits and explain how your investment in Prairie Land Electric is one way the cooperative difference works for you. Thank you for being a member of Prairie Land Electric.

Prairie Land is a cooperative, owned by its members who receive electric service. Municipal utilities and public power districts are quasi-government units. Investor owned utilities (IOU's) are owned by stockholders earning a return on their investment. The fact that customers and owners are the same distinguishes cooperatives from all other types of utilities.

Cooperatives usually obtain capital in two ways:   1) Debt borrowing, and 2) Retention of capital credits supplied by members.

Since the value of your capital credits are not held in cash but is reinvested to support operating activities, the entire balance cannot be retired to you at once. Capital credit allocations cannot be used to pay your electric bills.

No, capital credits cannot be used to pay your bill.

You may contact our office and request early retirement of the deceased member's capital credits. A Prairie Land staff member will advise you on the process to claim those capital credits.

Infographic on capital credits
Infographic with answers about capital credits

Capital Credits Bill Insert December 2020