Talquin Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a Member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative. Therefore, the margins earned by the Cooperative (similar to “profits”) are allocated to Cooperative Member-owners in the form of Capital Credits each year. Margins are calculated based on the amount of cash received by the Cooperative from furnishing utility services reduced by operating costs and expenses incurred to provide those utility services. The amount of Capital Credits allocated to each Member is based on the percentage of each Member’s billings for utility service compared to the Cooperative’s total billings for that utility service (i.e., electricity, water, and/or wastewater service) for the previous year.
Until Members’ Capital Credits are retired (i.e., returned to Cooperative Member-owners), these funds are pooled together and used by the Cooperative as operating capital to pay for infrastructure improvements and maintenance. These funds help the Cooperative serve the Members with reliable utility service. In addition, having operating capital helps the Cooperative minimize the amount of high-interest money it must borrow which, in turn, helps lower and stabilize Members’ utility rates.
Retirement of Capital Credits
Capital Credits are retired year-by-year when Talquin is in a financial position to do so. The decision to retire Capital Credits, and how much to retire, is made annually by the Board of Trustees after considering the best interests of the Cooperative, including the financial, tax, legal, and Member implications of retirement. There is no fixed schedule for retirement of Capital Credits; however, Capital Credits are generally retired 15 to 20 years after the year in which the Capital Credits were allocated.
The General Retirement of Capital Credits usually occurs annually in December for active and former Members who have Capital Credits for the year(s) being retired. Active Members with a retirement amount less than $35.00 receive a credit on the bill of the Member’s primary account. Active Members with a retirement amount over $35.00 receive a check mailed to the address on file. Former Members with a retirement amount greater than $1.00 will receive a check via U.S. Mail to the last known mailing address on the former Member’s primary account as designated in the Cooperative’s billing system. For this reason, it is important that former Members continue to provide the Cooperative with up-to-date mailing information.
Estate Retirement is the return of all of an individual Member’s Capital Credits balance in lump sum after the death of the Member. The deceased Member’s Capital Credits balance will be reduced by any outstanding delinquent balance due and owing on any of the deceased Member’s account(s). Applications may be initiated by the deceased Member’s heir(s) or estate administrator. To begin a claim, the following information is needed:
- Original Death Certificate of the Member*
- *If applying by mail, please send the original death certificate, which will be returned at the time the claim is paid.
- A copy of the Member’s Last Will & Testament (if applicable)
- A copy of the Letters of Administration for the Member’s Estate (if applicable)
A completed Application, with supporting documents, can be submitted to the Cooperative by mail or in-person at any of our Member Services Office drive-through locations during normal business hours. If by mail, please send the completed Application to the attention of the Capital Credits Clerk: P.O. Box 1679, Quincy, FL. 32353.
Before issuing a check for the retired Capital Credits of the deceased Member, the personal representative of the deceased Member’s estate and/or the legal heirs of the deceased Member must execute a legal form prepared by the Cooperative’s Capital Credits Clerk acknowledging receipt of the retired Capital Credits.
Unclaimed Capital Credits
Upon the retirement of Capital Credits, the Cooperative works diligently to deliver these funds to active and former Members. As described above in General Retirement, some retired Capital Credit funds are sent in the form of a check via U.S. Mail to the last known mailing address on the primary account as designated in the Cooperative’s billing system. If this address is incorrect, the Post Office will return the check to the Cooperative as undeliverable.
For active Members, a returned Capital Credit check will be voided and the retirement amount will be credited to the Member’s primary account as designated in the Cooperative’s billing system.
For former Members, returned Capital Credit checks are set aside and held for a limited period of time for future claim. Due to operating costs, unclaimed retired Capital Credit checks are assessed a $1.00 monthly maintenance fee. If a former Member’s retired Capital Credit check remains unclaimed after two years from the date first issued, the retired Capital Credits will be transferred to the Cooperative’s general fund and treated as an irrevocable contribution to the Cooperative pursuant to Article II, Section 3 of the Cooperative’s Bylaws. Former Members are responsible for keeping the Cooperative notified of all address changes after discontinuing services in order for the Cooperative to send future Capital Credit retirements.
Anyone who believes they may have unclaimed retired Capital Credits should check HERE. The Cooperative also publishes a list of active and former Members with unclaimed retired Capital Credits each year in the March/April edition of The Current. Former and active Members can update their address on file and/or claim eligible retired Capital Credits by contacting a Member Services Representative at 850-627-7651 during normal business hours. The Cooperative’s Capital Credits Clerk will be notified of the updated address, and eligible Capital Credit retirements will be issued.