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Powder River Energy Corp. issuing $16M in capital credit refunds

The Powder River Energy Foundation presents a $5,000 grant to Imagination Library of Campbell County. Pictured in front are local coordinators Emily Haefele, left, and Riley Dilts, right, and children. In back are PRECorp Foundation staff Tim Velder and Jeff Bumgarner, and Foundation Directors Zeta Anderson, Phil Jordan, Mary Geier, Joanie Kiser, Michelle Edwards, and John Riesland. (PRECorp)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Powder River Energy Corp. customers will be receiving about $16 million in capital credit retirement, or refunds, the company announced Monday.

The retirement returns a portion of the money members paid for electric usage during select years, a company release said. Some Powder River Energy members will receive a credit on their bill or a check in the mail.

This year’s capital credit is related to capital contributions generated during 2001 and 2004. Any member who had service with PRECorp in 2001 and 2004 will receive a percentage of the PRECorp capital credit retirement of $8.09 million. Since its inception, PRECorp has retired well over $130 million to its members.

Capital credits are a benefit of being a member of an electric cooperative and reflect one of the seven cooperative principles — Member Economic Participation, the company said. At the close of each fiscal year, all revenue received in excess of expenses for that year is allocated to each member as a capital contribution based on annual power purchased.

Members are apprised of their cooperative capital credit “allocation” on their billing statements each August. This allocated capital credit is retained and used to provide for the ongoing operation of the cooperative until the total allocation is retired.

Annually, the PRECorp Board of Directors reviews the financial condition of the cooperative and may approve a retirement of a portion of allocated capital credits.

PRECorp members will receive a total of $16.15 million through this 2023 retirement of capital credits.

“What matters most tends to last the longest. For decades, our cooperative model has centered on our membership and the enduring value we create through this relationship,” said PRECorp Board President Jim Purdy. “While some power providers prioritize their P&L (profit and loss) for immediate returns, our cooperative’s enduring focus is on a different type of P&L, ‘people and legacy.’”

PRECorp’s wholesale power supplier, Basin Electric, has retired $8.06 million, which will be returned to those who were cooperative members in 2008.

Members who do not have a valid address on file with PRECorp will still receive their retirement, but it will be posted as “unclaimed” on their account. A member may claim capital credit “refunds” by providing proof of legal interest.

Unless they are claimed within three years, the unclaimed funds will be returned to the cooperative for the general benefit of the membership in the form of education scholarships, community grants and other member-related benefits. Capital Credit retirement awards of less than $50 will be applied directly as a credit to the member’s monthly bill.

Retirement amounts of $50 or more will be mailed to the members through a check. Inactive members with less than $20 total unretired capital credits will receive their entire capital credit allocation amount — regardless of year earned — as part of this retirement.

Since 2011, PRECorp has provided the opportunity for members to help nonprofit organizations in northeast Wyoming. To date, several members have generously donated their capital credits to the Powder River Energy Foundation, which has supported local charities in PRECorp’s service territory with more than $2 million in direct donations since its founding in 2007. A letter and donation form are enclosed with each mailed capital credit check.

Members are asked to direct any questions or concerns about capital credits to PRECorp Member Service at 1-800-442-3630.