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North Arkansas Electric Cooperative returned $1,410,086 in capital credits to members in December 2020. This marks the 33rd consecutive year NAEC has refunded margins and brings the total returned to members to $40.9 million since the co-op’s founding in 1939.

What are capital credits?

NAEC is owned by the members we serve. At the end of each year, the co-op subtracts operating expenses from the amount of money earned through rates. The remaining balance is called margins. The margins left over at the end of the year are allocated, or assigned, to each member’s account based on the member’s electric usage. 

In the spring, each member receives a capital credit certificate detailing how much of the previous year’s margins was allocated to their account. The capital is then retained by the co-op to use as operating capital for a period of time and then returned as financial conditions permit. 

How does NAEC decide how much to return?

Each year the NAEC Board of Directors evaluates the overall financial condition of the co-op and decides the amount of capital, if any, to refund. 

Will I receive a refund?

This year’s retirement represents 23.2 percent of the margins assigned for 1997 and 5.19 percent of the margins assigned for 2019. Only members who purchased electricity during the years above received a refund in 2020. 

How are refunds given?

Refunds were distributed Dec. 1. Members with a refund of less than $50 received a credit on their December statement. Members with a refund of $50 or more received a check in the mail. Non-active members with a refund of more than $2 received a check as well. 

How do I get more information on my capital credits?

Our lobbies remain closed to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. If you have questions about capital credits, please call 870-895-3221 or email We are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. 

As a not-for-profit cooperative, NAEC abides by the seven cooperative principles, one of which is members’ economic participation. Refunding capital credits truly exemplifies this principle.

If you would like to help local students continue their education, then please consider joining NAEC’s Operation Round Up® program. Members volunteer to have their electric bill “rounded up” to the next even dollar amount each month. 

Enroll by completing this form, visiting an NAEC office or calling 870-895-3221.

Some NAEC members support Operation Round Up by donating their capital credit refund. If you would like to donate yours, please endorse your check and mail it back to NAEC. All donations are gladly accepted and tax deductible.