Patronage capital: How does it work?

Posted on Mar 11 2022 in Noble REMC
Ron Raypole

Over the past 25 years, Noble REMC has been fortunate to be in the position to return more than $10 million back to our members.

This is what we call “patronage capital,” also known as the cash back you receive when Noble REMC has excess revenue to return to our members. (You may even remember receiving a check back in December.)

This cash back is one of the most tangible benefits of being a cooperative member, and it highlights one of our core principles: members’ economic participation.

But do you truly know how you receive your equity in our electric co-op?

When you move into a home or business that receives power from Noble REMC, you become a member of the cooperative.

Noble REMC tracks how much electricity you buy and how much you pay for it throughout the year.

At the end of the year, any excess revenue remaining after expenses are paid is allocated to members as “patronage capital.”

When Noble REMC’s financial condition permits, your board of directors decides to retire, or pay, the patronage capital back to members.

Members, and former members, are then issued a check with the amount that corresponds to the years they were a member and how much electricity they consumed in those years.

Patronage capital that is not retired is used as operating capital for improvements and maintenance of the co-op’s system. This reduces the need for loans, which helps keep costs down.

Time to check for your cash back

In the weeks after our December disbursement of patronage capital, Noble REMC starts receiving returned checks for wrong addresses and finds there are members who have not cashed their check from the previous two years.

We want to make sure you receive what you’re owed.

That’s why we have posted a list of names to our website for members, or former members, to view and check that they’ve received all the patronage capital – the money we return to our members every year – that is due to them.

To check if you have an unclaimed patronage capital check, visit and type your name into the search bar. If your name is listed, please fill out the online form or call our office to process your claim.

Noble REMC attempts to return patronage for two years. Following those two years, the unclaimed patronage is returned to the cooperative.

If you have any questions about patronage capital, contact us at 800-933-7362.