Capital Credits

Did you know as a member of Lincoln Electric Cooperative, you get certain benefits? One of the primary benefits of membership is receiving capital credits. LEC is a cooperative, which is a non-profit organization. Instead of profits, we have margins. Margins are any revenue we have in excess of our expenses each year. The total yearly margins are allocated to all members who were billed during the year.

Allocations are based on the dollar amount each member contributed during the year by paying their electric bill. For example, if you contributed one percent of our total yearly revenue, you would be allocated one percent of the total margins for that year.

In 2021, for the 41st consecutive year, your Board of Trustees approved the retirement of capital credits. They authorized for approximately three percent (3%) of our total member equity to be retired this year. This amounts to more than $328,000 in capital credits returned in 2021 to our current and former members. Capital credit checks will be issued to members who contributed to margins in 2003, 2004, and/or 2019.

The board elected to retire capital credits as a 50/50 split between the oldest and newest contributions. This helps to benefit more members and ensure that even newer members better understand the power of cooperatives. The board also chose to retire less this year - three instead of five percent. This is crucial to allow LEC to increase equity more quickly. A higher equity provides compounding effects to LEC and our members. As equity increases, we are eligible for lower interest rates on all existing and new loans. Especially with our long-term debt, any reduction in interest makes a big impact on our expenses. This helps keep rates low and improves our borrowing power.

If you were an active LEC member in 2003, 2004, and/or 2019, you may have had a check mailed the week of April 5. Please note that checks are only written for capital credits of $10 or more. If your capital credit retirement was less than that amount, it will be issued to you once your retired capital credit balance exceeds $10.

Since our incorporation in 1948, LEC has returned more than $13.4 million to members in capital credits.

Unclaimed Capital Credits

Even when a member becomes a former member, they are still entitled to their capital credit refunds for the years they had economic participation in the cooperative. Unfortunately, as people move, they do not always remember to update their address with Lincoln Electric and we are unable to return their capital credits. Attached below is a list of people who have unclaimed capital credits with Lincoln Electric. We would love to pay these out, so please take a look at the list. If you have a way to contact any of these folks, please contact us at 406-889-3301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for being great members!

Attachments:
FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (UCC List Full.pdf)Unclaimed Capital Credit List2020244 kB
Download this file (2019 Unclaimed Capital Credits Full List.pdf)Unclaimed Capital Credit List2019385 kB

Lincoln Electric Remains Open For Business

Monday - Thursday from 7:00 am - 5:30 pm

LOBBY OPEN FOR WALK-IN BUSINESS

312 Osloski Road, Eureka, MT  59917

If you need to conduct any business other than paying your bill, please call ahead to schedule an appointment with the appropriate department.

406-889-3301

How to Pay Your LEC Bill

All bill payment avenues are available. Please visit our 'Paying Your Bill' page to learn about your bill payment options.

Disconnects to Resume

Due to potential financial hardships, we had suspended disconnecting services for non-pay. However, this suspension was not a bill waiver. As Montana moves toward resuming normal operations, Lincoln Electric is moving toward normal business procedures, including disconnects for non-payment. Our goal is to keep reliable power flowing to our members. As a business, we cannot indefinitely postpone collecting funds for service members have used and for which we have already paid our power supplier. As such, business and prepaid account disconnects will resume in June. Traditionally billed residential account disconnects will resume in July.

Please reach out to us as soon as possible if you have a past-due balance. We want to work with you to create a solution to help you catch up with your electric bill, instead of adding to your burden. We can also let you know about bill assistance programs that you may be eligible to benefit from. As a cooperative, we exist to serve our members, but we can only help you if you help us by starting the conversation.

Energy Efficiency

It's still a great idea to focus on using energy more efficiently or work on those energy efficiency projects you've been putting off. There are many low- to no-cost measures that can make a big impact on your electric bill. Please visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Saver website for ideas.

Stay Healthy and Stay Informed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ample COVID-19 resources, like how to protect yourself, what to do if you are sick, and even a symptom self-checker.

The World Health Organization has public advice, frequently asked questions, mythbusters, and COVID-19 worldwide outbreak situation statistics.

The State of Montana has the Montana-specific news, including Governor Bullock's directives and declarations, state case updates, and the ability to sign up to receive the latest notifications.

Lincoln County's COVID-19 page has updates and statistics specific to Lincoln County.

Flathead County's COVID-19 page has updates and statistics specific to Flathead County.

Attachments:
FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (COVID-19 FAQ.pdf)COVID-19 FAQLincoln Electric194 kB
Download this file (2020-04-02 GM Letter to the Membership.pdf)General Manager's Letter to the MembershipApril 4, 2020137 kB