Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric


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Capital credits are a benefit of membership in a cooperative


Ever hear of a utility that gives money back? Well, in December Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric is giving back over $600,000 to our members in the form of retired capital credits.  The purpose of a cooperative is to provide a needed service at cost.   Our rates are structured in a manner to collect enough money to cover the actual costs of providing electricity to our members.  In order to be financially stable, an electric cooperative must show a margin between what it costs to operate and what it takes in as income. Without a positive margin, it cannot obtain adequate financing for future improvements, expansion, and emergencies. At the close of each fiscal year, all revenue received in excess of expenses (i.e. profits) is allocated back to the membership in the form of capital credits.  Each year members are allocated their portion of the previous year’s profit based on the amount of electricity purchased.  This allocation becomes your equity in the cooperative and the dollars are assigned to you.  Allocations are used by SWCE to fund capital needs for items such as power line construction, transformers, trucks, inventory and other equipment. Capital Credits are not dollars in a bank somewhere.  They represent funds that have been invested in the Cooperative’s utility plant. This is an underlying principle of the cooperative business model and is one more way we keep your electric rates as low as possible. 


Your locally elected Board of Directors has the privilege of determining the amount of capital credits returned to members each year, based on the financial condition of the cooperative and other considerations. For the SWCE Board of Directors and all of us who work here at SWCE, it is always gratifying to be in a position to return dollars to our members.   We work hard to control costs while maintaining good customer service and strong reliability.  Retirements from Capital Credits must be done fairly and equitably for all members of the Cooperative, in accord with the cooperatives bylaws.  The Board of Directors work to find a balance to maximize equity growth to obtain the lowest interest on loans, while attempting to return capital credits and maintain the lowest possible rates for all members. 



Action Committee for Rural Electrification

Do you want an easy way to stay informed on issues that are important to you and your neighbors? Would you like to play an active role as a community member?  Do you want to have your views heard by your elected officials on issues of importance to both Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric and our member-owners?  Do you want to take part in making sure that your Cooperative’s voice is strong at the state and national level?  Participation in the ACRE® Co-op Owners for Political Action program (COPA) helps Co-op owners like you maintain a grassroots presence, which plays a vital role in promoting the long-term success of electric Cooperatives and the people in the communities they serve. COPA exists to inform electric Cooperative members about legislative developments at both the state and federal levels that could affect you, your community, and your Cooperative.  It helps you have your view heard by elected officials on issues of importance to both the Cooperative and its members. 

It is easy for you to participate and there could not be a more critical time for you to join.  COPA is comprised of Co-op member-owners, from all backgrounds and regions of the country; all who understand that political involvement is a necessary ingredient for success in the political process.  You don’t have to look past the morning headlines to see that energy-related issues are at the forefront of today’s political environment. The legislation and regulations crafted by lawmaker’s impact electric cooperatives and their member-owners.   As a member-owned cooperative, we have a responsibility to provide elected officials with the information they need to make good decisions and effective policy.  You can help make sure these important lines of communication stay open by supporting COPA. It does not take a lot of time or money to be a cooperative advocate.  You may contribute through an addition to your monthly electric bill or by making a single annual contribution.   An online authorization form is available for you to fill out at Enroll today and join the over 300 SWCE member-owners who already participate.  Together we can continue the fight for a viable environment for electric cooperatives and the quality of life they bring to your community. 


Online Customer Update


Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric (SWCE) has become aware of an issue with some customers having problems accessing their SWCE online information.   Our software vender recently did a security update invoking newer and higher level security standards, which may cause an issue for users of older versions of Internet Explorer, or Internet Explorer 11.    They suggest that you try updating to the latest version of Explorer, running the web site in compatibility mode, or using a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.    The older versions of Internet Explorer are not compatible with the new higher level security protocols called SSL













This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination,

complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866)

632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information

requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S.

Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue,

S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at