March 17, 2020
Q: Is LCEC ready and prepared to deliver reliable power during the COVID-19 outbreak?
A: We are prepared, and our teams continue to monitor the situation and make changes to our plans as needed. As a part of your community, and as a provider of an essential service, we are determined to continue delivering the reliable power you need at the lowest possible rate while helping to protect the health and safety of our employees, neighbors and everyone around us.
Q: How is LCEC protecting its employees?
A: We are implementing preventive measures to help keep our employees as safe as possible. All those who are able to perform their work remotely are working from home. Employees who interact with customers in their home or business may cancel or reschedule non-urgent appointments and services. When employees must be on-site, they have been directed to not shake hands, remain at least 6 feet away from other individuals, or to use virtual forms of communication where possible. We are still making SurgeSENSE and GenerLINK installations.
Q: How is LCEC protecting the power grid?
A: Year-round, LCEC conducts routine maintenance and strengthens utility facilities. We implement technology and conduct inspections to ensure the grid is strong. We are taking extra steps to ensure business continuity of our operations, including reliable power, resource and supply chain planning. Our mission is to deliver reliable electricity and quality service – and it’s our commitment to you.
Q: What is LCEC doing for people who can’t work/can’t pay their bills?
A: Because we understand that many customers may be facing unusual financial hardships, we are addressing each situation as needed. We know this is a difficult time, and we are committed to serving you and your community. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please contact us so we can work with you to develop a plan.
Q: What does “develop a plan” mean?
A: It means that we’re allowing you extra time to pay if you need it. If you are in an unusual situation and need assistance, we’ll work with you on an extension. We will continue to read meters and send bills, so it’s best to pay what you can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later. We encourage everyone to stay as up to date with their payments as possible to avoid building up a large balance that will eventually be due.
Q: How does this affect late fees?
A: Late fees will not apply at this time. We encourage everyone to stay as up to date with their payments as possible. We understand that this is an unusual time, so we will work with customers on an extension.
Q: Why can’t LCEC forgive billing for a month or two?
A: LCEC is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative. We purchase power from a power supplier and then deliver it to our members (customers) Members of the cooperative pay for purchased power, operation and maintenance of the grid, operation of the business, taxes, and loan interest. They also earn equity in the cooperative. When a customer(s) does not pay for the electricity they have used, that expense is passed on to all the members through rates. LCEC has not raised electric rates since 2008 and has returned $279 million in equity to members over the years.
Q: What if I need to reach Customer Service?
A: LCEC may have to work with reduced call center staff for various reasons, including school closures. You may find it easier and more efficient to conduct business with us through our website or download our SmartHub mobile app. These tools are also good ways to stay up to date with the latest information from our company as this situation unfolds.
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