COVID-19 prepay recovery resources

COVID-19 co-op update. May 20. Image of power line.

Assistance for our prepay members impacted by COVID-19

Piedmont Electric is dedicated to helping our members navigate their energy use through this crisis and into the future. Below is more information on how we are offering to help.

What do I need to do right now?

Nothing! Piedmont Electric will continue to delay disconnections for nonpayment for members impacted by COVID-19 through the end of May. The information below will help you prepare as Piedmont Electric moves toward resuming normal operations.

Getting back to normal

Beginning June 1, Piedmont Electric will start the process of resuming normal operating procedures. We will automatically make an arrangement for any unpaid balance you accrued in March, April or May. You will not need to contact us.

Disconnections resume

Members who have a negative balance at the end of May will begin June with a $0 balance and will need to make a payment before their balance reaches -$20. Your previous balance will automatically be placed in debt recovery. You can check your energy use and make payments through SmartHub.

Debt recovery

If you had a negative balance entering June, this amount will be placed in debt recovery. In debt recovery, 20 percent of each payment you make will be applied toward your outstanding balance and 80 percent will be available for current and future energy use. This process will allow you to repay your outstanding balance slowly through installments.

For example, your current balance is $0 and you have a debt recovery amount of $100. You decide to make a $20 payment. From that payment, $4 goes to paying your debt recovery and $16 goes to current and future energy use. You now have a current balance of $16 and your debt recovery amount is $96.

Reconnecting after a disconnect

If you drop below our cutoff balance of -$20 after June 1, your account will be subject for disconnect.

Once you have been disconnected for nonpayment, you will need to establish a $10 balance to restore your electric service. You will not be required to pay your entire debt recovery balance to be reconnected, however the debt recovery ratio will apply to all payments.

For example, a member is disconnected with a -$22 balance and owes $100 in debt recovery. The member must pay at least $40 to be reconnected. Remember, 20 percent ($8) goes to debt recovery and 80 percent ($32) goes to current and future energy use. After the $40 payment the member will have a $10 balance and will owe $92 to debt recovery.

If you are disconnected and need to know how much to pay before being reconnected, take the amount you owe ($22 in the previous example), add $10 ($22 + $10 = $32), divide by 0.8 ($32 / 0.8 = $40) and then round up to the nearest cent to determine how much to pay to be reconnected.

You can call us at 800.222.3107 if you have any questions.

Payment assistance

If you need assistance paying your bill, your county’s local social services office is the best place to start. Types of assistance include the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) and Piedmont Electric’s Helping Hand program.

All three can only be applied for at your local county’s social services office. Please contact social services for questions about eligibility or if you need assistance.

Alamance County, 336.229.2974
Caswell County, 336.694.4141
Durham County, 919.560.0300
Granville County, 919.693.1511
Orange County, 919.245.2800
Person County, 336.599.8361

Other resources

Allied Churches of Alamance County (ACAC), 336.229.0881
Caswell County Parish, 336.694.6428
Central Piedmont Community Action, 919.742.2277, 919.245.4342
Christian Help Center, 336.599.6070
Orange Congregation in Missions (OCIM), 919.732.6194
Salvation Army, 336.226.4462, 336.349.4923

Managing your energy bill moving forward

Piedmont Electric has always been dedicated to helping our members manage their energy use whether they wanted to save money, help the environment or some of each. With the impact COVID-19 has had on individuals and our economy, taking advantage of these programs could be more important than ever.

The programs highlighted below can help you save money and some even pay you to save.

Time-of-day rate: pay less when you use energy off-peak. Members save an average of $20 per month. Try it risk free!
Air conditioner management: earn between $2.50-7.50 per unit per month from June-September for allowing Piedmont Electric to manage your air conditioning unit on select afternoons.
Water heater management: earn $1 per month for allowing Piedmont Electric to manage your water heater at select times.
Smart thermostat savings program: earn $2.50 per unit per month from June-September for allowing Piedmont Electric to manage your air conditioning unit on select afternoons.
Home energy analysis: see what it using energy in your home, get personalized savings and an energy forecast which provides an estimate of how much energy your home will use based on your inputs and the upcoming weather.
Daily energy monitoring: keep an eye on the energy used by your home.

Combining all of these programs could save members almost $40 per month. Feel free to contact us to sign up for one of these programs or ask which ones might be right for you at info@pemc.coop or 800.222.3107.

 

Bill payment made easy

We know that your life is hectic, and we want to make keeping up with your electric bill easy.

Payment options: paying your bill has never been easier whether you want to pay online, over the phone, via the mail or in person, we have got an option for you.

 

Additional assistance

NC 2-1-1: For free, confidential information on health and human services resources, call NC 2-1-1. They can help connect you with local organizations that are best able to address needs including food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, employment, substance abuse treatment and specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities. They can be reached at any time or day by calling 211 or 888.892.1162.

Food and nutrition services: This federal food assistance program provides low-income families with the food they need.

Child care assistance: If you are a parent who provides necessary services to, or cares for, members of our communities and your child care has fallen through because of the COVID-19 closures, call 888.600.1685 to be connected with the right fit for you and your child.

Internet access: As many North Carolinians are being asked to work remotely, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology has compiled a list of new and existing free or affordable service offerings from vendors across the state.

Unemployment assistance: The North Carolina Department of Commerce has created a Q&A page for individuals experiencing job loss or reduced work hours due to COVID-19.