Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

COVID19

As Community Needs Increase, REC Steps Up to Help

May 12, 2020

Times may have changed, but REC's commitment to the community has not. While REC has been unable to participate in community events over the past six weeks, the Cooperative has continued to reach out to support groups that help those most in need. REC reallocated funds that would have been spent on community events to increase the amount of money available to donate. Many of the funding streams, such as used clothing stores, had to close so funds from REC are especially impactful at this time. Recipients of donations include:

$500 to Warren County Humane Society - This group desperately needed cleaning products and items for the animals.

$1,000 to FISH of Clarke County - This nonprofit Christian ministry provides food, clothing, transportation and financial help.

$1,000 to Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging - The agency helps older adults remain in theirown home for as long as safely possible.

$1,000 to Feeding Greene - This nonprofit provides supplemental food assistance to area families in need.Madison

$1,000 to Emergency Services Association (MESA) - The association offers a food pantry and a transitional housing program for families in need.

$1,000 to Louisa Resource Council - This organization provides food and clothing at no charge for
eligible residents.

$1,000 to Glory Outreach - This food and clothing ministry serves residents of Caroline County.

$1,000 to Western Hanover Emergency Action Team (WHEAT) - WHEAT assists over 200 families each year, providing food, clothing and basic needs.

$1,500 to Rappahannock United Way, ALICE fund - The ALICE fund helps individuals and families who are working but struggling to get by.

$1,500 to Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank - This food bank helps over 31,000 people through over 260 food assistance programs.

$500 to Love Outreach - This Orange County group offers a food pantry that supports families in need.

$500 to Goochland Cares - This nonprofit offers a variety of services, including medical assistance and a food pantry.

$500 to CheckPoint One - This group is a non-riding Equine Assisted Therapy non-profit organization.

$500 to Leashes of Valor - This organization works to provide every post 9/11 veteran who needs one with a trained service dog.

$500 to Salvation Army of Front Royal - To provide food and clothing to local residents in the area.

$250 to Caroline County Schools
- To support teacher appreciation week.

$500 to Rappahannock YMCA
- To support efforts to provide free childcare for essential workers and support summer camps for those needing financial assistance.




REC Helps Spread Joy for Local Boy

May 5, 2020

REC first class lineman, Justin Shriver, participated in a parade in Clarke County on April 24 to brighten Easton Tavenner’s day. Easton was diagnosed with leukemia in March and recently started chemotherapy.

While practicing social distancing regulations, Shriver joined the local fire department, police department, and businesses by driving the popular, bright yellow bucket truck. REC has cancelled participation in local community events for the foreseeable future, but was able to help spread cheer at this local get together.

"Rolling by Easton’s house and knowing that I had a role in brightening his day, even if for only a short time, was so meaningful,” Shriver said. “In that moment, this little boy’s smile was all that mattered."

Shriver


REC Lineman Helps Coordinate Flyover

April 27, 2020

REC first class lineman, Chuck Tippett, has used his airplane for a variety of things over the years. What do all of them have in common? He does it to bring smiles to those around him!

On April 22, Tippett took part in Mary Washington Health Care’s parade and flyover to salute local healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"My patient and I got to watch from my office window - it was really neat," said Ellen Conrad, a REC member-owners who works for Mary Washington Health Care in the Massaponax area.

"I am so privileged and honored to recognize and thank them,” Tippett said of the flyover. “My hat is off to them."

 


 

REC Closes Lobbies, Encourages Members to Use Remote Payment Options

March 23, 2020

As we continue to mitigate the threat coronavirus (COVID-19) poses to our member-owners and our employees, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) will be closing its lobbies as of Monday, March 23, 2020 at 5 p.m.

"Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our member-owners, our employees and the community as a whole," said Casey Hollins, REC's director of communications and public relations. "Out of an abundance of caution we, like many other businesses, have made the decisions to close all of our office lobbies effective today. We are committed to working together with our community partners to encourage social distancing to help keep everyone safe. We will continue to be here to serve our members needs by phone or online."

Online and phone options for doing business with REC include the following:

  • Power Outage Reporting:
    Call 1-800-552-3904 and report a power outage using our automated phone system
    Visit myrec.coop/out, use MyREC SmartHub or the mobile app to report your outage online
  • Payment Extensions:
    Request a payment extension online using MyREC SmartHub or to discuss payment extension options call 1-800-552-3904.
    As a reminder we will not disconnect members for nonpayment or charge fees related to nonpayment during this state of emergency.
  • Bill Payment:
    We encourage everyone to practice social distancing and utilize any of REC's convenient electronic payment options, such as MyREC SmartHub. Other payment choices can be found online here. If you must make a payment using cash, we recommend using the kiosks located at each office or one of the approved Western Union or Money Gram locations.

The Cooperative remains a 24-hour operation with employees on-site and on-call to provide reliable electric service. Hollins added, "We are closely monitoring this quickly evolving situation. REC will take prudent actions as may be necessary to protect and continue serving our communities. This includes limiting the exposure of our employees and their families."



Effective Monday, March 23rd Contact Center Hours Will Change

March 20, 2020

As REC continues to take efforts to minimize the risk of exposure among employees, contact center hours will change to 7 AM to 5 PM beginning Monday, March 23rd. These hours will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Automated Phone Services and Outage Reporting will still be available 24 hours a day.

Our goal is to ensure that our workforce is healthy and ready to respond as needed in case of a power outage. As part of our effort to minimize exposure and spread of the coronavirus, many REC employees are working remotely. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.


 

Safety is the Utmost Priority

March 18, 2020

At REC, the safety of our member-owners, employees and communities is the utmost priority.

On Monday, March 16, REC announced that along with all of the Virginia electric cooperatives, it will not disconnect members for nonpayment of electric service. In addition, members will not incur late fees or other related fees as a result of nonpayment.

"We understand the challenges everyone is facing during this time of crisis," said Casey Hollins, director of communications and public relations. "As we transition back to a state of normalcy, we will work with our members individually to help them get through and recover from this difficult period."

REC's Commitment to the Community

The Cooperative continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the communities we serve. We have taken steps to minimize exposure among our employees and to ensure that we will have healthy crews ready to respond as needed in case of a power outage. Our goal is to ensure our members have the electricity they need during extended times at home.

"We are following guidance from the CDC and other local health organizations and officials to do our part to help mitigate the spread," added Hollins. "As a result, we strongly encourage our members to use remote payment options such as online payments, U.S. Postal mail, credit card payments by phone, or, if in-person payments are required, to use one of the payment kiosks located at each office."

Members who are interested in utilizing REC's remote payment options, can find more information here. All member-owners have free access to MyREC SmartHub, which provides access to their electric bills, energy use information as well as online payment options. To use MyREC SmartHub for the first time you will need your account number, which can be found on your REC electric bill.

REC, along with all of Virginia's member-owned electric cooperatives, are working closely to ensure they consistently provide the 1.3 million Virginians they serve with safe, reliable, and affordable electric service. Not only is REC suspending disconnection for nonpayment, but so are the other 12 Virginia electric cooperatives. This decision was made shortly before the State Corporation Commission (SCC) ordered disconnections be suspended.

"REC is an essential service to our member-owners across the Commonwealth, and as such we have enacted Business Continuity Plans to ensure reliable service continues to be provided while protecting our workforce and our communities. We are committed to assisting all of our members, especially the businesses that support our communities," Hollins explained.

How REC is Protecting its Workforce

  • Employees are practicing "social distancing," with flexibility allowing employees to work remotely through this crisis.
  • REC's dispatch center remains open 24-7 for outage reporting, and crews are on standby, ready to respond if or when an outage occurs.
  • Employee travel to meetings has been eliminated, and the Cooperative is limiting vendor visits into its offices.

 

REC Assists Members and Employees in COVID-19 Response

March 16, 2020

REC recognizes the hardships that the public health crisis imposes on our member-owners.

Out of concern for our members and their communities, REC along with the other 11 electric cooperatives in the Commonwealth is waiving service disconnects and related fees for residential member-owners during this crisis. REC will continue to work with business, commercial and industrial member-owners to mitigate the impact of the state emergency until further notice.

During this challenging time, REC will be doing its part to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus while providing the electric service necessary to keep our member-owners comfortable as they adjust to changes in their daily routines.

First, REC is following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our local health officials regarding how to protect our workforce so that we will be able to respond efficiently in case of a power outage. Our dispatch center remains open 24-7 for outage reporting, and crews are on standby, ready to respond if or when an outage occurs. We strongly encourage member-owners to use remote payment options such online payments, U.S. Postal mail, credit card payments by phone, or, if in-person payments are required, to use one of the payment kiosks located at each office.

We have also eliminated employee travel to meetings and are limiting vendor visits into our offices. Unfortunately, this means our employees will not be participating in community events, where we normally enjoy meeting and engaging with our member-owners. For the weeks ahead, it is more important to practice "social distancing." We look forward to resuming our community involvement when the threat has passed.

We are closely monitoring this quickly evolving situation. REC will take prudent actions as may be necessary to protect and continue serving our communities. This includes limiting the exposure of our employees and their families. We will consult and coordinate with state and local officials, our business partners, and other utilities to continue serving you to the best of our abilities.


 

REC Takes Steps to Protect Members and Employees

March 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) presents unprecedented challenges for each of us. REC wants to keep you informed of the efforts your electric cooperative is taking during this challenging period.

The health and safety of our members, our communities, and our employees is always REC’s highest priority. During this challenging time, REC will be doing its part to limit the spread of the virus while providing the electric service necessary to keep our members comfortable as they adjust to changes in their daily routines.

First, REC is following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our local health officials regarding how to protect our workforce so that we will be able to respond efficiently in case of a power outage. Our dispatch center remains open 24-7 for outage reporting, and crews are on standby, ready to respond if or when an outage occurs. We strongly encourage members to use remote payment options such online payments, U.S. Postal mail, credit card payments by phone, or, if in-person payments are required, to use one of the payment kiosks located at each office.

We have also eliminated employee travel to meetings and are limiting vendor visits into our offices. Unfortunately, this means our employees will not be participating in community events, where we normally enjoy meeting and engaging with our members. For the weeks ahead, it is more important to practice “social distancing.” We look forward to resuming our community involvement when the threat has passed.

We are closely monitoring this quickly evolving situation. REC will take prudent actions as may be necessary to protect and continue serving our communities. This includes limiting the exposure of our employees and their families. We will consult and coordinate with state and local officials, our business partners, and other utilities to continue serving you to the best of our abilities.

All of us at REC know that this issue is a cause for concern. Please be assured that as circumstances continue to develop, we will make decisions with the highest regard for the health and well-being of our members and employees.

 

REC News:
Interview - Tips Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
On-Air Interview - The River 95.3 Radio
On-Air Interview - WPER Radio
On-Air Interview WINC FM Radio
On-Air Interview - WFLS 93.3 Radio
On-Air Interview - B101.5 Radio
On-Air Interview - WJMA 103.1 Radio
On-Air Interview - WRAR 105.5 Radio

Additional Information:
World Health Organization
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
coronavirus.gov
The Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
governor.virginia.gov
Virginia Department of Health
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. If I need to make an in-person payment, are there approved locations other than your lobby where I can make a payment?

A. Yes, we have a variety of approved locations where you can make a payment. Find all of our approved payment centers for Western Union and for MoneyGram. View the locations closest to REC's office here. Additional payment options can also be found here

Q. What if I am on Budget Billing and miss a payment?

A. During this state of emergency, you will be allowed to stay on Budget Billing even if you miss a payment. We understand the financial hardship our members are facing.

Q. What if I am on Auto Pay and have insufficient funds to cover my REC electric bill payment?

A. If you are on AutoPay and are concerned about having insufficient funds, you should turn off AutoPay. You will not be penalized for turning off AutoPay. You may re-enroll in our AutoPay service at any time. We understand the financial hardship our members are facing.

Q. What if I would like to make a payment, but need a temporary payment extension?

A. All members have the ability to request a payment extension through REC's automated phone system, and using MyREC SmartHub. Members can also speak with our Member Service Representatives by calling 1-800-552-3904.

Q. Will REC disconnect my service if I'm not able to pay my bill during the state of emergency?

A. No. REC is waiving service disconnections at this time.

Q. Will I accrue additional charges?

A. During the state of emergency, you will not be charged a late fee.

Q. What if I lose power?

A. Our dispatch center remains open 24-7 for outage reporting and crews are on standby, ready to respond if or when an outage occurs. If you experience an outage please call 800-552-3904 or online at myrec.coop/out.

Q. How can I contact you if I have a question about my bill?

A. Member Services Representatives are available by phone from 7am - 5pm Monday through Friday or you may email us at office@myrec.coop

Q. If I don't want to come to the office to pay my bill, what are other options?

A. REC has several options including mail, online through MyREC Smarthub, or by phone. Payment Choices

Q. What steps is REC taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

A. REC is following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health and safety of our employees, member-owners and communities are always our top priority.

Q. Where can I find updates on REC's response to the coronavirus?

A. In addition to this page, we will also be communicating with our member-owners by email and social media.