This year has presented many challenges for your Cooperative and for you, our member-owner; we understand the hardships many of you are facing. We would like to help you get back on track and avoid having your electric bill increase further.
REC was recently awarded federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to assist our member-owners who have fallen behind on their electric bill payments from March 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020 due to an economic hardship caused by the pandemic. Eligible member-owners were notified in December 2020, and all funds have been awarded.
Currently, there is a moratorium in effect for residential utility disconnections, pursuant to House Bill 5005, officially known as the Commonwealth of Virginia Budget, Section 4-14, Enactment 7(a), as of November 18, 2020. This moratorium will continue until the State Corporation Commission (SCC) issues an order exempting the Cooperative from the moratorium, the Governor determines it is unnecessary, or until 60 days after the public health emergency ends. The moratorium on nonresidential disconnections has ended. Ordinarily, you will be notified by mail prior to any disconnection.
The moratorium does not mean amounts due for electric bills are being waived or forgiven. The balance shown on your bill is still due, however, residential electric service will not be disconnected for charges or fees unpaid during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency. Your Cooperative’s member service representatives are available to work with you to create a manageable COVID-19 relief repayment plan if your account is 30 or more days past due. Here are some steps you can take to get started:
- Find your past due balance on your bill. You can also access this information by logging in to SmartHub, if you don’t already have a SmartHub login, it’s free and easy to get started. All you need is your electric account number. You may also get your balance and other billing information from our electronic payment system or when you call to speak with a member service representative.
- Decide if you would be able to pay your current bill and whether you can afford to add just a small amount of the past due balance each month.
- Once you’ve decided what you can afford to pay, call your Cooperative and speak to a member services representative to set up the repayment plan that works for you.
Depending on your situation, you may also qualify for other financial assistance resources to help with your bills. Call 211 or visit 211.org to see what services or organizations might be available to help you.
Again, we are here to help. Please contact us at 800-552-3904 or email@example.com on your statement so we can work together to develop a plan. Our staff is eager to assist you and can answer any question you may have; however, should you have an unresolved complaint about the repayment plan, contact the Division of Public Utility Regulation at 1-800-552-7945.