ECE Statement on COVID-19
This page was updated April 7, 2020 at 5 p.m. We will update this page with the latest as the situation develops.
As your electric cooperative, we wanted to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the emerging situation with service to our members at the front of our concerns.
Our mission is to serve our members and communities. We take this mission seriously and do so by improving quality of life through the safe delivery of highly reliable, reasonably priced electric service, innovative energy programs, and exceptional member service. Allow us to reassure you that we will continue to uphold our mission in these unprecedented times.
More specifically, we pledge to:
- Ensure that your electric service continues to be reliable.
- Maintain excellent service to our members while keeping everyone safe by closing our lobby. Rest assured, you can still make payments via our SmartHub mobile and/or web applications, by telephone- through our 24/7 automated phone system at 918-756-0833, by mail or at one of the dozens of PaySite kiosks located throughout our service area, as well as the payment drop-off in our drive-thru lane.
- Make custom payment arrangements by phone.
- Temporarily suspend late fees and disconnects for non-payment for anyone directly affected by the virus.
We are here to help members through this crisis. Rest assured that we will keep you up-to-date on any changes to our operating policies primarily via email, SmartHub alerts, social media and here. Please call us at 918-756-0833 if you have any questions or concerns.
Q: Are you suspending disconnects like other utilities?
We are working with our members on a case by case basis and setting up payment arrangements. We want to reduce stress and provide local families and businesses with certainty during an uncertain time. The reason we ask that members who are already facing disconnects call, is that each member has a unique situation – we want to find the best solution for that member.
Q: I thought it was a mandate that all utilities couldn’t disconnect right now?
Utilities in Oklahoma have not been mandated to stop disconnects, although all have communicated that for those affected, arrangements are being made. And all are encouraging payments or setting up arrangements.
The temporary disconnect suspensions are not bill waivers. That is why we are also working with members on deferred payment plans and other assistance to ease the transition once the pandemic has passed.
Paying at least a portion of your bill, as you are able, can help avoid a large, multi-month balance when the pandemic is over.
Q: Do you offer any financial assistance with bills?
Visit our Financial Assistance page here for the most current assistance available.
Q: Are you helping people on Prepay during this, if they can’t pay?
Yes, we have moved the disconnect minimum to $5 and lowered the reconnect credit to $10. If needed, we will move your account from Prepay to normal billing and set up payment arrangements.
Q: I am out of work. Will you extend my account if needed?
Yes. Based on the type of account, we will set up arrangements, direct you to assistance agencies and place a hold on the account.
Q: When this is over, will I owe a bill?
Yes, all billing will be owed. It is important to pay what you can during this, so your arrangement/payments will be more manageable in the future.
Q: If you are working with us, why am I getting a cut-off notice?
Our system is still calculating your usage and is calculating a bill. If your account is past due, the system will still send a cut-off notice. If you have spoken with us about an arrangement, you do not have to worry about the cut-off notice.
Example: "The big investor-owned utilities are giving a free month".
There is one utility in the nation that is reducing bills by 40% for one month. None are free.
You may also hear of some co-ops that are giving back the deposits, or early capital credit checks (this is true). Our board takes what other co-ops are doing into account and will ultimately do what they feel like best benefits the membership.