We are hearing more concerns about the cost of this extreme weather event. We are a nonprofit cooperative committed to protecting both the physical and financial interests of our membership.
We do not know the full cost at this time. We realize this has been challenging, and a high electric bill following the disruption is a bitter reminder. Below are actions we are taking to assist our membership:
• Rates will remain the same. The Power Cost Recovery Factor (PCRF) will remain at $0.02/kWh. The PCRF reflects the change in our wholesale cost of power. While we do not know the full cost of the winter storm, your HCEC Board of Directors is working on your behalf to maintain affordable rates.
• We are suspending disconnection for non-payment through March 31, 2021.
• We are not applying penalties for late payments from February 14th through March 31st.
• We continue to offer deferred payment plans and average billing plans. If you are not able to pay your bill, please speak with our Member Service department about options to assist you.
o Deferred payment plans allow you to spread your outstanding balance over several months in order to remain current.
o Average billing looks at your usage history for twelve months and bills an average kWh for your usage. The usage will change monthly as your twelve-month history is recalculated for actual usage, but this will result in more consistent bills. Instead of seeing higher bills in the winter and summer with low bills in the spring and fall, you will have a more consistent bill throughout the year.
• You will only pay for the electricity you use.
• You are never charged for usage during a power outage.
Even with the rolling blackouts and ice storm damage, it is likely that your electric consumption will be higher. It was cold for an extended period. Usage was the highest we have ever seen across our system.
As we have more information, we will communicate further.
Members are welcome to contact state and federal elected officials to express concerns with natural gas pricing and energy prices during this extreme weather event.