Billing System Upgrade FAQ - NEC Coop
Jul 21, 2017
During the month of July, NEC Co-op Energy began the transition to a new and improved billing system. This change affects many areas of our business, including our account management system, billing, and new member enrollments. Please note: There are a few bugs for us to work out with our new system. We are aware of them and are working hard to get this functioning at 100% as soon as possible. Below are some frequently asked questions that can help members adjust to some of these changes to our system!
My bill shows I have a ‘Balance Forward Subject to Immediate Disconnection.’ Will I be disconnected now?
No, you will not be disconnected.
It is a standard message on the bills under the new system when a bill is not paid by the due date. However, due to the bill printing delays and the movement of the original due dates, you will not be immediately disconnected. Please pay the bill by your due date.
If you later receive a Disconnect for Non-Payment notice, please pay by the stated due date to avoid disconnection.
Are your phones working?
Yes, our phones are working. However, we are experiencing a very high call volume due to questions about this billing transition and our phone system has been having trouble handling all of them. We have now made upgrades to our phone system including implementing more phone lines and bringing in additional member care representatives.
I did not see my auto draft payment go through. Is my bank draft working?
Yes, your payment will still process through auto draft. Due to the billing system change, bank drafts were delayed along with the sending out bills. Your account will be drafted on the due date of the bill. If you received more than one bill, your account will be drafted on each bill’s due date.
I received one bill then shortly after another bill.
Unfortunately, due to the billing system upgrade, NEC Co-op Energy was delayed in sending out the July bills. Therefore, the second bill you have received is correct and is arriving at its normal time.
• Do have to pay both now?
Please pay the first bill by the Due Date (see below Due Date Schedule). If there is a concern about paying two bills so closely together, please contact us and we may be able to work out a deferred payment plan option. If you are on auto draft, your account will be drafted on each bill’s due date.
• Will have a late fee or be disconnected?
No, we are temporarily waiving late fees and delaying disconnections as long as your bill is paid by the new Due Date (see below Due Date Schedule). Please call if you are in need of a deferred payment plan.
My bill seems high this month. Did my rate go up?
Your rate did not increase. In fact, the rate of our Plain & Simple variable month-to-month plan actually decreased from the last bills that were sent out. As a not-for-profit electricity provider, NEC Co-op Energy determines the rate of service based on the cost to supply electricity to members. Therefore, even though the look of our bills changed, your overall charges, rate plan, and service from us has not.
To help lower your bill during the hot summer months, check out some of these energy efficiency tips to help you lower your electricity usage or use the Home Energy Analysis Tool to see how your home is consuming power.
Bill Format Changes
The overall appearance of your bill has changed but your rates or overall cost have not changed. In an effort to be more transparent, we are now showing costs that were previously lumped into one.
Our bills now display:
• NEC Co-op Energy’s monthly customer charge
• NEC Co-op Energy’s cost of electricity
• TDU (your power line company’s charges to bring the electricity to you)
What are the TDU charges on my bill, I have not seen them before?
Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) Delivery Charges are from your local delivery company (i.e. the company you call when the power goes out). These charges cover the cost of maintaining electricity poles and wires, meters, storm restoration, etc. These charges are approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and are passed through to you without any markup – so you’re not paying more than you should for electricity. In our new bill format, your TDU Delivery Charges are displayed under a separate section on the monthly bill under the description “TDU Pass-Through Charges,” so it’s easier to distinguish the NEC Co-op Energy charges from your local utility company charges. These charges apply to all residential customers, serviced by the TDU, regardless of who their electricity provider is.
This is not a new charge. Your overall charges, rate plan, and service from us has not changed. In the past, NEC Co-op Energy has included them in the overall cost of providing electricity to you and presented one lump rate. In an effort to make our way of business even more Plain & Simple, we are now showing them in detail so that members can have a better understanding of what they pay for their electric service.
How will this change how I log into the online portal to pay my bill?
My bill is late. When will I receive my bill and when is the due date?
NEC Co-op Energy sends bills out in cycles or groups. At NEC Co-op Energy, we want to do our best to ensure your next bill following this transition is accurate. In this process, we have found a few bugs in the new system and we made the business decision to delay billing until the bugs were fixed. As a result of this transition, three billing cycles have been delayed, and we expect those to all be sent by 7/24/17.
Your due date will be 16 days from the date that the bill is mailed out to you. This will allow members the time to make payment arrangements even though the billing date was initially delayed.
DUE DATE SCHEDULE:
Do I owe any late charges or penalties?
How will my bill be affected if I pay automatically by credit card or bank draft?
All bank drafts and credit card automatic payments were delayed with the bill delays and will be executed on your new bill due date (see above for due date schedule).
I am signed up for Level Billing. Will I still be signed up under the new system?
You are still signed up, but we will need to true up your account to transition to the new system. Members on this payment plan will be contacted if they will be adversely affected by the transition.
I have multiple NEC Co-op Energy accounts and my bill normally includes all of them on one bill. Will that still be the case under the new system?
Will my bill reflect the current charges that I owe?
Our phone lines have been extremely busy this week, so if you can’t reach us by phone, you may also email us at email@example.com and we will reply to your concerns as soon as possible.