July 20 update
North Carolina’s executive order banning disconnects on delinquent utility accounts is set to end July 29. The order was put in place to help those experiencing financial hardships prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Below is more information on how Wake Electric is helping our members as we begin to move toward normal operating procedure. By implementing the following payment plans, we want to assure our members that we are here to help and have developed a payment plan to ease the repayment effort over the next six months.
Monthly billed accounts:
For those members who are billed monthly, Wake Electric is automatically establishing a six-month payment arrangement for any outstanding balances. This balance will be visible beginning with your August billing statements. Members can take advantage of this offer or contact the office to discuss other payment plans.
Likewise, prepay accounts with outstanding balances will also be able to take advantage of an extended payment arrangement plan. Wake Electric will spread the overdue balance up to 180 days and those members should expect to see a portion of each payment being applied to their outstanding debt.
Members can access their account information through SmartHub 24/7. Members can make payments through SmartHub, our automated payment line and our mobile app. If you are still experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, we encourage members to reach out to their local department of social services for additional support and to learn more about the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP).
June 30 update
Since March, Wake Electric has returned more than $375,000 in security deposits to assist members with bill pay who are experiencing financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic. While this has been an effective interim solution in aiding members during this crisis, this offer will no longer be available effective August 1.
In addition, we will also begin to collect security deposits on new connects where applicable. Please note Wake Electric will continue to work with our members in other ways during this difficult time when circumstances are warranted.
June 1 update
On May 30, Governor Roy Cooper extended the executive order which prohibits the disconnection of utilities for nonpayment. This extension is in effect through July 29.
Before the executive order was originally issued in March, Wake Electric made the decision to suspend disconnections for nonpayment, connect members who had been previously disconnected and to waive late fees for those with past due bills.
Wake Electric will be offering assistance to all members with past due bills including long-term payment arrangements, applying deposits toward past due balances and offering debt recovery options for members using prepay billing.
May 29 update
Our office will open June 1. Due to COVID-19, we encourage you to make payments by using the mail drop located to the right of the doors on Franklin Street. This drop is monitored throughout the day. If you need to speak with a representative in the office, please maintain social distancing guidelines at all times. If possible, come in by yourself or bring the fewest number of family necessary to conduct business.
Thank you for your cooperation. These measures are in place to provide for the safety of our members and employees.
In addition, to better serve our members through the COVID-19 pandemic, Wake Electric’s board of directors authorized an early capital credit retirement to assist members who may be facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. Historically, capital credits are returned in December right before Christmas, but Wake Electric will return $2 million in capital credits to members in early July.
This early retirement of capital credits is one of several extraordinary responses Wake Electric has taken to help members facing financial hardships because of the pandemic. Measures have included returning more than $300,000 in deposits to assist with bill pay and suspension of service disconnects and late fees. Moving forward, Wake Electric will continue to assess the needs of our membership and adapt our assistance programs as needed.
May 4 update
Currently, Wake Electric has suspended non-pay disconnects for all accounts, waived all late fees and is allowing members with deposits to use those deposits to pay their bill. These programs will continue to be available to all members through the end of May.
Beginning June 1, only members who have lost their job as a result of the pandemic will qualify for these programs. These individuals will be eligible for an extension of the initial assistance programs mentioned above.
We hope to pre-qualify these members during the month of May. To pre-qualify, members must submit a letter from their employer confirming job loss or reduced work hours, or a copy of their approved application for unemployment. Members can send a copy or a picture to email@example.com to begin the pre-qualification process.
To re-cap the timeline of the initial assistance programs:
- March 18, we suspended non-pay disconnects for all accounts.
- March 27, Wake Electric’s board of directors approved a program to allow members with a security deposit to apply that deposit to their Wake Electric account balance and to waive new deposits.
- March 27, Wake Electric’s board of directors approved a waiver of late fees for qualified members.
- April 1, we extended the late fee waiver for a 60 day period to comply with the governor’s executive order.
We will continue to assess the needs of our membership and we will adapt our assistance programs as needed.
Please let us know if you have questions or need additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.474.6300 or 919.863.6300.
March 19 update
Check out our frequently asked questions and answers regarding Wake Electric’s response to COVID-19 below:
- How will Wake Electric continue to deliver reliable power during the COVID-19 outbreak?
We have taken proactive steps to safeguard our communities and employees in order to ensure that we continue providing the reliable electric service you depend on. While our offices are closed to the public, our employees are continuing to assist members, maintain the electric grid and restore power when necessary. Our team is continuously monitoring the situation and we are, as always, ready to respond.
- How is Wake Electric protecting its employees?
- Safety is our priority for our members, community and employees. We’ve closed our offices to members and non-business essential visitors, and our staff will not conduct in-home visits such as energy audits or high bill complaints during this time. While we’re limiting in-person interactions, members can make payments, sign up or disconnect service, ask questions or make a service request through SmartHub, by emailing email@example.com or by calling us at 800.474.6300.
- How is Wake Electric supporting members who are unable to pay their bills?
- We’re a part of this community and understand that many of our members are facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For this reason, disconnects for nonpay have been suspended until further notice for both home and business accounts. We encourage members to continue to pay during this time so that they keep their balance from getting too large to handle. Members will still be receiving bills for their energy use, however, if members are unable to pay at this time, they are not at risk of being disconnected and we will work with them once cutoffs resume. Also, as of March 18, Wake Electric has reinstated electric service, without penalty or reconnection fee, any member that contacted our office stating they have been impacted by COVID-19 and desired to be reconnected.
- Will late fees still apply?
- Wake Electric is not charging late fees during the state of emergency starting with bills issued after March 10. Some bills were printed after this date with late fees on them, and we are currently in the process of removing these fees. Members do not need to contact Wake Electric to have them removed as they will be removed automatically before the member’s next bill is issued.
- How can I contact Wake Electric?
- Members can make payments, sign up or disconnect service, ask questions or make a service request online through SmartHub, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 800.474.6300. Payments can also be left in the night drop box at our Wake Forest office. If you experience a power outage, our crews are ready to respond. You can continue to report outages by calling 800.743.3155.
- Can I use my security deposit to pay my bill?
- During the state of emergency, Wake Electric will allow members, both residential and non-residential, the opportunity to utilize security deposits as a means to supplement bill payment. In order to take advantage of the security deposit, the member must provide a request in writing (letter or email) stating due to financial need or financial hardship related to the COVID-19 virus and/or the North Carolina state of emergency they request the deposit be applied. Once the documentation is provided, the security deposit will be applied to the account.
- Will I have to pay a security deposit during the state of emergency?
- To help make your move easier, Wake Electric will waive the need for a security deposit during the State of Emergency.
March 17 update
Our members are our top priority at Wake Electric. As your local electric cooperative, we are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – even in difficult times like now. Here are a few important things to know.
- Disconnects for nonpay have been suspended until further notice. We encourage members to continue to pay during this time so that they keep their balance from getting too large to handle. However, if members are unable to pay at this time they are not at risk of being disconnected and we will work with them once cutoffs resume.
- Offices will be closed to members and any non-business essential visitors. Deliveries to the office will continue so that we can continue to provide service to our members. Payments can be left in the night drop box at our Wake Forest office or you can use one of our other convenient payment methods found here.
- Payments, signing up or disconnecting service, asking questions and making a service request can all be conducted online through SmartHub, by emailing email@example.com or on the phone at 800.474.6300.
- We continue to respond to power outages with the same enthusiasm you’ve come to expect. You can continue to report outages by calling 800.743.3155.
- Wake Electric staff will not conduct in-home visits such as energy audits or high bill complaints during this time. We still have staff available to speak with members on the phone or via email with such issues.
Amid public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Wake Electric has canceled the date of the annual meeting. The meeting could be held at a later date. We will update you with further information once it is available.
Wake Electric is encouraging members to use digital forms of communication to conduct business with the cooperative. You can sign up for service, ask questions or make service requests by calling 800.743.3155 or logging into your SmartHub account. Additionally, Wake Electric always has a number of easy ways to make a payment.
Wake Electric is monitoring COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) and taking proactive steps to ensure there will be no disruption to business operations or service to our members in the event our area is impacted.
We will remain engaged with local emergency management officials to ensure decisions are made with the highest level of situational awareness.
As a community-based electricity provider, Wake Electric practices and promotes a comprehensive culture of safety. Following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have reviewed and updated our Emergency Response Plan to safeguard our operations and protect the well-being and safety of our employees and members.
What does this mean for you: Amid growing concerns about COVID-19, we invite you, our members, to share in this culture of safety to limit the potential impacts the virus could have on our local community.
Please take everyday precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases as recommended by the CDC and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. These include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- It is not recommended that people who are well wear a facemask, but facemasks should be used by those who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others.
Stay extra vigilant about cyber scams regarding COVID-19. Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to COVID-19.
Please reach out to us at 800.474.6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.