The novel coronavirus, your electric bill and your electric cooperative
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation. South Carolina's electric cooperatives are committed to helping their members and employees navigate and ever-changing situation. Below is important information regarding what co-ops are doing:
Paying your bill
You are responsible for paying for the electricity you use, which applies to any other product or service. Your local cooperative cannot provide free electricity. If it did, your fellow members would pick up the tab because co-ops are not-for-profit, member-owned enterprises. There’s no one else to pay.
Past due payments
Co-ops know the coronavirus outbreak may cause financial hardships. Some members may face reduced employment or unemployment. Some members are staying home, which makes 24-hour electric service even more vital.
Co-ops have established policies to help members get through this difficult time. For example, they’ve suspended disconnections on accounts with past due amounts, as Gov. Henry McMaster requested of all electricity providers. But, as state officials have acknowledged, members still have an obligation to pay their bill eventually. So, we urge you to keep paying on time. Don’t let your bill grow.
Late payment penalties, interest on overdue balances, and reconnect fees still apply.
Access to co-op offices
Most, if not all, co-ops have closed their lobbies to the public. Drive-through windows remain open.
Mobile apps and websites
You can do business with your co-op electronically as usual. You may use their website and, if you haven’t already, download their mobile app for added convenience.
Outages and repairs
Co-ops intend to provide the same high-quality, reliable electric service that you expect in normal times. Repairs to the electric system will be accomplished promptly. We do not foresee the coronavirus having a negative effect on a co-op's technical abilities to provide the good service you desire.
Whether they work in the office or on the power lines that stretch across the service territory, co-ops intend to provide safe working conditions for their employees and to require safe work practices by them. Employees have been instructed to practice social distancing. They'll still be friendly, but they’ll keep their distance from each other and you to avoid the risk of spreading illness.
Every cooperative holds an annual membership meeting. Many are scheduled for the spring, however, COVID-19 has caused some co-ops to postpone their scheduled meeting. Check with your local co-op to learn what they're planning.