FreeState Electric Cooperative does not participate in the Cold Weather Rule that restricted electric disconnects from November 1 through March 31, when temperature forecasts were for 35 degrees or below. Rural Electric Cooperatives are not mandated to participate in this policy.
There will no longer be payment arrangements made on past due accounts. All accounts are subject to disconnection for non-payment.
How does the Pre-Pay Program work?
- Each day the previous day's kWh use, estimated power cost adjustment (PCA), prorated service and device charge plus applicable tax are calculated and deducted from your credit balance.
- Payments can be made online 24/7 or by calling or visiting the FreeState offices during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Low balance alerts are generated via email when balance reached below $30.
- Service is disconnected when your credit balance reaches $0.
- Make a payment to reestablish a credit balance to reconnect service ($20 minimum).
- FreeState meters are not able to decipher anything other than kilowatt hours used. The meters we install only monitor energy usage and send that data back to our office over power lines. These meters are safe and reliable.
- The same technology used by banks, credit card companies, and cable providers are used to protect your information. Online data access is encrypted, in the same manner as a bank’s, enabling you to securely access your account to view your usage and pay your bill online.
- Our meters can provide members with near real-time energy usage information about how much, when, and even at what rate, it is used. This information can be used by the member to monitor power in their homes and assist them in conservation and saving money.
- These meters also detect power outages quickly and efficiently with the information provided by the meters and the supporting infrastructure.
- Members will not receive a traditional bill in the mail each month.
- Email notifications are generated by the system and do alert a member when the account falls below $30.
Monitoring usage and account balances can be done online or via a mobile device. SmartHub is a free mobile app that will allow access to your account anywhere you are.
Who is eligible?
Any member is eligible.
How does Pre-Pay impact members?
We see several different circumstances. Here are the most common.
- Members wanting to save money each month
- Members who pre-pay generally use less energy than folks on traditional billing arrangements because they are more aware of how much energy they are consuming. This could save members up to 12 percent by monitoring usage and being diligent when conserving energy. Some members have recognized more than a 12 percent savings.
- Members wanting to conserve more energy
- Energy conservations help the cooperative and in turn, saves everyone money. Members who are interested in conservation and saving energy could benefit from the Pre-Pay Program by monitoring daily usage closely and identifying ways they can cut back on usage.
- Did we mention less usage equals less billing?
- Members struggling to pay bills or larger bills in one lump sum
- Pre-paid service offers a great solution for members who are facing financial difficulties or simply would prefer to pay in smaller increments versus one larger monthly bill. Paying in smaller increments can be helpful if you're paid on a weekly basis or if you're managing a very tight budget.
- Members who struggle to pay one bigger monthly bill can fall further and further behind. Especially when having to pay non-payment fees. With the pre-pay option, these fees are eliminated, saving the member $35 each time.
How can sign up?
Enrolling in the pre-pay option is easy! Simply sign our pre-paid agreement and make an initial payment of at least your past due amount (if applicable). Current amounts owed can go to an arrangement that you'll pay down over time.
- Provide a valid phone number and email address.
- Non-payment fees (if applicable) are waived.
- Track use through SmartHub, FreeState's online bill-pay system.
- Make payments ($20 minimum) at convenient times for you and your schedule.
- Low account balance notifications are generated via email
FreeState is offering the pre-pay option to standard service. If you have questions about this or any other services we offer, please call our office at 1-800-794-1989.