Ways to Pay
At SEC, we provide members with several different payment options to make bill paying fast, easy and hassle-free. The following are several ways to pay your bill that we hope will improve your experience as an SEC member-owner.
Save time, money and effort by enrolling in paperless billing. Manage your payments online for secure access to your statements 24/7. No checks to write! No stamps to buy! No bills to mail, file, shred or clutter your mailbox!
Enroll today by creating a SmartHub account: http://sec.smarthub.coop. Once logged into SmartHub, go to “My Profile” to change your printed bill status.
Budget billing is a payment option that gives members the opportunity to standardize monthly payments by paying a set amount each month. When a budget billing plan is implemented, members are able to know the amount of their monthly bill in advance, which aids in adhering to overall budgets. This option would benefit those that experience seasonal highs and lows in their usage and would prefer to spread out the charges over time, instead of on one individual bill.
There are two types of budget billing: fixed and variable. With fixed budget billing, members pay the same amount each month for six months. That fixed amount is recalculated based on usage in the months of January and July. This amount will fluctuate based on the member’s usage in the previous six months. In the case of variable budget billing, the amount of each month’s budget payment is an average of the last twelve months.
In both cases, SEC recommends that members begin a budget billing plan with a zero balance. This allows for a fresh start, and this way individual budgets are created solely based on usage and not what members already owe to the co-op.
It is recommended that members have at least twelve months of service to reference before utilizing budget billing. This is especially relevant to those that have moved into a new dwelling and may only have the previous resident’s usage for comparison. In this way, members gain an understanding of their current monthly usage and are therefore better able to get the most out of this option.
EZ-Pay is SEC’s automatic draft program. After signing up for EZ-Pay, “Members can set up the program and forget it,” explains SEC Director of Customer Service Tim Kreis. “We would love to have more accounts enrolled in this program because it offers a greater level of convenience for our members.” Bank, credit union and MasterCard, VISA & Discover accounts are automatically drafted each month, preventing the hassle of mailing payments, buying postage and incurring late fees. Participating members receive a monthly statement and notification as to what day the payment will be deducted from their designated account. This timesaving option can be used in conjunction with budget billing and our paperless option.
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Members can now pay bills at one of several self-service Quick Pay Kiosks, located at each of the co-op’s four district offices: Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan.
Prepaid Electric Service or PrePay
SEC’s PrePay option works similarly to a pay-as-you-go cell phone or debit card. Members pay for their electric service in advance, and each day the available balance is deducted based on usage. Daily energy usage can be tracked through SmartHub to get a better understanding of how usage is distributed (especially in times of extreme weather) and where improvements can be made. Instead of waiting for their bill to arrive, members can identify where their money is being spent on a daily basis and make adjustments.
Prepaid service requires no security deposit and allows members greater control over their money. SEC members wishing to switch to PrePay may use their existing security deposit to fund their account. If an account runs out of funds and the member gets disconnected, he or she is able to pay online through the SmartHub app and payment kiosks at each SEC district office – all available 24/7. Members are also able to call and make payments during regular SEC hours. Additionally, there are no overtime or disconnect fees when the power is reconnected.
Those members that need electric service as a medical necessity are not eligible for PrePay. Members receiving energy assistance through the Department of Social Services are still able to receive assistance.
To participate in any of these payment options, please call us at 1-800-552-2118. Our member service representatives will help you to choose the option that is right for you and your family.
To sign up for SmartHub, please visit www.sec.coop/SmartHub