On Feb. 9, Volunteer Energy Cooperative Information Technology department employees discovered a problem within our communications system. Phone systems, email and the communication lines between the meters and the billing software were all impacted. Customer and employee databases were not affected.

During this process, phone systems, meter data reporting, and email were not available. Within a few days, the phone and email systems were fixed and operational. Restoring communication between the meters and billing software is more complicated. The IT department has been working with our metering vendor.

Throughout the testing and evaluation period, some billing cycles were billed for an estimated usage amount. The estimated amount was determined by averaging the usage from the previous three months plus the same month of the prior year (Nov. 2020, Dec. 2020, Jan. 2021, and Feb. 2020). This amount is then divided by 30 to give a daily estimated amount for PayMyWay customers.

The VEC service areas experienced very cold weather during the estimating period. Many customers have likely paid less than what was actually due. On the 26, VEC billing software received an accurate reading from the meters. VEC used that reading to adjust accounts to reflect actual usage. This was a temporary fix. Since Saturday, the system once again has been estimating.

As actual meter readings begin to come in, some customers could see an increase in their bills. This increase will be the difference between the estimated amounts they have been charged and what was actually used. Any members who need assistance with paying this difference should contact their local office for options.