VEC Resumes Normal Operations
On May 26 VEC reopened all service center lobbies. Various signs were posted throughout the buildings requesting all members and employees to maintain a social distance of six feet. Floors are also marked with the distance to enable those waiting in line to follow the safety protocol. All employees and members areencouraged to wear masks if the physical distance cannot be met.
Accounts unpaid have increased significantly since April. Eighty cents ($0.80) of each dollar VEC receives is paid to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for wholesale power. Though TVA has offered some payment flexibility, VEC is required to pay TVA for the energy that consumers use – whether the co-op is paid or not. While VEC remains financially stable, the current level of accounts unpaid is not sustainable long-term.
In May of 2020, many of Tennessee’s local power companies resumed disconnection for past dues. VEC’s executive team and board of directors decided to wait until June. On June 2, VEC began phasing back into the normal disconnect schedule.
VEC’s pay as you go billing is an option for members with past due accounts and struggling to pay the balance. PayMyWay billing does not charge fees for disconnection, reconnection, or late payments. PayMyWay billing is a prepay program similar to buying minutes for a prepaid cell phone.
Another option is the federally funded program LIHEAP. LIHEAP is a program that assists eligible households with their energy bill. For more information on this program go to www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/liheap.