During this public health crisis, we’ve heard a lot about flattening the curve—the idea that social distancing will prevent a tragically unmanageable spike in COVID-19 cases. We are certainly adhering to recommended social distancing practices here at Lynches River Electric Cooperative, and we hope you are as well.
I want to mention about another spike that can be damaging to you personally. It’s the rising energy debt that you could be accumulating if you aren’t paying your monthly energy bill.
We certainly understand the very tough circumstances that many of you are facing because of this pandemic. Work hours have been reduced, and jobs have been eliminated. Family members are sick, and health care costs have increased. Strains on the supply chain seem to be driving up the price of almost everything we buy. The only thing that is less expensive is gasoline, but we’re not going anywhere.
Despite these unprecedented circumstances, one thing remains the same—as you use energy, your meter runs. Once we are through this crisis, we’ll eventually return to our standard policies regarding disconnections for non-payment.
Without the consequence of disconnection, you may be tempted to shift your energy bill down the priority list. I would discourage you from doing that. Even if this crisis is over in a few months, three or four unpaid utility bills could be debilitating to the family budget.
I urge you to do whatever you can now to prevent your energy debt from being unmanageable in the future. Even if you are unable to pay the entire amount due on your bill, a partial payment would help.
Unpaid bills shift the energy cost burden to other co-op members; there are no distant stockholders or some other “them” to bear the cost in an electric cooperative.
Members can make payments through their member portal at LynchesRiver.com, the LREC Mobile app, via phone at (843) 675-5732, in person at the LREC office drive thru and remote payment sites located at the Piggly Wiggly in Chesterfield, IGA in Kershaw and the Energy Center in Lancaster.
I would also encourage you to keep track of your energy use through our online member portal. Be conscious of the impact the coming summer weather will likely have on your consumption. You can access energy saving tips and resources on our website or from our member services team.
We’re here to help. Call us at (843) 672-6111 to discuss your concerns. We’ll get through this together.