Are you prepared for this?
Yes. Protecting the energy grid and ensuring a safe and reliable supply of electricity are our top priorities. Your electric cooperative is focusing on keeping their employees and customer-owners healthy and safe. From time to time, we face many situations like ice storms, tornadoes and vehicle crashes that affect the power supply. We have plans in place to deal with all of these situations, and these same plans can be used to ensure we continue to provide you with the service you expect during this situation.
What are you doing to keep your employees from becoming sick?
These are just some of the things we’re doing to keep our workforce healthy:
- Canceling all non-essential business travel and meetings.
- Limiting internal meetings to small groups of employees.
- Closed the lobbies of our Monroe, Snellville and Watkinsville offices.
- Furnishing cashiers who operate drive-throughs and night deposits with hand sanitizer, rubber gloves and cleaning wipes.
- Supplying hand sanitizer at each entrance and furnishing each employee with an individual supply of hand sanitizer.
- Closing the public auditoriums at our Monroe and Snellville offices to outside groups until further notice.
- Implementing a sanitization regimen at all offices.
- Requiring sick employees to stay at home.
- Practicing good hand washing techniques, workstation cleaning, social distancing and coughing/sneezing etiquette.
- Spreading out employees as much as possible.
- Allowing employees to work from home if possible.
- Suspending onsite energy audits and bill inquiries.
- Asking customer-owners to stay at least 10 feet away from our employees if they encounter them working outside.
Has anyone at your office become infected?
One of our employees has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We immediately contacted other employees who have been in close proximity to the affected employee and advised them to be tested and self-quarantine at home. Supervisors investigated to find and notify other employees who may have had close contact. Affected areas and vehicles were sanitized and every possible measure was taken to ensure the health and safety of our employees.
What will you do if a significant number of your employees get sick?
While we are doing everything in our power to ensure our employees stay healthy, we have contingency plans should some of our staff become sick. Georgia’s electric cooperatives have a mutual aid plan that can quickly bring in workers from other electric cooperatives should the need arise. This plan has worked well when we’ve been hit by major storms. It will also help us during this crisis. In addition, we have a strong working relationship with a number of electrical contractors that can be added to our workforce if needed.
Will I lose power because of the virus?
No negative impacts to the delivery of electricity have occurred or are expected due to this pandemic. Your electric cooperative continues to take all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, protect employees and safeguard the electric system. The combined efforts from the operators of our three-tiered generation, transmission and distribution system will ensure the reliable delivery of electricity that customer-owners expect.
Will your crews still respond to outages?
Yes. We will continue to respond to outages to make sure electric service remains available to our customer-owners.
Is this affecting your service? Will regular work continue during this time?
As long as our crews can perform their work while practicing good social distancing, we plan to continue with normal work, like streetlight and yard light repairs, other repairs, and temporary and permanent service installations.
Why is your office closed?
This is not only for your safety, but for the safety and wellbeing of our employees. While we have plans in place to continue providing reliable electric service, we have several ways to help limit the potential spread of the coronavirus. Closing the office to everyone except employees is one of the key steps public health officials are recommending. We strongly encourage all members to use one of the other many convenient options we offer to make a payment or contact us.
When will the office reopen?
We’ll reopen our offices as soon as it’s safe following the advice of public health officials. We realize this temporary situation may cause inconvenience for our customer-owners and ask for your patience and understanding during this time.
How can I contact you or make a payment?
Use our website at waltonemc.com, download the myWaltonEMC app or call us at 770-267-2505.
Will you be disconnecting customer-owners during this time?
No. We have suspended disconnections for non-payment until further notice to provide relief to those who have been impacted by this pandemic. Customer-owners should check waltonemc.com, facebook.com/waltonemc and twitter.com/waltonemc for updates, announcements and the latest status on our disconnection policy.
Will you be charging late fees during this time?
We are waiving late fees until bills rendered in May. Customer-owners should check waltonemc.com for updates, announcements and the latest status on our late fee policy.
Will you bill for electricity used during this time?
Customer-owners are still responsible for the balance on their account as well as any ongoing electricity use.
Will you discount my bill?
No. Because Walton EMC is a not-for-profit cooperative utility, any discounts would mean other customer-owners would have to shoulder that cost. We are working with customer-owners on payment arrangements as needed, waiving late fees and remaining flexible as we work through this crisis.
What are you doing to help customer-owners who are not getting a paycheck?
We have suspended disconnections for non-payment until further notice.
- Late Fees
We have waived late fees until May bills.
- Payment Arrangements
In many cases, our customer care representatives can work with customer-owners on a plan to spread out payments or catch up on past due balances. Each plan is tailored to the specific situation.
- Levelized Billing
Levelized Billing allows residential customer-owners to pay nearly the same amount on their electric bill each month, removing the month-to-month peaks and valleys caused by changing weather, changing energy use and other factors.
PrePay is pay-along electricity. Instead of receiving a monthly bill after the fact, you set the payment plan and amounts that fit your budget. PrePay gives you control over your energy costs and is available to most residential accounts. There is no extra cost or deposit for the program. PrePay may be right for you if it’s easier to make weekly or bi-weekly advance payments or you’re interested in closely monitoring your energy use.
- Senior Citizen Low Income Discount
Qualifying seniors are eligible for a 50 percent discount on the monthly base service charge.
- Be at least 65 years old.
- Have a total annual household income of $20,000 or less
- Only your primary residence is eligible.
- Apply in the customer-owner’s name.
How can I get help to pay my bill?
- United Way 211
Dial 211 or visit unitedwayatlanta.org/need-help. You can also text your zip code and need to 898211.
Qualified applicants may be able to receive home heating assistance.
- Household income must be at or below 60 percent of the state median income level.
- Person applying must be responsible for paying the energy costs of the primary home heating source and be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant.
The assistance is generally a locally issued check to the utility on your behalf. The one-time benefit ranges from $350 to $400.
Barrow, Clarke, Oconee: 770-532-3191
Greene, Morgan: 478-453-4111
DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale, Walton: 404-537-4300
Where can I get more information?
Regularly check this website, Facebook and Twitter for the latest information and updates.
What else do I need to know?
Because families are home more than usual, you’ll probably use more energy, and that will be reflected on your energy bill. See waltonemc.com for tips to help you save energy.
Don’t fall prey to those who will try to take advantage of these unusual times. We will never call you demanding payment in order to avoid disconnecting your electric service. We do provide courtesy reminders and alerts to help you manage your electric bill. If you receive a call demanding payment by a credit card, cash cards (like “Green Dot” or “Bluebird” cards) or any other method, hang up and report the call to law enforcement.