“We never want to go there. It’s an expensive process to do that,” he said, adding someone must be sent out specifically for that purpose and it costs the cooperative to do that. In addition, the customer will have to pay a reconnection fee to have service restored.
MTE’s rules and regulations, approved by TVA as well as the cooperative’s board of directors, explains how delinquent, or late, bills will be handled. If bills are not paid by the due date, MTE will contact members by phone after three days. If the bill remains unpaid, MTE will call again eight days after the due date and will advise that service will be disconnected. If the eighth day occurs on a weekend or holiday, the call will be made the next business day. Disconnection of service will occur “no earlier than eleven (11) days from due date.”
For more information about MTE’s rules and regulations, visit online at www.mtemc.com/acrobat/RulesRegulationsElectranet.pdf.
“We do what we can to work with our members,” Jones added. To help members keep their power bills as low as possible during the spring and summer months, Jones said with warm weather already here there are some things you can do to make your home more energy efficient.
He said one of the most important and yet inexpensive things you can do is to apply caulking in and around your home to keep cool air inside as much as possible. “Caulk everything you can.”
Also, he said, change the filters in your air system ideally every month or at least quarterly. You can also have a heat/air expert come and examine the air ducts in your residence to check for leakage. MTE provides a free online energy audit that you can take. Look for it at www.mtemc.com.
You might also wish to sign up for an energy expert to come to your home who will examine and make recommendations to you about ways to make your residence energy efficient. There is a charge for this service at $150. However, Jones noted, if you follow the expert’s recommendations, such as getting a new window at a cost of say, $500, you can get the $150 back you paid for the expert to come to your home for a total cost of $350.
To learn more about this service or to sign up, call (866) 441-1430.
“Rates are not going to go down. They’re going to go up,” Jones said, adding there are three components to customers’ bills that should be noted. First, of course, is the rate, which cannot be controlled. Second is the efficiency profile and third is usage. Those two components are areas members can control, he said, and urged everyone to do so. You can take steps to manage your bill.”
For more information, visit online at www.mtemc.com or call 890-9762.
Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.