Capital Electric - May 1, 2012
If you prefer calling Capital Electric Cooperative to pay your monthly utility bill, you’re not alone. Many of our member-owners choose to do their business over the phone. To make this process more convenient and secure, Capital Electric introduces a pay-by-phone option to our membership. This automated service allows members to inquire on their account, update contact information and pay their utility bill using a credit card, debit card and checking account. For security purposes, the member will be prompted to establish a four-digit pin to validate the account.
To use the Pay-By-Phone service, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, consumers can call 701-557-4950 direct or call co-op headquarters at 701-223-1513 and ask to be transferred.
If a member uses the automated service during the co-op’s regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but would also like to speak with an employee, the call can easily be transferred.
Paul Fitterer, business manager for Capital Electric, assures members they can still call the co-op, speak to an employee and pay their utility bill.
“As a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative, we still believe in the power of human connections,” he says.
If a member calls the co-op after business hours, he or she will connect with Capital Electric’s after-hours dispatch service. In addition to being able to report an outage, members can now pay their utility bills after-hours.
Along with making the bill-paying process faster and more convenient, Shari Vetter, billing coordinator for Capital Electric, says the pay-by-phone service helps protect private information.
“For members who pay over the phone, this automated feature allows members to type in their payment information rather than verbally sharing it,” she explains.
Members, the next time you want to make a utility payment over the phone, try our new Pay-By-Phone service day or night at 701-557-4950.
Members, if you prefer to pay your utility bill electronically, we suggest you sign up for the cooperative’s E-Bill service if you have not already done so. E-Bill gives members access to their electronic billing history which contains the current billing statement, billing history details, kilowatt usage, monthly comparisons and other informative facts. And like our new pay-by-phone automated service, E-Bill allows Capital Electric members to pay their utility bills day or night.
To sign up for E-Bill, visit our home page and click the E-Bill Login in the upper left-hand corner. Then sign up as a new user. When members sign up for E-Bill using the co-op’s secure server, they will receive a monthly billing email notification and also be given the option to still receive a paper bill through the mail. The notice will link to our website. Members can click on this link and enter their email address and password.
Members, if you already pay your utility bill electronically using Capital Electric Cooperative’s E-Bill service but still receive a paper bill in the mail, we encourage you to go green! The next time you sign into E-Bill, look for the “start/stop print bill” area on the left side of your screen to turn off your paper bill. Then, uncheck the selection that says, “Send me a statement by mail” and then click “update.” By going green, you can help your co-op save paper, postage, and our footprint on the environment.
Members, if you prefer paying bills electronically, you might also consider using Capital Electric’s Pay-By Bank service. Members who sign up for Pay-By-Bank request to have their monthly electric bill automatically deducted from their checking or savings account. The money is not withdrawn until the due date of the billing, which is typically 10 days after the bill is mailed. That means you keep your money in your account longer! And with the automatic withdrawal, there is no check to write, no payment to mail and no postage to pay.
To sign up for Pay-By-Bank online, click on “Forms” and then “Pay-By-Bank Authorization,” or stop by co-op headquarters at 4111 State St. in Bismarck to fill out an authorization form. You can also call 701-223-1513 and request a form. You will then be asked to provide either a blank check or savings deposit slip marked “VOID.” This will be used to record the bank information needed to process the payments.
Pay As You Go
Just as you prepay for gas and groceries, you can now prepay your electric service with Capital Electric Cooperative’s new prepayment service. The service can be especially useful for consumers who have tight budgets, prefer to pay at a certain time of month, or for those who have been unable to remain current with their account.
“When consumers choose this voluntary service, they get a better understanding of how much electricity their home is consuming, and how much money is remaining in their account,” explains Paul Fitterer, business manager at the co-op. “By using the prepayment option, members can see how the energy they use on a daily basis can affect their pocketbook.”
Here’s how Capital Electric’s prepayment option works:
Fitterer says there are many benefits to using the prepay option. Capital Electric offers the service free of charge, and consumers are not required to pay a deposit. They will also not be required to pay late fees or collection charges because they will be “paying as they go.”
While prepayment for electric service is relatively new in North Dakota, it’s becoming more popular across the country because it gives the member more control, Fitterer relays.
“When members sign up for our prepayment service, they choose how they’re notified, when they’re notified, and what balances they want to maintain,” he describes.
“Our goal is to give members another payment option that might be more affordable for their budgets and lifestyles,” he concludes.
Statistics show that consumers who monitor or track their energy use on a regular basis use less energy. For more information on Capital Electric’s prepay service, or to learn more about other payment options including E-Bill, Pay-by-Phone or Pay-by-Bank, call the co-op at 701-223-1513.