Budget Billing Offers Convenience, Savings
Wells Rural Electric Co. employees work hard to provide accurate consumer accounting and ensure every bill represents reliable electricity service and tremendous value for all of our members. We also realize it can be a complex process for members who might only look at their bill and electricity use once a month when they pay their bill.
To better explain the components of your bill and electricity use—and the value cooperative members receive—we will use this space regularly to address some of the bill questions we are most commonly asked.
To meet the changing and diverse needs of its members, Wells Rural Electric Co. offers several billing and payment options.
One popular choice is budget billing, which allows members to average 12 months of bills and pay that amount each month. Budget billing is used by 601 accounts.
While there are several benefits to budget billing, there are also misconceptions about what it is and what it is not. It’s important to understand these misconceptions to determine if budget billing is right for you.
Don’t sign up for budget billing expecting to automatically lower your bill. Budget billing historically is not a cost-saving tool. In fact, it can have the opposite effect if members don’t pay attention to their electricity consumption.
The budget amount members pay each month is recalculated annually to reflect their most recent use.
When the amount of the monthly bill remains the same, we find that many members on budget billing spend less time worrying about their electricity consumption and, as a result, their budget amount rises as time goes along.
That’s not to say there are not benefits.
Budget billing levels out your monthly payments. It can be a great option for the budget-conscious and especially for members on fixed incomes. If you spend a lot of time planning how to distribute your household income, it is nice to have an exact number for how much your electricity is going to cost each month.
Use budget billing to avoid seasonal spikes. The high desert climate varies wildly from season to season. WREC’s service territory typically experiences harsh winters and mild summers, which creates significant peaks and valleys when it comes to electricity use. When temperatures plummet below freezing for weeks at a time, the costs associated with heating can be overwhelming.
Budget billing is an excellent tool to distribute payments equally throughout the year.
Take advantage of WREC’s account management app, SmartHub. WREC members benefit with instant access to view use and billing patterns, making it easier to budget and control energy use. SmartHub allows you to monitor electricity consumption from your smartphone, tablet or personal computer.
To learn more about budget billing or for help setting up a SmartHub account, please contact your local WREC office.