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News & Updates

Claiborne Electric refunds nearly $700,000 in account deposits


Claiborne electric members who have paid their monthly electric bill on time for the past 36 months will receive a credit on their August or September bill in the amount of the deposit they paid when connecting their account.

“At a time when many of our members are wondering how they will pay monthly expenses, our Board of Directors made the decision to refund deposits on accounts with a demonstrated on-time payment history,” Claiborne Electric General Manager and CEO Mark Brown said. “These members have shown that they are unlikely to disconnect and leave the Co-op with unpaid debt, which is the reason we keep a deposit on file. For many of these members, a deposit refund will mean one to two months without owing an electric bill.”

Brown said refunding deposits after 36 months of on-time payments will continue.

“This is not a one-time refund,” he said. “Any member, no matter how long they have been connected, will receive their deposit back at the point they have paid on or before the due date for 36 months.”

Claiborne Electric names 2020 college scholarship recipients


Congratulations to Claiborne Electric’s 2020 college scholarship winners! Due to the cancellation of our Annual Meeting, winners were drawn in our office.

Each student will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

 

Elise Perritt (parents: Wayne & Monique Perritt)

Kathlyn Redman (Parent: Michael Redman)

Bethany Morris (Parents: Terry & Stacey Morris)

Evangeline Brasher (Parents: Ryan & Leslie Brasher)

Mihir Patel (Parent: Kamlesh Patel)

Janae Battle (Parent: Jacqueline Battle)

Allyson Martin (Parent: Megan Martin)

Daisy Verdin (Parents: Chad & Amanda Verdin)

Kaleb Armstrong (Parent: Kevin Armstrong)

Kyleigh Bass (Parents: Charles & Dwala Bass)

Claiborne Electric offers payment arrangements for delinquent accounts


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Louisiana Public Service Commission issued an order to suspend disconnection of electric services due to non-pay. As that order expires, Claiborne Electric General Manager & CEO Mark Brown wants Co-op members to know they have payment options to clear delinquent debt.

“We understand that this pandemic has caused financial hardship for some of our members, and we want to help them clear that debt so that it doesn’t grow to an unmanageable amount,” Brown said.

Electricity used during the order will still have to be paid for. Members who feel they will be unable to pay balances should contact the Co-op for possible payment arrangements. Brown said members have multiple options to clear debt over time instead of paying an entire accrued balance at once.

12-month payment plan:

For members who want to pay debt on a traditional monthly billing cycle, the Co-op offers a 12-month payment plan. With this plan, all debt owed by the member to the Cooperative is divided by 12. The member pays one portion of the debt each month by the due date, along with their current monthly bill, until all debt is paid in full.

This plan allows members to bring their current balance out of a negative state and pay a small portion of the debt each month for 12 months, at which point the debt is cleared.

EZPay:

Members with an outstanding debt may opt to use Claiborne Electric’s EZPay program. EZPay allows members to pay for electricity in advance instead of receiving a traditional bill. The program allows members to purchase electricity before it is used, giving them the flexibility to add credit to their electric account as their budget allows. It also eliminates deposits, due dates, late fees, and fees associated with disconnection or re-connection.

EZPay also has a mechanism that helps members pay off accumulated debt. When a member who owes debt to the cooperative makes an EZPay payment, 80% of the payment purchases electricity for future use and 20% of the payment is applied to outstanding debt. This allows a member to pay the debt over time without facing disconnection. This would be a good option for members who have accumulated debt during the pandemic that they are unable to pay in full. If a member is on traditional billing and would prefer changing to EZPay, we can also apply the account’s deposit to help lower the debt.

“The people we serve are our friends and neighbors, and we want to help them during this difficult time,” Brown said. “I would ask members not to wait until they owe an amount that makes them overwhelmed. Call us. We will be glad to help find the payment option that fits their needs.”

To discuss payment options, please call our Farmerville office at 368-3011 or our Homer office at 927-3504.

2020 Annual Meeting Canceled


Claiborne Electric General Manager and CEO Mark Brown has announced that the 2020 Annual Meeting has been canceled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting had previously been postponed from April to July. Brown said as the July date drew near, the decision was made to cancel the meeting and not reschedule later in the year. At the July 1 meeting of Claiborne Electric’s Board of Directors, the official decision was made to cancel the meeting.

“We hoped that everything would line up, the virus would dissipate, and we would get to hold our meeting,” Brown said. “This is the biggest day of our annual work schedule. It’s the day we get to see so many members face-to-face and take care of important business. Currently, however, it just isn’t prudent to host an event of this size.”

Brown said that in discussions with officials at Louisiana Tech University’s Thomas Assembly Center, rescheduling the meeting for later in 2020 was not possible.

“We appreciate our friends at LA Tech and how hard they work for us every year. This is the perfect venue for our meeting, and we look forward to being back there in 2021,” Brown said.

At the 2020 meeting, members would have voted on important amendments to the Co-op’s bylaws. According to Brown, those amendments would increase transparency and participation in Board elections while simultaneously streamlining the process. He said those amendments will be presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Although Brown said the decision to cancel the meeting was disheartening, he believes it is simply the best thing to do in the interest of the Co-op’s employees and members.

“This is the day where we traditionally try to show our members how much we appreciate them,” Brown said. “This year, we will demonstrate that above all, we value the health and safety of our members and employees. They are our friends and neighbors, and we want them safe and well.”

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