Easy and Convenient Payment Options
Convenient and easy methods to pay your bill.
Here at your local electric cooperative we know you’re busy and that paying your energy bill isn’t one of the ways you want to spend your precious time. So, we are continuously trying to make the process easier and much more convenient for you, our members. Recently, we’ve added several new services to ease the burden of writing checks, finding correct postage, cluttered mailboxes and/or making extra trips to the post office or an OTEC office to pay your bill. Call our office to enroll in these services, or you can login to your account at www.otecc.com and select “Pay Bill Online” to access our secure website.
Here are your billing and payment options: You Choose!
It is easy to start a pre-paid metering account, which gives members a new way to manage their electric bills. This program gives members the opportunity to pay for electric service as it is being used instead of waiting and sometimes being surprised when the monthly statement arrives.
A one-time enrollment fee of $10 and a payment of $50 to establish a credit balance on your account is all that is needed to activate the service. Once the service is activated, any deposits currently on file with OTEC may be refunded or applied to the member’s pre-paid metering account. There is a fee of $5.00 added each month to cover program costs.
To encourage enrollment, OTEC is also offering a debt management service exclusively for pre-paid metering members to help resolve past due balances and get started on the right foot.
It is easy to view your electric usage and make payments on your pre-paid metering account. The electric meter registers usage continuously and reports this information through the power lines to OTEC’s billing software. The software calculates the cost of any energy used and deducts this amount from the member’s pre-paid metering balance. When the account balance is low, an electronic alert is sent via email or text, reminding the member that “more fuel” is needed. Members can check their usage or balance and refuel their pre-paid metering account online via www.otecc.com, through OTEC’s mobile app, or by visiting one of OTEC’s convenient payment kiosks. No more paper bills, no postage, no trips to the post office, no writing out checks, and no utility imposed due dates.
For more details on how you can enroll, please contact your local OTEC representative.
Paperless Billing (E-Billing):
You can now choose to receive your bill electronically each month. Doing so reduces your paperwork and your impact on the environment. Did you know that for every 1,000 members enrolling in paperless billing, 24,000 envelopes and 36,000 sheets of paper are saved? With E-Billing, your OTEC bill is emailed to you each month along with any other alerts and reminders to keep your bill current. You will also receive our new bi-monthly newsletter News from the Trail directly in your inbox – it’s filled with energy saving tips, local stories and recipes, and news about your electric cooperative.
Budget Billing establishes a set monthly billing amount that only changes if usage at the location increases or decreases radically. Otherwise, the Budget Billing amount is the same each month so members can avoid the swings of high and low billing cycles due to seasonal fluctuations. All Budget Billing accounts are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure any over or under collection is resolved before the new program year begins. This “true up” occurs each spring.
Levelized billing is a new OTEC service that averages your electric usage over the past 13 months, minimizing large fluctuations related to weather or seasonal changes, regardless the temperature you set inside. The energy bill is calculated each month to spread the impact of higher month’s consumption with the lower months making your bill more predictable and manageable. Even though the monthly bill changes slightly each month, there are no end-of-year catch up bills to be paid. Surprises are great, but not in your electric bill.
Auto Draft Program:
Combine paperless billing (E-billing) with either Levelized or Budget Billing along with auto draft payment, and you’re totally green and worry free. With Auto-Draft, OTEC can automatically withdraw funds to pay your monthly electric bill from either your bank checking or savings account, or with your debit or credit card.
Online Bill Payment:
If you have signed up for online access to your account, you can use the OTEC’s secure portal to pay your bill electronically from the comfort of your home. Gain access to your account information right away. You can access your account here.
New to this service? Gain access by clicking here, selecting "My Account" > "Account Profile" > and following the instructions for a "New User."
We know that sometimes you need to pay your bill after hours or just want one less stop on your way home from work, so OTEC has partnered with a local retailer in each of our four counties to offer payment kiosks. We installed the new payment kiosks in Baker City, John Day, Burns/Hines and La Grande in gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores that are easy to access and have extended hours. Your payment is instantly applied to your OTEC account when deposited in the kiosk. You can pay by cash, check or use your debit or credit card at any of the following locations.
If you’d like to send your check to us by mail, you can continue to do so. In order to keep costs as low as possible, OTEC has joined with other electric cooperatives around the nation to centralize payment-processing through a lockbox service. Sharing costs has a positive impact on OTEC without compromising our quality of service. October 2014, OTEC expanded its current agreement with Southeastern Data Cooperative (SEDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia, to offer a hi-tech payment processing or lockbox services to our members. The same software provider that prepares and mails OTEC bills each month (SEDC) provides this new service. The only change you’ll notice is a new remittance address on the payment envelop included with your bill.
Finally, OTEC will continue to offer a drive-up drop box at our offices, and a friendly smile if you make your payment in person.
Please contact a customer service representative in any of our offices if you have questions or need assistance establishing any of these new billing and payment services. We are AT YOUR SERVICE!
Low Income Energy Assistance
OTEC works with Community Connections of Northeast Oregon.
OTEC works with Community Connections to provide services to members in Baker, Grant and Union Counties. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is not an entitlement program. LIHEAP is an assistance program designed to help low-income households with home heating costs. Households may rent or own their property. The LIHEAP program includes bill payment assistance and energy education. All components of Oregon’s LIHEAP program are administered through local Community Action Agencies.
The program is available October 1st through September 30th or until funds are fully expended. Community Connection has a priority system in place for:
- Senior & Disabled households
- Single parent households with children under the age of 6
- General Public
Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, Inc. is the local Community Action Agency available for Union, Baker, Wallowa and Grant counties. If you wish to receive energy assistance from the LIHEAP Program you must be at or below 60 percent of state median income. For more information visit the Low Income Energy Assistance page for Community Connections of Northeast Oregon, Inc. ccno.org
Community Connection of Northeast Oregon
2802 Adams Avenue
La Grande, OR 97850
Tel: (541) 963-3186
Fax: (541) 963-3187
OTEC also works with Harney County Seniors in the Burns area.
Harney County Senior & Community Services Center (HCSCSC) works to provide services to seniors, disabled, low-income individuals and veterans of Harney County that will improve the quality of their lives. The services will enhance their independence, dignity, choice and self-sufficiency. “ Low income energy assistance is available to members in the Burns, Hines areas. (Harney county). For more information visit: www.co.harney.or.us
Harney County Senior & Community Services Center
Angela Lamborn, Executive Director
17 S. Alder Ave
P. O. Box 728
Burns, OR 97720
Tel: (541) 573-6024
Fax: (541) 573-6025
What is the budget payment plan?
OTEC understands that budgeting for your electricity bill can be a challenge, especially in the cold winter months and peaks of hot weather in the summer time. These ups and downs in weather affect your electric use from month-to-month.
Our Budget Payment Plan program may be a helpful tool for you to more easily and conveniently budget for your electric costs by eliminating some of the highs and lows in your monthly bills.
The Budget Payment Plan takes an average of your last 12 month history and charges you that average each month. Your plan is reviewed annually comparing the estimated amount to your actual usage and any difference will be billed or credited based on the option selected during enrollment.
It's important to remember that the Budget Payment Plan is not a program that will provide you with a discount to your rates. It is also important to know that we may change your Budget Payment Plan amount midway through the year to ensure that you do not have a large amount owing at the end of the year.
Each year in June, the previous 12 months' use is averaged to arrive at a Budget Payment amount.
Why start in June?
The typical Budget Payment customer pays out more then they use in the summer months, building a credit on their account. During the winter months when the electric use typically increases, the credit on the account allows the customer to continue paying the lower Budget Payment amount. On occasions circumstances such as changing your heat source or additional people living in your home would warrant an adjustment to the original amount calculated. It is OTEC's intent to arrive as close to a zero balance at the end of the Budget Payment year as possible.
What happens if my usage is different?
Reconciliation happens in May, where any amount owed on the Bill is due and if you have a credit on your bill of more than $10.00, OTEC (upon request) will refund the amount of your credit or it can be left on the bill to reduce the Budget Payment amount for the next year. The Budget Payment Plan is available to all customers at any time of the year, however starting the plan later in the year results in a higher Budget Payment amount as the time allowed to build a credit is shorter.
How do I sign up?
If you are interested in the Budget Payment Plan, please call your local OTEC office to begin today.