Understanding My Bill
- Billing Statement Details
- Billing Policy
- Deposits and Fees
- Meter Regulations
- Payment Options
- Updating Your Account
- Critical Care
Billing Policy - Empire will exercise all reasonable means to assure accurate computation of all bills for electric service. In the event a billing error occurs, Empire will promptly refund any overcharged amounts and has the right to collect for any undercharged amounts. If a consumer gives notice to Empire before a payment is due that the correctness of the bill is disputed and why, Empire will promptly investigate the complaint. However, notice disputing correctness is not a sufficient reason for withholding payment. If the dispute is not settled by Management, the Consumer may pursue resolution before the Board of Directors by following their adopted procedures for such disputes.
Customers are billed using a five cycle billing system. The bill is payable upon receipt and is due on the date printed on the bill.
Late Payment Charges
Bills are considered late and charged a $4.00 late fee if not paid by the billing statement due date. A courtesy call is generated by our automated calling system to remind consumers their bill is getting close to being late and a late fee will be charged if the bill is not paid by the due date. The charge is added to the account and will reflect on the next month's bill.
Empire notifies members of pending disconnects on their bill statement messaging. If the account remains delinquent, a second courtesy call is generated the day prior to a scheduled disconnect. It is very important to update your account contact information with a current phone number to ensure you receive an automated call. To restore service following a disconnect for non-payment, the following charges must be paid in full: the total bill amount and any other related charges, a $20.00 connect fee (if connected during business hours) or a $45.00 connect fee (if connected after business hours, week-ends or holidays).
Connect Fees for Residential and Commercial Accounts
- Connect fees are charged to help recover costs of new account setup, labor charges, mileage, etc.
- Services connected during normal working hours are charged a $20.00 fee.
- Services connected after normal working hours, on weekends, or holidays are charged a $45.00 fee.
Insufficient Check - Customer must pay the check amount plus an additional $20.00 charge either in cash or with a money order.
Billing Deposits for Residential and Commercial Accounts
- $150.00 deposit for gas/electric
- $375.00 deposit for all-electric
- A qualifying credit check is required for first time residential accounts. Empire will make the determination about deposit requirements after the credit check is completed. This process does not add points to a person's credit score. A deposit is refundable after a 12-month credit history is established.
- Additional Billing Deposits are required if an account becomes delinquent two times within a 12-month period.
COMMERCIAL - Please call 970-565-4444 or 800-708-3726 for details on setting up a commercial account. Commercial, Articles of Incorporation, or Articles of Organization Accounts are required to present a tax payer ID and W-9 Form before service can be connected. Certificates are required for tax-exempt organizations.Contact EEA for required paperwork and other inquiries.
- A Bank Letter of Credit can be submitted on Empire's formatted letter in lieu of a deposit.
- A Commercial/Large Power deposit is based on a three-month estimated billing.
- Additional Billing Deposits are required if an account becomes delinquent two times within a 12-month period.
In Lieu of Deposit:
- A qualifying 3rd Party Guarantee is acceptable in lieu of a deposit. The Guarantor must have an active account with Empire and needs to contact the main office at 970-565-4444 for eligibility and requirements. Both parties must sign the Guarantee Contract.
- A Letter of Credit on a prior utility company's letterhead stating the consumer established credit over the last 12 months and confirmed with a signature of an authorized person employed by the utility.
The following identification is required to meet federal guidelines in the 2003 Federal Accurate Credit Transactions Red Flag Rules concerning identity theft:
- Social Security Number
- U.S. Government Issued Photo Identification (Driver's License, Passport, or State ID Card)
Forms Required For Service Connects:
- Membership Form
- Consumer Information Sheet
- Rental/Lease Agreement for Residential Accounts: A Rental/Lease Agreement is required before service can be connected and must be dated and signed within 60 days of the request for service
Available on Request:
- Empire Electric Association, Inc. By-Laws — Articles of Incorporation
- Monthly Automatic Payment Options
- Bank Draft or Credit Card Draft Applications
- Landlord Accounts: Automatic Connect Forms are available for landlords to set an account when a renter moves out.
Meter Accuracy and Testing
An electric meter is a very accurate recording instrument that measures use of kilowatt hours. Meters are tested before being installed and then tested on a rotating basis to insure accuracy.
If a customer believes there is a problem with their meter, the Cooperative will test the meter for accuracy. There is no charge for the first test. A service charge of $20.00 is required to conduct a second test within the twelve month period following the first test. If meter accuracy is found to be off by over 2 percent either way, the billing will be adjusted accordingly.
Empire continues to use qualified metermen to periodically read meters, inspect and/or test the meter installation, and complete a safety inspection.
Empire has incorporated automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) into its communications networks, and data management systems. These meters help the co-op identify the location of outages and respond more rapidly to restore power and provide members more information. Empire recommends that members continue to call in to report outages, to ensure that the systems are working properly.
The automatic technology enables two-way communication between utilities and customers and results in daily reading and near instantaneous reads on demand. These systems use the electric wires or radio frequency to transmit the meter readings to one of EEA's substations. From there, the meter readings are sent via telephone or radio to the office for processing. On-site periodic inspection and/or testing of the meter installation and safety inspection will be completed by Empire employees. The AMR and AMI systems have reduced expenses and provide timely, useful information along with the monthly reading.
In the rare case EEA is not able to get a monthly meter reading, the bill will be estimated. Upon receipt of an actual meter reading, it is compared with the estimate and adjustments made as needed.
Domestic Animal Policy
If the customer has a protective dog or pet that is in the same area as the electric meter, Empire requests the area be protected with fencing or by leashing the pet. Please help our employees do their jobs safely. Cayenne pepper spray is issued to Empire employees for personal safety and protection.
Theft of electricity is a violation of Colorado and Utah State Law and persons found tampering with their electric meter will be assessed a basic $250 fee plus usage and other charges as applicable. Tampering is a prosecutable offense.
Payment Options - Empire offers several options to make paying your electric account more convenient. If you can't find what you're looking for here, please contact our Customer Service Representatives at 970-565-4444.
Online Bill Pay - Empire's Electronic Bill Pay Program (EBPP) allows you to pay on your account online using either a credit card or an e-check. Once registered you will be able to schedule payments, view your payment and usage history, and opt for a paperless billing setting. Empire's online bill pay site is convenient and secure.
Phone - Credit card and e-check payments can be made over our automated phone system. Connection to the automated phone system is available by calling our our main number (970) 565-4444 or (800) 709-3726.
Mail - A postage paid, pre-addressed return envelope is enclosed with the bill for the customer's convenience. Payments sent through the mail should be made by check money order or VISA, Discover, or MasterCard credit cards. Return the bill stub with the payment to insure proper credit to the account. Do not send cash in the mail. Post-dated checks are not accepted and will be returned.
In Person - Bills may be paid in person by cash, check, money order or VISA , Discover, or MasterCard credit cards at the office in Cortez. Office hours are listed at the bottom of this page. A night deposit box is available at our Cortez office for use at any time.
Automatic Draft Payment - This program allows you to pay your electric bill electronically. If you participate, your bank will automatically withdraw the payment amount from your bank account on the power bill due date. It's that simple -- no hassles, no special trips, no worries about payments arriving on time through the mail. Call us at (970) 565-4444 and speak with one of the Customer Service Representatives. They will get the paperwork started for you. It will take about 30 days to set up.
Budget Billing - Empire's Budget Billing Plan is available to residential customers and small commercial accounts. Under this one year plan, customers pay equal monthly payments instead of paying higher bills part of the year and lower bills at other times. Any miscellaneous charges will be included in the balance due. Monthly payments are calculated based on one-tenth (1/10) of the electric energy used during the previous twelve month period.
Updating Your Account Contact Information - Having accurate contact information is important. Occasionally, Empire will contact you regarding a planned outage in your area or to notify you of important updates or events. Your phone number is used to locate your account when you use our automated outage reporting system. Please help us keep you informed by updating your contact information. Empire does not share account information with outside third parties. Call our main number at 970-565-4444 to update the phone number on your account or to change or add a name to the account.
Critical Care Life Support Program - If you or a member of your family uses life support, contact Empire's headquarters at 801 N. Broadway, Cortez, Colorado, at 970-565-4444 or 800-709-3726 to be added to our "critical care" list of members on life support equipment. View our Life Support Program brochure.
New Line Construction - If you need a new or modified electric service , contact our Engineering Department. Your needs will be reviewed and an agreement reached about the kind of power line construction that will be needed. Individual services are tailored to individual needs. Contact us early with your construction or remodeling plans by calling (970) 564-4455.
Contract Assumptions - When purchasing property, contact EEA about an existing contract. If a contract is active on the property, assumption paperwork will need to be completed.