2021 November NAEC Arkansas Living Center Pages

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north arkansas electric cooperative


High wholesale power costs lead to higher bills for NAEC members North Arkansas Electric Cooperative wants to provide our members with safe, reliable and affordable electricity, but we have little control over one factor affecting your electric bill — the power cost adjustment. You’ll find the power cost adjustment as a line item on your statement. It is how NAEC adjusts for the increase or decrease in the cost paid by our wholesale power provider, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, for the generation and transmission of electricity. The cost changes rapidly. Rather than changing NAEC’s base kWh rate monthly, the Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the use of this adjustment to pass on either additional costs or savings to members. In 2021, the power cost adjustment on your bill has been a higherthan-normal debit each month. The higher adjustment is due to increased natural gas costs AECC not only had to pay during February’s record cold weather but also during the past few months. As an example, natural gas prices were $1.92 per million British thermal units in September 2020 but reached $5.16/MMBtu in September 2021. Unfortunately, higher power cost adjustments likely will continue for months or even years as the forecast calls for natural gas prices to remain high. This points to the danger of government regulations and litigation from environmental groups that are forcing utilities to close coal plants prematurely and rely too heavily on natural gas. Unlike coal, natural gas is a publicly traded commodity with an ever-changing price dependent on supply and demand. Electric co-ops long have advocated for a balanced mix of fuel sources. We need to limit the impact spikes in any one fuel source can create. We need baseload generation able to be delivered to the electric grid 24/7 by both natural gas and coal plants. We need smarter use of renewables, which cannot provide baseload generation the grid requires. Generation costs cannot become so inflated that they lead to electric bills our struggling members just cannot pay. Based on wholesale power cost predictions, though, that will be inevitable unless policies change. 22



Classic raises $12,000 for scholarships With the support of NAEC’s vendors and local businesses, the Operation Round Up® Golf Classic raised $12,000 for the co-op’s scholarship program. Eighteen teams competed for cash prizes in the scramble, which was held at the Cherokee Village South Golf Course on Sept. 16. Course sponsors were Roese Contracting, Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. Silver sponsors were Anstaff Bank, Arvest Bank and FNBC. Operation Round Up awarded 20 high school graduates with a $1,000 scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. Members can help fund scholarships by enrolling in Operation Round Up. The average annual donation per account is $6. Call 870895-3221 to join.

THANK YOU, VETERANS On Nov. 11 and all days, let us honor those who served.

NAEC’s offices will be closed Nov. 25-26. Personnel will be on call in the event of an outage.

More co-op news on page 26

Many NAEC members experienced a delay in receiving their mailed statements in October. NAEC attributed this delay to the new service standards the U.S. Postal Service instituted Oct. 1. According to the USPS, transit time for standard firstclass mail now may take up to five days for mail traveling longer distances. Members who mail a check after receiving their mailed statement have faster, more efficient options. They can sign up for E-Bill notifications to receive an email when their bill is ready to view online. They also can pay through naeci.com or the NAEC app or call 870-895-3221 to either pay with a member service representative or through the automated system. For help with any of these options, please call 870-895-3221. NORTH ARKANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE


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Happy Thanksgiving!

New postal standards slow mail

north arkansas electric cooperative

Qualifying renters can receive help

NAEC launches improved portal The NAEC Member Account Portal has a new look and a new “Quick Pay” feature, but members still can use it to pay their electric bill, view their usage and report an outage. A convenient feature of the new portal is “Quick Pay.” You can make a payment without creating a user ID and password or logging in to your account. You just need to know your account number and the last four digits of the phone number NAEC has on file.

Members who used previous portal You are good to go. The user ID and password for the previous NAEC Member Account Portal work on the new portal, and you still access it by clicking on the “Account Login” button in the top right of naeci.com. Members who never used portal You first need to create a user ID and password. Access the portal by clicking on the “Account Login” button in the top right of naeci.com. Then, click the “Sign In” button in the top right of the portal. Click “Create Account,” and enter the requested information. Please note: you must have an email address, phone number and Social Security number on file with NAEC. Call 870-895-3221 or email info@naeci.com for assistance. 26 22



Members who are struggling to pay their electric bills might qualify for help through the Arkansas Rent Relief Program. It offers financial help to pay overdue and upcoming rent and/ or utilities for eligible renters who have suffered lost income or hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of Arkansas was given $173 million of federal funding for this program, which is administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. To apply or for more information on the eligibility and documentation requirements, visit ar.gov/ rentrelief. People also may call 855-736-8275 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays with any questions. Applications are expected to be accepted through Dec. 31.