2021 November NAEC The Messenger

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THE MESSENGER A Publication for North Arkansas Electric Cooperative Members


Wholesale power costs leading to higher bills NAEC wants to provide our members with safe, reliable and affordable electricity, but we have little control over one factor affecting your bill — the power cost adjustment. 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 our base kWh rate monthly, the Arkansas Public Service Commission approved use of this adjustment to pass on either additional costs or savings to members. In 2021, the power cost adjustment has been a higher-than-normal debit each month. The higher adjustment is due to increased natural gas costs AECC not only had to pay during February’s record See POWER COST on back.

The redesigned NAEC Member Account Portal at naeci.com now includes a “Quick Pay” feature that allows members to pay their bill with just the account number and phone number on file.

Updated portal includes feature for members to pay without logging in The NAEC Member Account Portal has a new look and a new “Quick Pay” feature, but members still can use it to pay their 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 “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, phone number and Social Security number on file with NAEC. Call 870-895-3221 or email info@naeci.com for assistance. HAPPY THANKSGIVING — NAEC’s offices will be closed Nov. 25-26 for the holiday. Personnel will be on call in the event of an outage. Report an outage by using the NAEC mobile app or the form on the Outage Viewer at naeci.com or by calling 870-895-3221.

New standards slow mail delivery 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 first-class 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.

Renters may have help available 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 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. Applications are expected to be accepted through Dec. 31.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIP OF THE MONTH One of the best ways to save energy and stay comfortable is to caulk and weatherstrip areas that typically need sealing. Seal around windows and doors as well as plumbing, ducting and areas where wiring comes through walls, floors and ceilings for additional energy savings. — energy.gov

— POWER COST 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. — Mel Coleman

DAILY HIGHS & LOWS — SEPTEMBER 2021 Average Daily High: 85.24° compared to 79.42° in 2020


Average Daily Low: 59.46° compared to 60.55° in 2020 Total Rainfall Amount: 3.67” compared to 1.98” in 2020 Warmest Day: Sept. 14, 93.3° at 3 p.m.




870-895-3221 info@naeci.com naeci.com

Myron and Wirth areas


ON THE FRONT From left, NAEC employees Chris Hickman, Tyler Ochoa and Andy Ward grill hot dogs for players in the Operation Round Up Golf Classic. The event raised $12,000 for the co-op’s scholarship program.

Coolest Day: Sept. 24, 44.7° at 6 a.m.