The Energy Cooperative Member Handbook

Page 1

WELCOME to YOUR COOPERATIVE Safe, reliable, affordable energy since 1936


Emergency? Call 911. Then call us. ALL ELECTRIC EMERGENCIES OR INTERRUPTIONS 1-888-535-5732 (24 hours)


MEMBER SERVICE HOURS 7:30 am – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday


OHIO811 BEFORE YOU DIG Dial 811 or 1-800-362-2764

Contact Us online

Our Vision That our members truly benefit from their membership in The Energy Cooperative by receiving safe and reliable energy and highly responsive service at fair and reasonable prices and that the communities we serve are enhanced due to our presence.


President’s Message

Todd Ware

Along with our board of directors, staff, and employees, let me welcome you as a new member of The Energy Cooperative.

We are proud to work for you and I assure you, we will provide you safe, high-quality energy service at a reasonable rate. We will serve you in a courteous and efficient manner. You are more than a customer, you are a member. Your Cooperative is operated not for the benefit of shareholders or private owners, but for you. You are more than just an account number; you are one of our neighbors. We strive to offer the personalized member service that is often missing from larger utilities. As you move from another utility to The Energy Cooperative, we want you to have the information you need. This handbook helps you get the

most from your electric, natural gas, or propane service. It has contact numbers, addresses, and information about the programs, services, and products that we offer. Your Cooperative is committed to providing many programs and services, from SmartHub — our safe, secure, and easy-to-use online and mobile bill-pay service — to energy audits that evaluate deficiencies in your home that can affect your overall energy usage. We offer energy conservation programs and information in publications on lowering your energy consumption, which in turn lowers your energy bill. For more information visit The Energy Cooperative is committed to providing excellent member service. We want you to be pleased with every aspect of doing business with us. If you have any suggestions about how we might serve you better, please let us know through our website at or call us at 1-800255-6815.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815



CONTENTS President’s Message...............................1 What is a Cooperative?...........................4 Your Membership Matters......................5 The Energy Cooperative Family...............6 Directors & Annual Meeting...................7 Policies & Responsibilities.......................8 Cooperative Principles............................9 Commitment to Community...................10 Operation Round Up...............................11 Map of Board Districts..........................11 Our Service Territory.............................12 Electric Substation Map........................13 Powering Up..........................................14 Severe Storm Checklist..........................15 Electric Safety Tips................................16 Generator Safety...................................17 Natural Gas & Propane Safety...............18 If You Smell Gas.....................................19 Call 811 Before You Dig.........................20 Right-of-Way.................................................21 Right Tree - Right Place.........................22 Understanding Your Bill.........................24 Bill Payment Options.............................26 SmartHub.......................................................27 Help Meeting Your Payments...............28 Energy Audits & Calculators..................29 Rebates............................................................30 Scholarships & Youth Tour.................31 Communications..........................................32 We Like Hearing From You....................33 Cooperative Equipment........................34 Meter Tampering..................................35 Quick Reference....................................36

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


WHAT IS A COOPERATIVE? A cooperative enterprise is owned by the people who use its services; the members control its operations; it is operated on a not-for-profit basis; and its gains are distributed to the members in proportion to their participation. It exists for the members’ benefit. Its members have a voice in how the cooperative is operated, and they share this voice equally.

Ohio and there are nearly 900 rural electric cooperatives across the nation serving 42 million members.

History of Your Cooperative

In 1936, a group of farmers in Licking and Knox counties decided to take advantage of a federal program offered by the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) by forming an electric cooperative known as Licking Rural Electrification Your Membership Matters (LRE). At inception, five people were As a member of The Energy Cooperative, employed to service 410 members and 143 you have a say. You elect the board miles of electric line. The George Conrad members who manage the business and Farm on Smoketown Road was the first affairs of the cooperative. The board sets member energized. For 40 years, the policies for the Cooperative and appoints office was located one mile south of the president/chief executive officer, Utica, Ohio, on State Route 13 and was who oversees the management and staff. built in 1959. In 1998, LRE moved the You can also attend the annual meeting headquarters to Newark, Ohio. of the Cooperative and vote on matters that affect the company. You are not just In 1998, LRE acquired National Gas & Oil a consumer of The Energy Cooperative, Company and its subsidiaries, National you are a member. Gas & Oil Corp., Producers Gas Sales, NGO Development Corp., and NGO Propane. The Energy Cooperative (The Cooperative history Energy Cooperative) is the trade name By the mid-1930s, almost every used by LRE and its subsidiaries, which urban area in the United States had operate as separate corporations. electric service. In rural areas, only 10 percent of people had electricity, and investor-owned utilities could not cost justify building miles of line to service only a few consumers. Today, Ohio’s electric cooperatives serve nearly LRE Pole Yard, circa 1948 380,000 homes and businesses in 4

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS You don’t often get to choose who provides your energy service. Homes across a road may be served differently, some by a stockholder-driven investorowned utility, others by a city-owned municipal system. We are a not-forprofit energy cooperative owned by you and your fellow members. The difference is that every home or business receiving energy from a cooperative – 18 million in 47 states – owns a portion of the utility – you are both a member and consumer, not just a customer. Across the nation, energy coops serve more than 42 million people. The Energy Cooperative doesn’t exist to make profits for shareholders – we exist to provide you with safe, reliable, and affordable energy. Because cooperatives operate on a not-for-profit basis, they have no need to increase revenues above what it takes to run the business in a financially sound manner. This structure helps keep your energy bill affordable.

volunteer hours to the United Way, the Cooperative invests in local communities where you live and work. Membership matters because benefits like energy audits help you find ways to lower your energy use. You receive the The Energy Cooperative Times magazine because your Cooperative wants you to keep up with Cooperative news and events. Membership matters because you have a vote in how your Cooperative is governed. Members elect the board of directors from their friends and neighbors. Membership matters because you receive returns on your investment in your Cooperative. Cooperatives aim to operate at cost, so any excess earnings go back to members as capital credits, based on energy use. The bottom line: Membership matters because you matter to your Cooperative.

Membership matters because energy co-ops care about improving the quality of life in the areas they serve. From donating to schools and parks to providing college scholarships or

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


Our Cooperative FAMILY Licking Rural Electrification is a cooperative that distributes safe, reliable electricity to more than 25,000 members in nine counties in central Ohio. LRE owns, operates, and maintains nearly 3,000 miles of distribution lines, 32 miles of transmission lines, 20 substations, and 3 switching stations. National Gas & Oil Cooperative is a retail natural gas distribution cooperative that provides natural gas service to more t h a n 3 4 ,0 0 0 re s i d e n t i a l a n d commercial members within a sixcounty area. This service is provided through a network of nearly 1,000 miles of distribution pipelines. These pipeline systems have natural gas throughput volumes exceeding 9,000 MMcf per year. Natural gas is delivered to the pipeline system through NGO Transmission and Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. NGO also gathers gas from approximately 300 local wells. Producers Gas Sales, Inc. was formed in response to deregulation of the natural gas industry. Producers is a marketer of natural gas and serves high-volume consumers. The natural gas service provided by interstate supply, local production, and on-system storage fields. Producers offers many services that can help businesses budget for


their natural gas needs and keep them competitive in the marketplace.

NGO Development Corp. was formed

through a series of acquisitions for the purpose of securing local natural gas supply. NGOD operates a number of oil and natural gas wells, participates in joint ventures to drill wells, and also operates gathering pipelines to deliver its gas to markets in several locations in eastern and central Ohio.

NGO Propane is a propane distribution cooperative that serves over 4,000 members/consumers in eight counties. In 1998, it became one of the first metered propane services in Ohio, thus allowing members to pay only for the propane consumed each month. NGO Transmission, Inc. In 2003, NGOT became Ohio’s newest gas transmission company. NGOT provides natural gas service to both affiliates and non-affiliates through a network of 155 miles of transmission pipelines and three underground gas storage fields.

Cooperative leadership As a Cooperative member, you can participate in the annual election of your Board of Directors during the Annual Meeting held each May. This gives you a voice in how your Cooperative is operated. Nine directors each serve three-year terms. The board sets policies for the Cooperative and appoints the president/chief executive officer, who oversees the management and staff.


Board of Directors District Boundaries


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Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


RESPONSIBILITIES As a member of the Cooperative, you are both a consumer and an owner. Code of Regulations You have the right to vote in selecting The Energy Cooperative’s Articles of the Cooperative’s Board of Directors and Incorporation, Code of Regulations, participate in other business issues that and other rules and regulations may be may be considered at the Cooperative’s found on the Cooperative’s website at Annual Meeting. The Board of Directors or can be obtained sets policies and gives direction on how by calling our office at 1-800-255-6815. the Cooperative operates. Membership is available to all persons within the service area of the Cooperative on a nondiscriminatory basis as set forth in the bylaws of the Cooperative. As a member of the Cooperative, your supply and receipt of energy service is governed by the Cooperative’s Code of Regulations, Articles of Incorporation, and rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Directors.

We take great pride in providing you with safe and reliable service. Due to some circumstances and conditions beyond our control, such as weather and acts of nature, we cannot guarantee continuous and uninterrupted energy service. Should your service be interrupted, be assured we will work diligently to restore your service as safely and quickly as possible.

Membership Agreement By requesting and/or purchasing energy services and products from the Cooperative, you agree to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations of the Cooperative and any rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Directors, all of which constitute a contract between you and the Cooperative.



COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES T he Cooperative Difference A cooperative enterprise is owned by the people who use its services; the members control its operations; it is operated on a not-for-profit basis; and its gains are distributed to the members in proportion to their participation. It exists for the members’ benefit. Its members have a voice in how the cooperative is operated, and they share this voice equally.

Voluntary and Open Membership Cooperatives are open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.

Democratic Member Control

Autonomy and Independence Cooperatives are autonomous, selfhelp organizations controlled by their members.

Education, Training and Information Cooperatives provide education and training to their members, and inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives Cooperatives serve their members most effectively by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

Cooperatives are controlled by their members, who actively participate in Concern For Community setting policies and making decisions. Cooperatives work for the sustainable Members have equal voting rights – one development of their communities through policies accepted by their member, one vote. members.

Members’ Economic Participation Members contribute equally to the capital of their cooperative. Surpluses are allocated to the benefit of members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815



Concern for Community Since 1936, The Energy Cooperative (The Energy Cooperative) has delivered safe, reliable, and affordable utility services and played an important role in the economic and civic life of Central Ohio. Through direct charitable contributions, in-kind donations, and volunteering, we strive to enrich those we serve as part of the Seventh Cooperative Principle – Concern for Community.

employees, and the public. We believe that if we take the lead in safety, others follow. We provide safety demonstrations to schools, civic groups, and first responders. Tailored for groups of children or adults, we teach about the dangers of electricity, natural gas, and propane. To arrange a safety demonstration, call 1-800-255-6815.

Annual Meeting

Member Events

Attend the Cooperative’s Annual Meeting As part of the Fifth Cooperative Principle, each May to learn more about your Education, Training, and Information, Cooperative. Meet other members, we participate in and host member directors, and your management staff. events. Watch your Energy Cooperative Entertainment is provided, followed by Times magazine for more information. a short business meeting. Watch for the announcement of the date, time, and location in your monthly energy bill and the bi-monthly magazine.

Safety Demonstrations Our first priority is safety for members,



OPERATION ROUND UP non-controversial in nature. Usually the funds are disbursed to groups who demonstrate a need that benefits not only them, but the overall community as well.

Does your group need help? What is Operation Round Up? In 2005, The Energy Cooperative’s Board of Directors adopted a community service program called Operation Round Up. The program “rounds up” a member’s bill to the nearest dollar and that amount (tax deductible) is donated to charities in our service area. A separate foundation was established to oversee the program, called The Energy Cooperative Operation Round Up Foundation, Inc. Since beginning the program in 2005, Operation Round Up has had a very favorable impact on our community. More than $2.8 MILLION has been donated to deserving groups and individuals in our service territory.

Funds are available to eligible parties in our service area, not just Cooperative members. Typically, Operation Round Up is a funding source when other funding sources cannot be found. Programs of all types are eligible, as long as the funds are not used for utility bills or operating expenses and the organization is non-political and

An on-line application is available at Fill in fields and click the submit button. A printable application is also available or stop by our office at 1500 Granville Road in Newark. Applications are reviewed by a volunteer board. If you have questions, contact us from, or call 1-800-255-6815, ext. 1199.

Opting Out of Operation Round Up When you become a member of The Energy Cooperative, you are automatically enrolled in Operation Round Up. If you prefer not to participate in this program, please visit our website at to submit an optout request, or call us at 1-800-255-6815.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815




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Electric Service


Gas Service Propane Service

Energy Cooperative Service Area

The Energy Cooperative provides power outage reports using radio, our website, and social media. Areas affected by power outages are referred to by substation names. 12


Familiarize yourself with the substation that feeds your home or business and be sure to follow us on social media for current outage reports.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


Powering Up When electricity goes out, most of us expect power will be restored within a few hours. But when a major storm causes widespread damage, longer outages may result. The Energy Cooperative’s Electric Operations and line crews work long, hard hours to restore service safely to the greatest number of consumers in the shortest time possible. Here’s what’s going on if you find yourself in the dark. 1 High-Voltage Transmission Lines Transmission towers and cables that supply power to transmission substations (and thousands of members) rarely fail. But when damaged, these facilities must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.

2 Distribution Substation Each substation serves hundreds or thousands of consumers. When a major outage occurs, line crews inspect substations to determine if problems stem from transmission lines feeding into the substation, the substation itself, or if problems exist down the line.

3 Main Distribution Lines If the problem cannot be isolated at a distribution substation, distribution lines are checked. These lines carry power to large groups of consumers in communities or housing developments.

4 Tap Lines If local outages persist, supply lines, called tap lines, are inspected. These lines deliver power to transformers, either mounted on poles or placed on pads for underground service, outside homes, schools and businesses.

5 Individual Homes If your home remains without power, the service line between a transformer and your residence may need to be repaired. Always call to report an outage to help line crews isolate local issues.


SEVERE STORM CHECKLIST • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

In an outage, call 1-888-535-5732. Keep at least a three-day supply of drinking water (one gallon per person per day) in plastic bottles. Store a can opener and a three-day supply of canned or packaged food for you and your pets. Stock paper plates, plastic utensils, and moistened towelettes to conserve water. Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking. Stock extra batteries, matches, propane, charcoal, and firewood. Store a battery-powered radio and alarm clock. Keep hand-held devices fully charged and one phone that works without electric power. P lan where to meet family and how to communicate if separated. Keep your car’s gas tank full. Keep a phone charger in your car. Coordinate with neighbors to care for the elderly and disabled living alone. Stock prescription and over-the counter drugs, vitamins, and any special foods needed. Store personal hygiene supplies and trash bags. Place first-aid kits in your home and car. Store cold-weather clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags. Use flashlights or other battery-operated lighting instead of candles. Keep fire extinguishers fully charged. If you have a well for water, fill your bathtub with water for bathroom use before the storm. Keep current with weather conditions. Use your smartphone or mobile device to visit our website or social media pages. Contact us at 1-800-255-6815

Be Ready Before a Storm Strikes Lights out? Store these items at home in case of an outage.

 Water Three-day supply, one gallon per person per day.

 Tools Flashlight and extra batteries, can opener, wind-up radio.



It is rare for our members to experience an extended outage but hazardous weather can disrupt reliable electric service.

 Food Three-day supply of non-perishable, high-energy food.

 First Aid, Medicine First aid supplies, hand sanitizer, and at least a week’s supply of medications for the family.

 Documents Include copies of passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies.

Learn more at Source: American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency


Electrical SAFETY TIPS Power line safety They are not insulated, so they are placed overhead and well out of reach or underground. Before trimming trees, we urge you to call a tree trimming service. Often power lines fall because someone drops a tree or limb on one. Amateur tree trimmers are seriously or fatally injured each year because they or a tree limb contact a power line. Power lines and equipment are designed to meet rigid state and national safety standards, but during high winds, freezing rain, or lightning storms, power lines can come down. A live wire may quickly find ground, which is the earth or something touching the earth, like a fence, puddle, or tree. A grounded live wire may lie still but can be deadly.

• • •

If a power line falls on your vehicle: • • • •

K eep away from power lines and utility equipment • •


Never touch or go near a downed power line or anything touching one, even if there are no sparks. Don’t climb trees or fly kites, operate remote controlled airplanes, or fly balloons near power lines. If you get something stuck on a power line, call 1-888-535-5732 and stay away!

eep away from power lines when K on a ladder. If you use a generator, check our website for important safety information. Call 1-888-535-5732 immediately if you see a downed wire.

STAY INSIDE the vehicle unless you MUST exit due to other safety threats. Warn people to stay away and to not touch the vehicle. Call or ask someone to call 911, then 1-888-535-5732. If you must exit the vehicle because of fire or other threats, open the vehicle door. Do not step out! Jump free and clear of the vehicle, keeping both feet together. Once clear of the vehicle, shuffle in small steps at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground at all times. Do not try to help someone exit the car while you are standing nearby.

GENERATOR SAFETY A portable generator can seem like a lifesaver during a power outage for powering home medical equipment, refrigerators/freezers, and water pumps. Safe use protects you and those restoring power.

Tips for safely using your portable generator: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before running the generator and the maintenance schedule after use to keep it in peak performance and operating safely. • Never use a generator inside your home, garage, basement, or any enclosed area. Generators give off carbon monoxide. Fatal fumes can build up and neither an open window nor a fan can provide enough fresh air. • Use battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors inside your home near where the generator is running as fumes can be pulled inside. • Generators often run on gasoline, and fumes can start fires. Wait at least 2 to 5 minutes for your generator to cool before adding fresh gasoline. Have a charged fire extinguisher nearby. Add fuel stabilizer if you won’t be using the

generator for more than 30 days. Never plug your generator directly into electrical wiring. This can energize power lines and endanger line workers. Have a qualified electrician install a power transfer switch. Protect your generator from exposure to wet conditions such as rain, snow, or sprinklers, as high voltage and water don’t mix. Never use near flammable materials and never place anything on or under the generator. Keep the area clean and empty. Never let children or pets near the generator or extension cords.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


Gas Safety Tips Natural Gas & Propane

Leak Recognition

Natural gas and Propane in their original state are odorless; we add an organic compound called Mercaptan before the gas is delivered to your home or business. The compound has a distinctive smell like rotten eggs to alert you to the presence of natural gas or propane escaping in or around your home.

Natural gas pipelines have a proven record of safety. Sometimes, however, pipeline failure can occur. Hazards associated with a pipeline failure and gas release may include blowing gas, line rupture, fire, explosion or, if gas is present in a confined area, possible asphyxiation.

Damage by outside force, often by someone digging into a pipeline, is the largest single cause of pipeline failures. Incidents may also occur due to corrosion, material failure, equipment failure, or other causes.

The source of a gas odor could be inside your home from a leak in your house line or appliance connection. It could also be outside from leaks in a service or main line that could come into your home through foundation walls or drain lines.

• •

o help you SMELL a leak from a T gas line or appliance, a familiar odor like rotten eggs is often added to natural gas and propane gas. Near a gas leak, you might SEE blowing dirt, bubbling water or an unusual area of dead vegetation, such as grass. A leaking pipeline might make a hissing sound you can HEAR. If you recognize even one of the above signs, walk away, right away. Don’t try to stop or repair the leak yourself or use anything that might create a spark, such as a cell phone. If you suspect a gas leak, it is important to avoid using potential ignition sources, such as telephones, doorbells, electric switches or motor vehicles. FROM A SAFE DISTANCE CALL 911 and then our emergency number at 1-800-255-6815.

Call us at 1-800-255-6815 to request a helpful Mercaptan scratch and sniff card, and one will be mailed to you. 18


• • •

• •

Get out immediately and leave the area quickly. If you suspect a leak outside, turn off and abandon any motorized equipment you might be using. Warn others to stay away from the area. From a safe distance, call 911 and then call our emergency number at 1-800-255-6815. R emain outside or in a safe place until a Cooperative service technician arrives to check on the source of the odor. Do not light a match or candle, or operate anything that could cause a spark, including cell phones, lights, appliances, flashlights, power tools, etc. Do not open the windows and doors in an attempt to ventilate. Do not try to find the leak yourself or operate pipeline valves.

Practicing Good Appliance Maintenance •

— usually 2 to 3 gallons) to get rid of sediment. Have your gas stove serviced if the burner flame is NOT blue. A yellow flame means air inlets are clogged or burners need adjustment. Contact a heating contractor or appliance repairman immediately. Do not cover the oven bottom with foil – that can stop air circulation. Never use gas ranges for home heating.

Odor Fade Even though an odorant is added to natural gas to assist in the detection of leaks, you should not rely solely on your sense of smell to determine if a gas leak exists or if natural gas is present. You may not be able to detect the odorant because of a weakened sense of smell, because the odorant is masked by other odors, or because rare conditions such as odor fade (loss of odorant) exist. Please visit for more gas safety information.

Furnaces collect lint and dirt and should be cleaned regularly. Contact a heating contractor for information, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Drain your water heater tank annually (until water runs clean

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG Whether you are installing a mailbox, planting a tree, building a deck, or planning a project around your home, call the Ohio Utility Protection Service (OUPS) before you start to dig at: 811 or 1-800-362-2764. You can’t know if underground lines are there. Often people do not to call first because of delays or costs and dig without calling 811. This assumption is life-threatening and, if you hit an underground utility, you may have to pay for damages and repairs that may cost thousands of dollars.

before beginning ANY digging project. Your call alerts The Energy Cooperative and other utilities of your plans to dig and lets us notify you or mark approximate locations of underground utility lines. This free service can protect you from injury or property damage and prevents interruption of your and other utility services.

By law, everyone MUST contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, at least 48 hours, but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays),




RIGHT-OF-WAY Keeping electricity reliable and protecting the public from electrical hazards means Right-of-Way (ROW) clearing. Trees touching power lines are the most common cause of service outages and “blinks� and are dangerous.

The Energy Cooperative uses herbicides to remove unwanted weeds, brush, and trees from right-of-way. This enhances wildlife habitats by promoting grasses and other ground cover that birds, deer and small animals prefer. When doing so we practice precision application The ROW clearing includes cutting, and use buffer zones to provide an extra mowing, and spraying 15 feet from measure of precaution by avoiding a single phase line and 20 feet from a gardens, flowers and other plants three phase line and certain distances important to you. around buried gas pipelines and electric facilities. If you are planting a tree or installing a fence or other structure near underground utilities, please call 1-800255-6815 for safe distances.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


RIGHT TREE - RIGHT PLACE Our number one goal is SAFETY. Trees can conduct electricity and create a safety hazard if limbs grow too close to electric lines. Power outages or flickers can occur when trees contact overhead lines. Electrical arcing from a wire to a nearby branch can cause fires. Of greatest concern is the safety risk when children climb trees near power lines. Accidental contact of electric wires with a tree limb or person around the tree could be FATAL.

40 + feet

Zone 2 40 feet

Do not plant within 20 feet

Zone 1 15 feet

Do not plant within 20 feet

40 feet

Zone 1 - Right of Way

Zone 1 is the utility easement area. Do not plant in this area. If you do, plant 20 feet away from any side of a power line. Plants of no higher than 15 feet when mature are recommended.

60 feet

Zone 2 Medium Trees

Zone 2 is the area 40 feet away from any side of the power line. For this zone, a tree height of no higher than 40 feet when fully mature is recommended.

Look up before you plant At its height, a tree too close to a power line can cause power outages and potential costly trimming and maintenance problems for both you and the Cooperative.


Zone 3

Transmission Lines

Tip to Remember :

Transmission lines use much taller poles and carry much greater voltage. If your property is near a transmission line, please leave the area within 50 feet clear of any trees.

Allow at least one foot of clearance for every one foot of height the tree will reach when fully mature.

50 feet

Zone 3 Tall or Large Trees Zone 3 is the area 60 feet away from any side of the power line. For this zone, a tree height of 40 feet and higher when fully mature is allowed.

Underground Lines

The biggest danger to both you and underground lines occurs during tree planting. At least two work days prior to digging, call the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) by simply dialing 811 or 1-800-362-2764.

Trees growing near power lines must be pruned to maintain a safe distance from the wires. If you have trees that appear to be growing into power lines, contact us at 1-800-255-6815. Never prune them yourself. Utilities have skilled professionals trained to safely trim trees for electric power line clearances. Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


UNDERSTANDING YOUR BILL The Energy Cooperative is continually evaluating its cost to serve our members. This includes the total revenues needed, which fluctuate depending on the amount of energy used and the cost of generation, transmission, and delivery. Estimating the amount of energy that members use enables the Cooperative to determine what rates should be, which is reviewed annually. By monitoring our controllable expenses, we are able to provide affordable and reliable energy with cost-based rates. Your monthly energy bill has a lot of useful information. Our rates are unbundled in order to provide a better explanation of the costs the Cooperative is recovering each month.

A detailed breakout A. Detail of Electric Service Charges is presented in the light green box and includes: A1. G eneration & Transmission – This is the cost that The Energy C o o p e ra t iv e p ays t o B u c keye P owe r, our Generation & Transmission provider, to produce electric and transport it over the transmission lines. This cost is “passed through” to Cooperative members. A2. F acilities Fees – Fixed portion of costs incurred by The Energy Cooperative. A3. Distribution Charge – Variable portion of cost incurred by The Energy Cooperative. A4. k Wh Tax – Consumption-based tax charged by the State of Ohio. B. Detail of Natural Gas Service Charges is in the light blue box and includes B1. Gas Cost – Cost of the natural gas and transporting that gas to our local distribution system. The Energy Cooperative pays local natural gas producers and pipeline companies for this service. This cost is simply “passed through” to Cooperative members. B2. Distribution Charge – Variable portion of cost incurred by The Energy Cooperative. B3. F acilities Fees – Fixed portion of costs incurred by The Energy Cooperative. 24



A1 A2 A3 A4

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

3 2

B4. G ross Receipts Tax – A state tax based upon total charges billed. B5. Infrastructure Replacement Rider – Cost to upgrade bare steel pipe to comply with safety standards. Dual-fueled members have both of these boxes. 2. Total Charges for each service matches the front of the bill to the back. 3. This clearly defines the multiple payment options available. Both the Facilities Fee and Distribution Charge include the fixed cost of running the Cooperative, such as meter reading, billing, record keeping, replacing poles, power lines, and other equipment. This is also the cost to distribute electric to Cooperative members. This facilities fee will be applied each month, even though you may not consume natural gas or electric. Contact us at 1-800-255-6815



Drive Thru Window

Use the return envelope provided with your monthly bill or address an envelope to the address on your bill.

Bills may be paid at the main office located at 1500 Granville Road, Newark, Ohio, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (except for holidays).

Electric and Natural Gas The Energy Cooperative PO BOX 182137 Columbus, OH 43218-2137

Propane The Energy Cooperative PO BOX 182138 Columbus, OH 43218-2138:

By Telephone Electronic checks, debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards are accepted through our automated payment system by calling 1-800-255-6815.

Night Drop-boxes located at two locations At our Newark office at 1500 Granville Road, inside the member service entrance on the west side of the building or at our Utica Service Center at 11339 Mt. Vernon Road, Utica, Ohio on the north side of the building. (Payment should include a copy of the bill or account number with the check or cash payment the name on the account and service location.)

Online or in SmartHub Click My Account from our website or download the SmartHub app to pay your bill. Allow two business days for your payment to post to your account.


SMARTHUB SmartHub is a free, safe and secure application that also allows you to manage all aspects of your Energy Cooperative account. Use SmartHub to report a power outage, gas service issue, and monitor your energy usage.

Create your SmartHub account from, or by downloading the app on your mobile device, or tablet. Be sure to have your account number handy. The login information is the same for both the website and mobile app. Questions? Give us a call.

Why use SmartHub? • • • • • • • • • • •

24-hour access to your accounts. Set up notifications for when a new energy bill is generated. Review and update your contact information. Pay your bill electronically using a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, or an electronic check transaction. Payments post in real time. View account history. Manage your energy use with hourly data. Enroll in paperless billing. Pay for multiple accounts with a single payment. R eport a power outage or emergency. Contact member services. Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


Assistance programs There are programs that may help with your utility bills if you have financial hardship. Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program to help eligible low-income Ohioans with their energy bill. HEAP puts a credit on your account each year. You may receive a voucher if you are a customer of a rural cooperative, municipal utility, use bulk fuel, or have a metered account. If a member is age 65 or older or a member is totally and permanently disabled, the household will be evaluated for an increased benefit. Call HEAP tollfree at 1-800-282-0880. The hearingimpaired with TDD call 1-800-686-1557.


The Veterans Service Commission (VSC) provides financial help for overdue utility bills. Each county has a VSC that can provide assistance up to four times in a 12-month period. Eligible veterans must live in a county for 90 days. Otherwise, contact the previous county of residence. The VSC needs the applicant’s net income for the last 30 days, the overdue bills, and discharge or DD-214 papers. Widows or widowers bring their spouse’s discharge or DD-214 papers. For additional information on assistance programs available for our members, visit

ENERGY AUDITS The Cooperative’s Energy Advisor Program helps you understand how your home uses energy. There are multiple ways we can conduct an energy audit.

In-Depth Phone Audit We offer a 10 to 30-minute phone call, with a person authorized on the account, who can identify faulty equipment, explain energy use trends, and review daily and hourly data to troubleshoot high-energy-use issues. Members can also access their energy use information by creating a SmartHub account, then selecting the My Usage. To learn more, call 1-800-255-6815 and speak with one of our Member Service Representatives.

An Online Energy Audit Want a do-it-yourself home energy audit? Use our helpful Home Energy Suite for appliance cost tools, energy performance, and savings.

Cost is only $99 with up to a $50 rebate! Tap into great tools on our website! Here you will find an entire suite of energy calculators and reference libraries that will help you make wise decisions about energy use.

Concerned about high bills? Let us help with a residential energy audit. A full on-site energy audit is a twoto three-hour service performed by our Energy Advisor. This is a professional inspection of mechanical systems, insulation, windows, lighting, and appliances to determine improvements for best home energy efficiency, and a blower door test and infrared inspection to locate hot and cold areas. Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


Electric member REBATES The Energy Cooperative promotes the use of energy-efficient appliances and a well-running appliance reduces energy use and helps you save money. We want you to be part of our electric load management program. The Cooperative’s load management program helps you reduce energy use when demand for energy is highest. A remote-control switch installed by us creates brief, periodic cycling or deferral of your appliances and reduces demand for electricity during peak times. That helps keep your energy costs down.

If you are a natural gas or propane member who is NOT provided electric by The Energy Cooperative, we suggest you contact your electric provider for possible rebate programs. Appliance Rebates offered by The Energy Cooperative are: • Cool Returns (Air Conditioner) • Dual Fuel • Geothermal • Electric Water Heater • ENERGY STAR® Refrigerator and Freezer • Refrigerator & Freezer Recycling • Electric Vehicle Charger.

Depending on the rebate program you choose, you could receive up to $599. Learn more about our rebate program Certain restrictions apply. This program and submit your application from is for the Cooperative’s electric members only. For more information on rebates for electric commercial/industrial members, please call 1-800-255-6815 or send your inquiry to rebates@


Youth programs Do you have high school age children? The Energy Cooperative and Operation Round Up Foundation offer scholarship programs for high school seniors, whose parent(s) or legal guardian are members of the Cooperative. Each January, information is mailed to guidance counselors at the high schools in the Cooperative’s service territory. The scholarships are awarded at our Annual Meeting in May. In addition, we sponsor one or two high school sophomores or juniors, whose parent(s) or legal guardian are Cooperative members to participate in the Youth Tour.

The Youth Tour is an all-expense paid week-long bus trip to Washington, D.C. each year in June. Applications for all scholarships and the Youth Tour, along with specific deadlines for each, can be found on our website at myenergycoop. com or call 1-800-255-6815, ext. 1199.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


COMMUNICATIONS Communicate your way Having a strong line of communication with our members is extremely important to us. Members who feel their Cooperative communicates well with them are often more satisfied members. The Cooperative publishes The Energy Cooperative Times member newsletter on a bi-monthly basis. This is The Energy Cooperative’s official publication and serves as a communication link between the Cooperative and our members. This publication is mailed to all members of the Cooperative. You can also receive important outage or peak demand alerts, safety notices,

way you like it. Here are your options: • • • •

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram for instant alerts. Visit our main website at Read our newsletter, The Energy Cooperative Times, mailed every other month, or catch it online. Check your bill for special notices or inserts with important messages.

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The Energ y Co hours chan operative’s busines s ge to 7:30a m - 4:30pm August 1, 2020. This on impacts the thru at 15 00 Granvil le Road, an drive availabilit d the y of our me mber representat ives. The nig service box at ou ht deposit r Granville Road Utica office remains av location and ailable 24 /7/365.

Contact us You have a voice One of the best things about being a member of a non-profit cooperative is that when you speak, we listen. As a member, our goal is to provide you with safe, reliable energy at a reasonable cost. When you have a complaint or a compliment, we want to know about it. We want to change the way we do business if it means we can serve you and other cooperative members better in the future. The Energy Cooperative invites you to let us know how we can better serve your energy service needs. The information you provide goes directly to the management staff of the Cooperative. Please be specific and include as much detail as possible. We use the information we receive on these forms to track and identify areas in need of system improvements.

We want to hear from you On occasion, you may be contacted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a third-party contractor that surveys you through our National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. We hope that when you are contacted by our survey company that you will take the time to tell us how we are doing.

You can reach us many ways • • • •

all us at 1-800-255-6815 C Chat with a member service representative from our website Contact us from Contact us on social media or through the SmartHub app.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


COOPERATIVE EQUIPMENT The Energy Cooperative is responsible for maintenance and service on certain equipment and facilities to provide safe and reliable energy to our members. The Cooperative and its authorized representatives shall have the right to access a member’s premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading meters, inspecting, testing, repairing, removing, maintaining, relocating, or exchanging any or all equipment and facilities which are the property of the Cooperative, and as may otherwise be required in connection with



providing energy service. Each member shall also provide the Cooperative, without charge, easements and rights-of-way on the member’s property for distribution of electric, and/or natural gas to serve such member or other members or patrons of the Cooperative.

METER TAMPERING Meter tampering and unauthorized use of electricity or natural gas is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. Tampering with gas or electric meters is both dangerous and a crime. Tampering is interfering with, damaging, or bypassing a meter or service equipment to reduce metered amount of electric or gas. Proof of tampering or reconnecting a meter can result in criminal charges against the member associated with that meter being fined and/or imprisoned, as well as financial responsibility for energy used and damages or loss, including death or injury, caused by improper use of the meter or other equipment. Meter tampering and unauthorized use of electricity or natural gas is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury

or death. Improper meter connections can cause fire. Public exposure due to improperly sealed meters is a major safety concern for utility employees and the public, especially children. Energy theft affects all members of the Cooperative. Theft of electricity or gas is stealing from honest, paying consumers. Those who tamper with meters to get “free� energy drive up energy costs for other members. At The Energy Cooperative, we take meter tampering and energy theft seriously and train our personnel to stop energy thieves. You can help, too. If you suspect or witness someone tampering with their electric or gas meter, or using electricity, natural gas, or propane without authorization, please contact us immediately at 1-800-255-6815 or fill out the anonymous form at myenergycoop. com.

Contact us at 1-800-255-6815


Emergency? call 911. Then call us. ALL ELECTRIC EMERGENCIES OR INTERRUPTIONS 1-888-535-5732 (24 hours)


MEMBER SERVICE HOURS 7:30 am – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday


OHIO811 BEFORE YOU DIG Dial 811 or 1-800-362-2764

Contact us online


1500 Granville Road P.O. Box 4970 Newark, Ohio 43058-4970 1-800-255-6815

Business hours The Energy Cooperative’s business hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm. We respond to outages and emergencies 24/7/365. Call if you need us! Crews are on call and ready to respond.

Important phone numbers • • •

Member service: 1-800-255-6815. Electric outages or emergencies: 1-888-535-5732. Natural gas or propane emergency: 1-800-255-6815.

Safety Reminders • • •

If you smell rotten eggs or suspect a gas leak, leave the area immediately. Call 911. Then call us at 1-800-255-6815. If you see a downed power line or other electrical hazard call 911. Then call us at 1-800-255-6815. Assume every downed power line is energized and dangerous. Consider any object touching lines energized as well.

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