Safely delivering the power that improves our members’ lives has been our mission for over 80 years. In difficult times this mission has served as our beacon, and today it continues to do so as we meet the challenge of COVID-19. Please read on to learn some of the steps we are taking to fulfill our mission during this crisis.
Cooperating with public health agencies
We have implemented our Emergency Response Plan to ensure our ability to provide you with the reliable electric service you depend upon. Our response team is closely monitoring updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health. We are also in frequent contact with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, which in turn is working closely with our national association, Gov. Reynolds, the state legislature, and others, including the emergency management teams for the counties that we serve.
Caring for our employees, members and communities
With safety as a core component of our mission, we have implemented numerous measures to protect the health of everyone on our team as well as you, our members, and our communities. Accordingly, we have separated our line crews from other employees and even from each other to limit the possible spread of the virus. The majority of our administrative team has transitioned to remote working arrangements, and business travel outside of our service territory has been suspended. New routines are also in place for contractors working on our system in order to distance them from our employees. Heeding Gov. Reynolds’ recommendations, our lobby is closed to public traffic and social distancing protocols are being followed.
Keeping the lights on
While day-to-day business at the co-op may be a bit unusual, our commitment remains the same – safe and reliable power. Our line crews and their support teams are still on the job, and our trucks are still rolling! During these difficult times, we know that the power we deliver improves our members’ lives and our team remains dedicated to pursuing this mission.
Committed to Community
In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation (and the economic hardship it has caused for some), we have temporarily suspended disconnections and waived late payment fees in an effort to offer a measure of certainty during these uncertain times. We encourage those able to pay their bill in full (or in part) to do so to avoid larger amounts due when we emerge from the current health crisis. Additionally, for members with the financial means and interest in giving to others, this might be the right time to consider participation in the RECare Consumer Contribution Program, which assists low income member-consumers with their heating bills.
How can you help?
Our Member Care Representatives are ready to assist you, but for their safety we have transitioned many of them to working from home. This change has led to some differences in our processing of calls and credit card bill payments, resulting in some delays and occasionally additional steps in completing transactions. On behalf of everyone at your co-op, thank you for your patience and understanding. To assist us through this process we encourage you to consider reaching out to us using SmartHubTM online or our SmartHubTMApp – it’s simple, safe, and secure. SmartHub is currently the most efficient way to pay your bill by credit card. By using SmartHub you can pay your bill, review your energy use, or report a service interruption. You can also use our dropbox at 1317 Chatburn Avenue in Harlan or utilize the U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.
Nishnabotna Valley REC has been a long-time supporter of the efficient use of electricity. With more people in their homes 24/7 these days, this is a good time review your own energy-efficiency efforts to help save energy and save money.
If you have questions about paying your bill or implementing energy saving tips, please give us a call at 712-755-2166.
All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay safe, and we will get through this together, the cooperative way!
On behalf of the Nishnabotna Valley REC Board of Directors, warmest regards.
Darrell Stamp, Board President
Bill McKim, CEO