FAQ List

Capital Credits

If the account owner contacts our office (1-800-962-3830) during normal business hours, we can provide that information.

Please call our office Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm EST, at 1-800-962-3830, to provide this information to us. Thank you.

We will contact you directly to inform you of your patronage account.

Midwest Electric is on a 16-year rotation for patronage capital. This is about five years quicker than the national average. Your patronage is invested in a long-term asset – our electric infrastructure – and it helps to keep our borrowing and debt costs low.

Our e-bill site will list the amounts (and dates) of patronage capital retired – or paid out. Simply click on the BillPay link, and then Review My Capital Credits Info. We currently do not list the allocated amounts, only the retired amounts.

We are on a 15-year patronage capital “rotation,” so this year’s payment will be to those who were members in 1993. If you move, it is important that you keep us updated so that we may send the patronage payment to your current address.

Customer Service

The “Electricity Aggregation” issue is for municipalities that seek to combine, or aggregate, all of the electric users within their municipality; and then use that “group buying power” to hopefully shop for lower electric rates from another supplier.
Ohio’s electric cooperatives, such as Midwest Electric, are not participating in that program for a couple of reasons. First, we already aggregate our customers’ loads. In fact, we’ve been doing so since 1936; that’s what a cooperative is all about.
Second, our members would not benefit from this program. The electric system can be considered as three separate parts – Generation, Transmission, and Distribution. We are a Distribution provider – from the substation to your home. And these Aggregation programs would not change who your Distribution provider is. You will still receive Distribution service from the same company and still be billed for that. These programs only cover the Generation and Transmission part. Midwest Electric members receive Generation and Transmission service from Buckeye Power, whose rate is about 6.5 cents per kWh. Most of the Aggregation offers we’ve seen are for around 7.5 cents per kWh.
(Also, municipal electric systems, such as the city of St. Marys, Wapak, Celina, etc., also are not participating.)

This can be done at our e-bill site. Click the Pay My Bill link on our main web site to go to our e-bill site. After logging in, go to My Profile, then My Information. Then you will see where you can update your billing address. Or, you can call us with the information at 1-800-962-3830, or email callcenter@midwestrec.com

If you log-in to our Smart Hub e-bill site, click on the My Profile tab. On the My Information screen, you can change your password. If you are unable to log in, please call our office at 1-800-962-3830 during normal working hours (M-F, 8-5) and we can change the password for you.

The COPA meeting is Monday, March 31, starting at 8am in our garage, for COPA members only. RSVP is required, please call us at 1-800-962-3830.

To qualify, the heat pump needs to be a central system, meaning centrally ducted whole house system. Rebates can be applied to systems from September on.

If it is city water and electricity from Midwest Electric, you would receive a separate bill from the city for water and a bill from us for electricity. You would have to ask the city if they supply water to that location. To have service started with Midwest Electric, call our office at 1-800-962-3830. We will run a credit check. If a deposit is required, it is the greater of one month’s average bill for the location or $150. Thank you.

At the top of the mast is where the homeowner takes responsibility of the electrical service, so we do not replace masts. We will work with you to disconnect and reconnect the service. Most electrical contractors should be able to assist with this project. We don’t provide recommendations for contractors, so you should check the Yellow Pages or call the local Chamber of Commerce.

We don’t print the member number (or customer number) on the electric bill. If you’re asking in regards to the trustee election and you need your member number to complete your ballot, you should see that your member number is printed in the Instructions area of the voting materials you received. Also, if you call our office we can provide your member number, 1-800-962-3830.

If you go to our e-bill site, then along the far left column there is a link to “Start/Stop Print Bill.” If you click that link, it will take you to a page where you can discontinue receiving a paper bill. The page will have a box checked that says “Send me a statement by mail.” Simply click that box, to remove the check mark and stop receiving a mailed bill statement.

No, Midwest Electric does not offer rebates for old refrigerators.

We have changed your status, so you should now begin receiving Country Living around the end of each month.

Multiple, independent studies have shown smart meters are safe – and much safer than cell phones, laptops, microwave ovens and other common household items. This page on our website has links to various research, http://www.midwestrec.com/safety/electricMeters.aspx.

The new meters do not cause a person’s electric bill to increase. The old electromechanical meters could become slow over time, and the new meters are more accurate. But they do not record more than what is actually used in the home.

We do not charge people more during peak periods. We have a flat electric rate that is the same rate regardless of what day or what time of day you use electricity.

Meters are not surveillance vehicles. We do not know anything about what you are doing inside your home. The electric meter simply records how much electricity is being used. It doesn’t know how many people are home. It doesn’t know who is home. It doesn’t know what appliances are using the electricity.

That depends on what else is in the home: Do you have an electric water heater? Electric dryer? Electric stove? Other electric heaters? Also, how much (in amps or watts) will you be adding with the new baseboard units? We’ll have someone from our office call you to discuss. Thank you.

Hello,
Someone from our billing department will contact you to discuss your request. Thank you.

Yes, I have re-set it for you with your current email address. For future reference, you can simply call our office (8am-5pm, Mon-Fri) at 1-800-962-3830 and our customer service representative can re-set that for you also.

The “roundup amt” is our Community Connection Fund. This is a voluntary program, which should have been explained to you when you first became a member of Midwest Electric. We round up your electric bill to the next highest dollar, and those additional pennies are put in our Connection Fund. At the time you became a member, you could have elected to not participate; and you can make that decision at any time.

A volunteer board meets quarterly to review applications from are charitable groups (ie, libraries, playgrounds, senior centers, food pantries, fire departments, etc), and that’s where the Connection Fund money goes. One hundred percent of the money rounded up goes to those causes. There are no administrative fees taken from the Fund. Our latest recipients are always listed in the News section of our website, http://www.midwestrec.com/news/newsdetail.aspx?itemID=129

And your donations are tax deductible. Your electric bill at the end of December will list your annual contributions.

Hello,

Thank you for the question. Yes, we are replacing all Midwest Electric meters with an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. This will provide a number of benefits, and one such benefit is that you will no longer need to read your meter. For more information on AMI and other benefits it will provide, please visit the Safety section of our website and click on Meters, http://www.midwestrec.com/meters.aspx

Although I can’t say specifically when we will be in your area, we are about half-way through our system, and we expect to be completed in 2011 with our entire electric system.

Yes we do offer a level billing, which we call the Average Billing Plan. To participate, you must be a residential customer with 12 months electric use history, and your account must be paid in full.

To sign up, enroll online by clicking here. Or, call 419-394-4110 or 1-800-962-3830 for an application form. Your monthly average bill will be calculated each month based on your current month usage plus the past current eleven months of electric usage. There is not a settle up month for the average billing program. You may change your billing to actual at any time, however any balance due is payable at the time you choose to go off average billing. If you have additional questions, please contact our office.

Regrettably, some Midwest Electric members may be removed from our Average Billing program. Under these situations, customers will be removed from Average Billing and placed on standard billing:

If the customer receives two disconnect notices in a 12-month period (notices printed on their monthly electric bill);
If the customer has two returned checks in a 12-month period (for insufficient funds).
If the account is removed from Average Billing and placed on standard billing, any balances accumulated to that point will become due at that time.

At this time, we have a reduced electric rate for Midwest Electric members who have a heat pump or geothermal, and an electric water heater with our free peak load control switch to help us lower our wholesale power costs. The reduced rate is about 15% lower than our standard residential rate.

Our standard residential rate is 7.15 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). You also need to add the Power Cost Adjustment to that, to get the total kWh cost. And the Power Cost Adjustment fluctuates from month to month, based on the cost of coal as well as peak demand and transmission costs. So, let’s say the Power Cost Adjustment is .75 cents this month; then, your total cost would be 7.9 cents per kWh (7.15 + .75). Also, we have a flat $20 per month service charge for all members, regardless of use.

If you have an air source heat pump or geothermal, along with an electric water heater, you could qualify for our discounted electric rate, which is about 15% lower than the standard rate. Please contact us for details.

Outage

Yes we do. After logging in to our e-bill site, go to Notifications. Then Manage Contacts, to set up your text number (and email if you want). Then Manage Notifications to set up the alerts you want to receive. We also provide text and/or email alerts for: high electric use thresholds, and power restored.

Yes. Click on the Power Outage Map icon on our web site. Or, here is the direct link, http://ebill.midwestrec.com/oms/outageMap

Facebook is just one of many ways we communicate during emergencies. We understand you may not be able to operate a computer. However, overall, Americans now access the Internet through a Smart Phone more than through a standard PC – and that trend is continuing to grow. Also, many homes now have a generator and some choose to run their computer with it. Plus, people can access our web site and Facebook page from work. Or, they can have a relative or friend check it for them. So there are many alternatives to access our web site and Facebook during a power outage. In addition to that, we provide regular updates to the news media.

If you pay a “Security Light” fee on your bill, that means we will replace or repair the light at no extra charge.

People Fund

The Community Connection Fund board meets four times a year, the third Tuesday of January, April, July and October. We need to receive the completed application before the end of the prior month. For example, we need to receive the completed application before the end of September in order for it to be considered at our October meeting.

Products and services

We no longer sell power surge protection devices, since they are more common these days and it is easier to find quality devices at local home stores. This page on our web site lists the criteria you should look for in surge protection devices, http://www.midwestrec.com/myHome/powerSurgeProtection.aspx

A good indicator of quality is warranty. Usually, if it has a higher warranty then it typically is a better quality protector.

Usually the set point is around 25-30 degrees Farenheit. However, many newer heat pumps are now set to run under 20 degrees F outside. It will depend on the heat pump as well as the contractor installation. You should check with your contractor and the owner’s manual.

The rebate forms are for builders and HVAC contractors to complete, and they are on the Builders and Contractors page, under My Business.

At www.midwestrec.com go to My Home, then Electric vs Gas, then there is a link to the rebates information.
Or here is a direct link to the rebates page, http://www.midwestrec.com/Rebates%20Flyer.pdf

That depends on what you mean. We are a partner from the standpoint of power generation and transmission. At our Cardinal power plant, we own units 2 and 3, and AEP owns unit 1. We also purchase some transmission services from AEP.If you are referring to the “customer choice” program, no we don’t participate in that program. That program is for generation and transmission service, and our generation and transmission price is already in the 7 cents per kWh range, which is similar to most other offers. And as a member-owned cooperative, our customers (members) own their power plant and have equity in their power plant. So it doesn’t make sense for members to abandon their equity investments in their own power plant.

Here’s the math: watts x hours = watthours. Then divide by 1,000 to get kilowatt hours. Then multiply by 10 cents to get the cost.
So, 200 watts x 12 hours = 2400 watt hours = 2.4 kWh x $0.10 = $0.24.

If you left the lights on for an entire weekend (2 days) that would cost: 48 hours x 200 watts = 9600 watt hours = 9.6 kWh x $0.10 = $0.96.

It doesn’t take more wattage to start up a light. The recommendation is to turn lights off when not in use. You are wasting money if you keep lights on that aren’t needed.

Thank you for the comment about our FAQ pages. We will look into this.
Regarding the “electricity aggregation” issue, this would enable townships in Allen County to “aggregate” or combine the electric customers in the township, with the goal of shopping that combined load for a better wholesale electric rate. This program only applies to customers of AEP. As a cooperative, Midwest Electric already aggregates our members’ electric load. And our wholesale supplier (Buckeye Power Supply Cooperative) has among the lowest wholesale rate in Ohio.

Yes, they can be removed, or moved. Depending on what’s involved, there may or may not be a charge. I’ll have someone from our Service Department meet with you to discuss your options.

When somebody is building a new home or business, there are some occasions where they may be able to select another nearby power company. But once service has been established, such as in the case of your relative, then it is unlikely that they would be able to change. Your first step would be to contact DP&L to see if they would be willing to allow him to switch. Then, you would need to give us more details on his location because there may be a cost for us to extend our lines to serve him. Thank you.

The Advanced Energy Grant Program is a subsidy program that helps certain customers of Ohio’s large utilities buy and install alternative energy such as solar panels, wind turbines, etc. In some cases, this program (when combined with federal subsidies paid by taxpayers) will pay for the majority of the cost for a customer to buy and install an alternative energy project.

Midwest Electric is not part of the Advanced Energy Grant Program because we do not feel it is appropriate to have the rest of our customers pay for another customer’s wind turbine or solar panel. We try to operate on a cost-basis to the greatest extent possible; meaning, we try to reduce or eliminate subsidies from one group of customers to another group of customers.

Although we do not participate in this particular program, we do support the research and development of alternative energy. In fact, about five percent of our power portfolio comes from renewable energy sources (hydro, wind and bio-mass). Perhaps over time, advances in technology will enable renewable energy to become reliable and cost-efficient.

We have two options. Our HGD8-2ET costs $42.48 plus tax, has 8 outlets and phone/modem line connection. Our HGD-214 costs $48.75 plus tax, has 8 outlets and phone/modem line connection and cable/antenna/satellite line connection. Both have $25,000 in warranty protection, at no additional cost. Also, all surge protection works on the home’s grounding system, so it’s important to make sure you have proper ground wiring and ground rod.

Yes, it is true that the low-priced space heaters use the same amount of electricity as the fancy $400 variety. They are all electric resistance heat, which is all 100% efficiency. It costs the same to run. A watt is a watt — look for the wattage on the package to see how much energy it uses.

Here is a brochure on our website that has more detailed information on space heaters, http://www.midwestrec.com/documents/ElectricHeatBrochure.pdf

 

If you did not see the answer to your question, please send your question to us and we will post it as soon as we can. Thank you!