Members' Frequently Asked Questions
You asked; we answered
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, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST, at 1-800-962-3830, to provide this information to us. Thank you.
Midwest Electric has been 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.
No, this information changes so we don't list it on our website. Please call our office for the detailed amount of your patronage cash-back account. One of our friendly member service representatives will be happy to answer your questions.
Please call our office at 1-800-962-3830. Thank you.
We are currently on a 16-year patronage capital “rotation,” so this year’s payment will be to those who were members in 2003. If you move, it is important that you keep us updated so that we may send the patronage payment to your current address.
A blinking red light on your meter is a normal operation indicating that the meter is attempting to establish a communication connection with our metering system. This happens periodically. Once it establishes a connection, the red light should go away. If it continues blinking for multiple days, our system would typically alert us that the meter is having a communication error.
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 0.07 cents per kWh. Most of the Aggregation offers we’ve seen are for around 0.075 cents per kWh.
(Also, municipal electric systems, such as the city of St. Marys, Wapak, Celina, etc., also are not participating.)
Click here to watch a video that breaks down this subject matter.
This can be done at our e-bill SmartHub site. Click the "SmartHub Bill Pay" red button 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you log-in to our SmartHub 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, 7:30 am - 4 pm) and we can change the password for you.
Mini-split systems (air-conditioning and heat pumps) are eligible for a $100 rebate.
Offers vary and are subject to availability. Specifications apply. Please call our office Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-4 pm, for the most up-to-date details.
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 SmartHub e-bill site on a desktop computer, go to My Profile > Update My Paperless Settings. Toggle on right and say "yes" to the popup.
No, Midwest Electric does not offer rebates for old refrigerators. We do, however, offer rebates on new refrigerators and freezers. You can learn more about all our rebates here.
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.
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.
Yes, you can simply call our office (7:30 am to 4 pm, Mon-Fri) at 1-800-962-3830 and our customer service representative can re-set that for you. Or you can log into our SmartHub e-bill site using your old email address and password. Under My Profile, click on "Update My Login Email or Password."
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.
And your donations are tax deductible. Your electric bill at the end of December will list your annual contributions.
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, 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.
Yes, we offer rebates on Central Air-Conditioning units, air-source heat pumps, and geothermal units. Plus, we also have a reduced electric rate for Midwest Electric members who have a heat pump or geothermal, and an electric water heater with our free radio-control switch to help us lower our wholesale power costs. The reduced rate is about 10% lower than our standard residential rate.
Our standard residential rate is 8.28 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 $2.00 this month; then, your total cost would be 10.28 cents per kWh (8.28 + 2.00). Also, we have a flat $35 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 10% lower than the standard rate. Please contact us for details.
Yes we do. After logging in to our SmartHub 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 to let you know when power is restored.
Yes. Click on the Outages icon at the top of our website. You can also click here and add this page to your favorites.
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 smartphone more than through a standard PC/desktop computer – and that trend is continuing to grow.
We also offer outage notifications via text, SmartHub newsfeed, or email. After logging in to our SmartHub 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.
If you pay a “Security Light” fee on your bill, that means we will replace or repair the light at no extra charge.
Community Connection 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.
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.
Once on our website, simply hover over the "My Home" tab, then click "Rebates." You can also click here.
That depends on what you mean. We used to be a partner from the standpoint of power generation, as we shared ownership of Cardinal Power Plant (located in Brilliant, OH). However, we now own Cardinal entirely and along with our statewide organization, Ohio's Electric Cooperatives, have full operational independence and management of the plant.
If you're referring to transmission, we do purchase some transmission services from AEP. This is why we sometimes have outages that are out of our control -- those highly expensive, high-voltage transmission lines owned by AEP feed some of our local distribution lines.
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.
We provide much of this information on our Facebook page during large outages. Our Facebook page can be updated quicker and easier than our web site during an emergency.
For wiring inside the home, including electrical service panels, you should contact a certified, licensed electrician.
No we do not. But we recommend you call our office for advice, as our member service representatives may be able to point you in the right direction and offer advice on other programs.
Yes, they can be removed or moved. Depending on what’s involved, there may or may not be a charge. Please call our office to have someone from our Service Department contact 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.
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.
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!