In an effort to help our members overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Magic Valley Electric Cooperative stopped disconnecting accounts for nonpayment in March. Although Magic Valley was not mandated by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) to pause our disconnection process, we decided to follow the lead of the PUCT’s requirements for investor-owned utilities regarding disconnections. The PUCT recently announced that they will lift restrictions on disconnections on September 30th, allowing investor-owned utilities in Texas to resume disconnecting customers for nonpayment. MVEC will, once again, follow the PUCT’s guidance and resume our collections process as well.
Magic Valley will resume disconnecting accounts that are past due on October 1, 2020. The disconnections will be based on the September statement due date. Members who are due for a disconnection will receive a disconnection notice informing them of the disconnection date.
“This is a difficult decision, we have a great deal of empathy for our members who are still suffering financial hardships during this crisis,” said MVEC’s General Manager John Herrera. “The last thing we want to do is disconnect anyone’s power. Unfortunately, the rate of nonpayment is not sustainable over a long period of time and we continue to see the number of unpaid accounts climb. As a member-owned not-for-profit cooperative, we have to find a balance between keeping rates as low as possible for all members, investing in infrastructure for reliability and growth, and making sure that the co-op is on solid financial ground for whatever the future may hold.”
We ask Magic Valley members who are behind on their electricity bill to please call us at 866-225-5683 as soon as possible. Our representatives will be available to explore bill payment options and/or help members make a payment arrangement to help avoid interruption of their electric service.
While we will resume the disconnection process for past-due accounts in October, we want MVEC members to be vigilant of potential scam attempts. Scammers may call and demand immediate payment or request personal identifying information. They may also request odd forms of payment like store-bought money cards, and they may request that people call them back at a specific mobile phone number. Please know that Magic Valley will never contact members demanding immediate payment.
If you receive any calls threatening disconnection and demanding payment over the phone, or any other suspicious requests, please hang up and contact your local law enforcement office or our member services department directly. Click on the link to learn more about scam protection.