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Covington Electric Cooperative awards $20,290 in grants to local teachers through the Bright Ideas Program

Covington Electric Cooperative (CEC) recently awarded teacher grants totaling $20,290 to 40 teachers (including individuals and teams) at schools served by the cooperative. The grants will enable these teachers to implement exciting projects in their classrooms that might not otherwise be possible.

CEC offers the Bright Ideas grant program each year to help teachers with learning initiatives that are not covered by traditional funding. The program is available to K4-12 teachers at schools served electrically by CEC. Individual teachers can apply for grants from $250 up to $750, while teams of teachers are eligible to apply for a maximum of $1,500.

“The CEC board of trustees is committed to supporting a variety of educational opportunities that benefit our members and their children,” said Ed Short, CEC general manager. “The Bright Ideas program is just one of the many ways we fulfill that commitment. This year, CEC received 18 grant applications and the co-op was able to fully fund every request. Typically, the request for funding exceeds grant availability and we aren’t able to fund all projects, but this year was different and we received fewer applications. We know teachers have been busy with changes due to the pandemic, and we’re very pleased with the interest we received in our program,” he added.

Grant recipients included teachers at Kinston School, Pleasant Home School, Straughn High School, Straughn Elementary School, Samson High School, Red Level Elementary School and Fleeta School. “These grants will benefit more than 2,400 students who are the children and grandchildren of CEC members,” said Short. More details about the grant projects will be published in an upcoming issue of Alabama Living magazine.

CEC to start courtesy calls for past due accounts

​​Beginning Feb. 22, 2021 with Cycle 1, CEC’s automated phone system will be utilized to make calls to post-pay accounts that are delinquent. Members that receive these automated calls will have the option to pay their account over the phone through our IVR system. Calls will only go out to post-pay accounts with active phone numbers associated with those accounts.

We want to help ensure our members can easily recognize the difference between these courtesy calls and the phone scams that have occurred where members are contacted and payment is demanded immediately over the phone with the threat of being disconnected. The calls that CEC will be placing do not make such demands.

These calls will serve as reminders that an account is past due and it will give members the option to go ahead and pay their account or make an arrangement to pay it before the disconnect date. Anyone who is unsure about the nature of the call they receive from CEC can hang up and call the co-op to verify its authenticity.

Members can opt out of receiving these courtesy calls when prompted during the automated message. Members who prefer to receive text notifications when their account is past due can sign up online when they login to their CEC electric account.

Below is a transcript of the exact message the CEC member will hear if their post-pay account is delinquent:

Hello this is Covington Electric Coop.

 Is this the person responsible for the electric bill? Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

 If “Yes”:  We are calling to notify you of a past due bill in the amount of {PastDueAmount} which was due on {OriginalDueDate}.

This bill must be paid on or before {CutOffPaymentDate} to avoid an interruption in electric service.

If you feel you have received this message in error, please press 1 to stop receiving these alerts. 

If “1” Thank you. You will no longer receive this type of alert to this phone number.  Goodbye.

Would you like to clear up this bill by paying it now by credit card, Please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

If “1”  Send to Account Inquiry

If “2”  You should make arrangements to pay this bill as soon as possible to avoid a cutoff of electric service.  To stop receiving this type of alert, please press 9.     

If  “9”  Thank you. You will no longer receive this type of alert to this phone number.  Goodbye.

If “No” (or Voicemail is detected)

Please have the person responsible for the electric bill call our representatives at 334-222-4121 as soon as possible. That telephone number, again, is 334-222-4121. Thank you. Goodbye.

 

 

 

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CEC members can pay where you shop

CEC is reminding members about the most recent convenient option for members to pay their electric bills. Pay Where You Shop provides a fast and easy method for members to pay their electric bill while shopping at participating retailers.

CEC members will need a barcode to present to the store clerk when you are ready to pay your electric bill. You can get this barcode from any CEC member services representative, or you can click here to get the barcode for your account (you must have your account number to retrieve the barcode online). Be sure to tell the clerk how much you want to pay on your CEC bill.

Please keep in mind that store clerks do not have any information about your account. You will not be able to ask them how much you owe, when it will be delinquent, etc.

Some of the participating retailers include Dollar General, Family Dollar, and CVS Pharmacy.

 

 

Always call 811 before you dig

Covington Electric Cooperative would like to remind all residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local Alabama 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Click Here for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

Important Notice for Online Bill Pay

Due to upgrades to Covington Electric Cooperative’s online payment hosting site, members will need to take the following steps if they have stored their credit card information on the site.

First, log into your account by clicking on My Co-op Account.

Once you have signed into your account: Select the “Account Management” on the left navigational menu.

Next, select the option: “Remove Stored Credit Card Data.”

Then, select “Submit All.”

The Pay Online Now link should accept your credit card information once it has been re-entered into the system and it will give you the option to store that information for future payments.

We apologize for any inconvenience this upgrade may have caused.