Levelized Billing enables Hartselle Utilities customers to have the advantage of a consistent bill.
Levelized billing is used to automatically calculate a customer’s account. It provides a more level bill each month for a customer. With levelized billing, the monthly bill amount will automatically be recomputed each month. A separate calculation is made on each service based on the levelized billing formula. A “safety calculation” of 120% has been implemented to keep a customer’s levelized bill from “jumping” too much from one month to the next. Because the monthly charge is readjusted each month, there is no provision for a settlement month as is required for Budget Billing.
For more information and to request an enrollment form, call HU at (256) 773-3340 or send an email to Customer Service Manager Terri Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer Service News
We Need Your Phone Number
There are times when HU needs to contact customers, either to inform them of scheduled service interruptions or with questions regarding an account. For this reason, it is imperative that we have an up-to-date telephone number for you or someone who can contact you in an emergency. If your number has changed within the last four years, please call 773-3340, or send your new number, along with your address and account number, to Terri Harris at email@example.com.
HU Now Accepts Debit/Credit Cards
HU now accepts debit and credit cards and electronic checks through the website and a toll-free number, says Customer Service Manager Terri Harris.
“We have considered this for the past ten years,” Harris explains, “but our Board was concerned about both the cost and the regulations we would have to meet to handle credit cards. The company we have chosen, HP, is doing this for 55 other electric power distributors, so we felt comfortable using them. We knew that we couldn’t pass the cost of this service along to all of our customers, some of whom will not use the service, so this does come with a service fee.”
The service fee for debit and credit cards is $3.95 per transaction; for electronic checks it is $2.35 per check. By comparison, Harris points out, “our automatic draft still costs nothing.” However, she says, being able to pay utility bills online or over the phone is a service some customers want and are willing to pay for. “We want to make all payment options available to our customers,” she explains.
Because HP takes care of all the regulations that must be met to handle credit cards, customers can only use debit/credit cards and electronic checks online or through a special toll-free number. In the Hartselle Utilities office, cash or checks are accepted. Harris says that if a customer needs to pay by debit or credit card or electronic check in the office, they are welcome to use the utility’s telephone to call the toll-free number.
To pay your HU bill by credit or debit card or electronic check, visit our website at hartselleutilities.org and click on the red “Pay Your Bill Online” button, or call toll-free (866) 923-2745.
Green Power Available to HU Customers
Looking for ways that you can help the environment in your home or business? Green Power Switch®, a program available through Hartselle Utilities from TVA, adds electricity generated by renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind and methane gas to the power grid. Currently, renewable energy generation costs more because the technology for capturing this energy is still more expensive than coal, natural gas or nuclear power generation. By supporting Green Power Switch and choosing to buy power from these resources, you can help create a market for green sources of renewable energy, which will eventually lower the cost of this technology.
Customers participating in Green Power Switch agree to buy green power in 150-kilowatt-hour blocks – about 12 percent of a typical household’s monthly use. Each block adds $4 to your monthly power bill. The average residential customer in the Tennessee Valley who participates in the program purchases two blocks of green power per month. Small businesses are encouraged to buy at least five blocks per month. Businesses participating in the program receive a colorful Green Power Switch window decal and poster to advertise your commitment to creating a cleaner, greener community.
All power purchased through Green Power Switch is purchased from renewable resources located within the Tennessee Valley, so your participation in the program has a direct impact on our local environment. Over the course of a year, purchasing two blocks of green power, according to TVA’s Jennifer Brogdon, Renewable Energy Program Manager, has the same benefit to our environment as recycling 15,322 aluminum cans or planting an acre of trees.
For more information about Green Power Switch, visit www.greenpowerswitch.com. To enroll in the program, complete the form below and submit it to Hartselle Utilities, or call HU Customer Service Manager Terri Harris at (256) 773-3340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cold winter months are often hard on those with fixed incomes, and sometimes people in need face hard choices between paying utility bills and other needs, such as food or medicine. At times like this, customers often turn to Hartselle Utilities for help.
“Hartselle Utilities participates in several energy programs that provide assistance to households who qualify,” HU Customer Service Manager Terri Harris says. “One program that all of our customers can help with is Operation Warm.”
Operation Warm provides assistance to the elderly, people with disabilities and families with a health crisis. The Community Action Partnership of North Alabama provides resources to families and individuals in these situations and administers the Operation Warm Program. Customers must meet Community Action eligibility criteria to receive assistance.
HU accepts donations and forwards them to Community Action. Customers can make a one-time donation to Operation Warm, or choose to add a specific amount to their utility bill each month. To do so, complete the form in the January issue of The Hartselle Connection and return it to Hartselle Utilities. For more information, call 773-3340 or email Terri Harris at
Simple Steps to Save Energy (and Money!)
Over the next five years, TVA and electric power distributors such as Hartselle Utilities are working to reduce demand for peak power by 1,400 megawatts. To achieve this, residents, businesses and industries across the Tennessee Valley are going to need to work together to use energy more efficiently. Here are a few tips to get started:
• Turn your thermostat up to 78º F; higher if no one is home: don’t pay to keep your furniture cool!
• Turn off lights, appliances and other home electronics with a power bar when not in use; use the “sleep” mode on computers.
• Use the microwave instead of a stove burner or oven for cooking. It cooks faster and doesn’t create as much heat.
• Use your dishwasher and washing machine/dryer only for full loads, and wait until after 8 p.m., when TVA’s costs to produce electricity are lowest.
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. They use 75 percent less energy and last much longer.
• Keep curtains closed on the south, east and west sides of your house during the day to help keep it cool.
• Complete a home energy audit: call Hartselle Utilities at (256) 773-3340 for a free energy right Home E-Valuation audit or visit www.energyright.com to complete the survey online. After you complete the survey and return it to TVA, you will receive a detailed report with suggestions on ways to save energy and money. Following all the recommendations from the audit could save as much as 20 percent on your annual utility costs.
We Need Your Phone Number
There are times when HU needs to contact customers, either to inform them of scheduled service interruptions or questions regarding an account. For this reason, it is imperative that we have an up-to-date telephone number for you or someone who can contact you in an emergency. If you did not fill out the form in the Summer issue of The Hartselle Connection, please take a moment to send an email to Customer Service Manager Terri Harris at email@example.com.
with your name, account #, address, and telephone number.