SECO Energy began its transition to normal billing and payment processes on August 6 – including disconnection for nonpayment. Members experiencing financial difficulty should seek assistance at a social service agency or contact SECO to enter into a repayment plan agreement. Late fee assessment resumes on September 1, 2020.
SECO Energy has expanded bill payment options for members. In fact, the not-for-profit cooperative now offers members the ease and convenience of 12 Ways to Pay that include in-person, drive-thru, online, by-phone options and more.
Members who choose to pay their bills electronically should enroll in SECO’s online account platform called SmartHub. Members can pay via debit card, credit card or electronic check – all without the added expense of a convenience fee. Those who want to “set it and forget it” can use SmartHub to enroll in bank draft. SmartHub users can view consumption history, see past bills, update an address or phone number, choose paperless billing or request a payment extension. SmartHub is accessible via desktop computers and a user-friendly app is available for Smartphones and tablets.
For members who prefer to call, they can pay by phone 24/7 through SECO’s new IVR using a debit or credit card or electronic check without the expense of a convenience fee. Members can call during regular business hours and speak with a member service rep to enroll in bank draft. Those needing a convenient way to pay in cash can use a Member Service Center kiosk 24/7 or visit one of many payment locations through third-party vendors. With thousands of locations around the world, Western Union is a SECO authorized bill payment vendor along with MoneyGram and Fidelity Express. Each collect a $1.50 processing fee per transaction. Find hundreds of locations via 12 Ways to Pay.
Budget conscious members can choose SECO’s budget billing option or enroll in the MyWay PrePay program. Budget billing will level out members’ bills by averaging the most recent 12 months of use. A debit or credit balance accumulates based on seasonal usage. For those looking to monitor daily usage with MyWay PrePay, members pay for energy before they use it. No deposit is required to secure a MyWay PrePay account.
SECO Energy’s five Member Service Centers in Eustis, Groveland, Inverness, Ocala and Sumterville offer in-person, drive-thru and kiosk payment options. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Member Service Center drive-thrus remained open while lobbies closed to protect member and employee health and to reallocate employees to the call center in order to reduce hold times.
Governor DeSantis announced a phased approach to reopening Florida that began on May 4. At that time, SECO Energy began its transition to more normal business practices. The Member Service Center lobbies will reopen on Monday, June 1. Lobby and drive-thru hours have changed for some locations. Eustis, Inverness, Ocala and Sumterville drive-thru hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and lobby hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groveland lobby and drive-thru hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Payment kiosks are available at each location 24/7.
CEO Jim Duncan stated, “SECO Energy’s 12 Ways to Pay offers members choice and convenience when paying their monthly bill. The residential demographic in our service area includes young families, snowbirds and full-time residents on a fixed income. Members should be able to find a bill payment option that best fits their needs with our expanded 12 Ways to Pay.”
Duncan continued, “As of June 1, all SECO employees will be back working from our respective offices with new processes in place for social distancing. As we return to more normal operations, we are thankful that during the COVID-19 situation our mission of keeping our workforce healthy to provide reliable and affordable electric service to our members was successful. As a fiscally healthy organization, we were able to extend very flexible payment arrangements over the last three months to members who had difficulty paying their bills. Now that our processes are returning to normal, we’re switching gears from payment arrangements and are now making additional funding from our Pennies from Heaven program available for bill payment assistance through local social service agencies in each county we serve. Visit our website for details.”