MTE Office Lobbies Are Open with COVID-19 Precautions
Middle Tennessee Electric is a member-owned cooperative and has been dedicated to serving its members at the highest possible levels since its founding more than 80 years ago…and especially in troubled times. When the COVID-19 Pandemic started; MTE supported our members by stopping service disconnections due to nonpayment until conditions approached normalcy again; it was the right thing to do to help members who found themselves in financial difficulty due to the outbreak. We have all been weathering this together.
If you are a member who has been unable to pay your power bill, we urge you to contact us for assistance – we have people and programs available to help you. Our member services team will work with you to set up payment arrangements and take advantage of assistance programs to help keep your service connected. In addition to these measures, MTE will waive reconnect fees during the month of June as we resume this process.
Contact us — together, we’ll weather this storm as we have always done before. Stay well.
Frequently Asked Questions
In March of 2020, MTE made the difficult decision to close its offices to foot traffic but maintained drive-thru services. Immediately, MTE began implementing CDC recommended protocols to move toward reopening offices in late spring. By carefully adhering to these guidelines, we were able to reopen our lobbies over the summer. Today, MTE’s offices, drive-thru services and contact center remain open to serve our members.
Upon the onset of the pandemic, MTE suspended our fees for disconnection and reconnection for non-payment and continue to waive these fees for members needing assistance in keeping their lights on and power readily available. Additionally, MTE has instituted additional payment options and flexible payment arrangements to ensure our members have options. MTE has incurred millions of dollars of COVID-19 related financial impacts but is dedicated to ensuring we maintain our affordable rates, currently 25% below the national average and among the lowest in the region. TVA’s COVID Pandemic Relief funds, designed to help local power companies weather the storm of the pandemic, are being used to support MTE’s efforts to continue member assistance and prepare for continued increases in bad-debt. The financial impacts of COVID-19 are not yet fully known and continue to unfold; however, MTE is the only utility in the Valley to commit to a five-year rate plan to keep rates steady and a rate freeze for the next two years.
MTE accessed grant funds to make substantial contributions to local agencies who administer energy assistance funds to support those in need. Additionally, MTE and its members continue to support the community through funds donated from SharingChange, MTE’s charitable non-profit foundation, by giving back to local non-profits. To learn more, visit www.SharingChange.org – it’s the easiest good thing you’ll ever do.
As you likely expect, MTE’s workforce is deemed critical. MTE follows CDC guidelines and works closely with employees to ensure their safety while serving the public and the membership. Additionally, MTE has implemented hospital-grade cleaning standards to ensure facilities are safe for both employees and members electing to do business in person.
MTE is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, operating on only $0.18 of every dollar we collect; the remaining $0.82 goes directly to purchase power. In keeping with its purpose, MTE is laser-focused on the affordability component of its mission during these challenging times. MTE is taking a prudent approach to ensure fiscal stability through the pandemic. MTE has already absorbed millions of dollars in COVID-19 related costs and continues to look at reducing expenses while evaluating alternative revenue options to remain economically stable. Many of the impacts related to COVID-19 are still unfolding, and MTE continues to experience the effects of increased past-due balances as well as bankruptcies. Nevertheless, we can assure our members we will do everything possible to continue to deliver the affordable and reliable power you’ve come to expect.
MTE took swift action in March of 2020 to suspend collections for non-payment; we immediately turned our attention to implementing new payment options and providing additional flexibility in repaying past due amounts. Though MTE resumed collection efforts for non-payment in June 2020, there are numerous new ways to address past-due bills. Today, we continue working with individual members to ensure their power stays on, offering many new payment options and billing arrangements. If you’re struggling to pay your electric bill, please call us during normal business hours, Monday – Friday 7 am to 7 pm, at 877-777-9020, and one of our member support specialists will assist you.