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For immediate release:
12:00 p.m. – Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Residential electricity usage temporarily increased by six percent after the Governor’s social distancing orders were expanded on March 19, when most schools, bars, restaurants and other businesses closed.

Considering there were no drastic temperature variations, the increased usage is likely due to more people working from home and spending more time indoors.

Since April 2, usage has been on a downward trend.

“Whether there was a spike in usage or not, the last thing anyone needs to worry about right now is how to pay their power bill. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the number one thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy,” General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Reg Rudolph said.

“Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business, being here to help each other as a community, has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis,” Rudolph said.

On, March 19 members with past due balances were notified via email that the co-op has suspended disconnects and delinquent fees, including for pre-paid accounts. When standard business practices resume, the cooperative will offer payment arrangements for members carrying past due balances, due to economic hardships from the Coronavirus.

On March 20, members enrolled in the prepaid program received an email notification of a minimum payment reduction from $35 to $10, to make it easier for members to make small payments when they can.

“We’ve always worked with members on a case-by-case basis who are having trouble keeping the lights on, and we’re going to continue to do so,” Rudolph said.

Members anticipating having trouble paying their electric bill should notify the co-op as soon as possible by calling 800-279-SIEA or 719-547-2160 or emailing contactus@siea to begin making individual arrangements.

The co-op will be diligently marketing free tools and resources to help the membership cut back electricity usage and stay on budget, with social media, radio and streaming video ads, throughout the safer-at-home order.

Some of those free tools include resources available with Smarthub, San Isabel Electric’s free account management app, available online at siea.com/Smarthub and as a smartphone app.

    • Smarthub’s Power Usage Alert feature allows members to setup hourly or daily usage thresholds and be notified if the thresholds are met or exceeded.
    • Smarthub’s Budget Gauge tool can be used to monitor daily usage data to see how a member’s monthly electric bill will be affected by more or less electricity usage.
    • The Energy Explorer tool provides real-time energy usage data, down to the hour, so members can identify high-energy consumption times, and make adjustments.

Unplugging items when not in use, minimizing gadgets, working, playing and cooking outside as often as possible, and using natural light indoors is also advised.

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As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric provides affordable, reliable electricity with exceptional service to communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving nearly 20,000 member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric has been keeping the lights on since 1938. We don’t just serve communities. We are part of communities.