IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR ELECTRIC BILL by zom14864

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									Dear Stearns Electric Association Member:


       IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
In early 2008, Stearns Electric Association began converting to an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system.
Throughout this three year process every Stearns Electric Association member will receive AMR technology and
experience a change in their billing cycle. At this time, we are pleased to inform you that your account is fully
implemented with AMR and you no longer need to read your meter. Please read the details below carefully on how
AMR will change your account to a “current” billing cycle.

One of the last steps in the project, which is most confusing to everyone, relates to an adjustment in the billing dates. In
the past, you were billed for electricity that you used two months prior (example: bill due May 10th was for usage that
occurred in March). With AMR, Stearns Electric Association will no longer need to wait for meter readings to process
your bill; therefore, allowing you to receive your bill closer to your actual usage days. With this change the bill you
receive will be “current,” rather than billed for usage that occurred two months earlier.

In order to get to a more “current” billing cycle, members will receive two bills that will both be due in May with
different usage days and due dates. This will also apply to members on an automatic payment plan and budget billing.
After these two bills all future bills will be mailed around the 6th of each month and due or bank drafted the 25th for a 30
day usage period. See chart below.

                        Electric Usage      Automatic reading     Billing    DUE           Days of
                            Period          by Stearns Electric    Date      DATE          Usage
                       March 1 – April 1          April 1         April 20   May 10           30

                       April 1 – April 21        April 21         May 6      May 25           20

                        April 21 – June 1         June 1          June 6     June 25          40


To help explain these changes further we have prepared a Question and Answer piece that you will find on the back of
this letter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Stearns Electric Association’s Billing Department at
(320) 256-4241 or (800) 962-0655.

Again, we’re excited to move into the future and improve your service through the technological capabilities of AMR.
Your meter readings will be accurate and instant. We’ll also be able to provide historical usage data for each member.
AMR will also help confirm if you have power, determine if your radio receiver is working and verify the operation of
your load management equipment.

Thank you,


William F. Banke, General Manager
Automatic Meter Reading
Billing Questions and Answers

Stearns Electric Association is in the process of installing an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) program. Installation began in spring 2008 and will
continue through 2010. At this time, your Stearns Electric Association account is fully implemented and you no longer need to read your meter.

Why is Stearns Electric Association changing the billing cycle?
In the past, you’ve been billed for electricity that you used two months prior. (Example: Bill due May 10th was for usage that occurred in March.)
With AMR, Stearns Electric Association will no longer need to wait for meter readings to process your bill; therefore, allowing you to receive your
usage bill closer to your actual usage days. With this change, the bill you receive each month will be for the prior month’s “current” usage rather than
the usage that occurred two months earlier.

Why do I have two bills due in May?
In order to get to a more “current” billing cycle and not have our bills lag by two months, members will receive two bills that will both be due in May
(May 10th and May 25th) with different usage days and due dates. Moving the billing date up 15 days could have been accomplished simply by
sending you a bill 15 days sooner for the full 30 days of usage. However, we felt that we would be able to “soften” the amount due by only billing
for 20 days on the catch-up bill. The next bill will then be for 40 days of usage during one of the lightest use times of the year. Although it may be a
bit confusing, the methodology was an attempt to spread the billing change over a 2 month period rather than all at once.

My bills have always been due on the 10th of the month, will this change?
Yes. After these two bills, all future bills will be mailed around the 6th of each month and due/drafted the 25th for a 30 day usage period.

Are there other changes to my bill?
The paper bill you receive each month will continue to have the same look, but without the area to record your meter reading.

Will my automatic payment plan change?
Yes, similar to members that pay with check, cash or are on budget billing you too will see two bills due in May. You will see a check draft taken on
May 10th and May 25th. After these two bills all future bills will be mailed around the 6th of each month and bank drafted the 25th for a 30 day usage
period.

Will my budget billing plan change?
Yes, similar to members that pay with check, cash or are on an automatic payment plan you too will see two bills due in May. Your budgeted amount
will be due on May 10th and May 25th. After these two bills all future bills will be mailed around the 6th of each month and due the 25th for a 30 day
usage period according to the budgeted amount.

With two bills due in May, what about fixed charges, security lights or credits for water heating?
Our bills have always lagged two months behind. In order to bring our bills more current we need to include the fixed charge, charge for security
light or give you a credit for water heating during each of the billing months.

Will I ever have an estimate read?
As long as there is power to the meter and the AMR device is operating, Stearns Electric Association will be able to get your monthly reading. Some
members turn off the power to their load management meters during the off season. These meters will not provide us with a reading and estimates
will have to be used. Failure of the AMR device should be noticed by the Cooperative in a short period of time. In this case the estimated reading
should be relatively accurate and for a minimal time period.

What are the benefits of AMR?
    Reads Members Meter                                                                   Improve Cash Flow
    Use for outage purposes                                                               Analyze blinking lights
    Check Voltage                                                                         Improve system design
    Verify Load Management                                                                Historical usage data
    Future Time-of-Use rate capability


Stearns Electric Association
900 E. Kraft Drive
Melrose, MN 56352
(320) 256-4241 or (800) 962-0655
www.stearnselectric.org

								
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