New Service FAQ

General Questions

High Bill Questions


What are your office hours?

Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We observe the following holidays each year: Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

A night depository for your bill payments is located on the south side of the building near the kiosk and is available at all times including holiday closings.

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Why do I have to fill out a membership application when I request service from REMC?

Unlike other utility companies which are owned by investors operating as for-profit entities, Johnson County REMC operates as a not-for-profit cooperative business. Cooperatives are member-owned and democratically controlled enterprises, created and used by their member-owners to provide goods and services. When you sign the application, you become a member of the cooperative. There is no fee to become a member.

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When I sign up to have service transferred into my name, when will it be connected?

By law we have three working days to complete requests for new service, but typically service can be connected the next business day. Emergency service restoration due to storms or natural disasters takes priority over new service connections.

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I had to pay a deposit when I signed up for service. Is this deposit refundable?

YES. The security deposit will be refunded as a credit on the 13th month after the deposit is paid in full if the account has no negative points for 12 consecutive months. When termination of service is requested, the deposit will be applied to the final bill. Any outstanding balance remaining on the final bill after the deposit has been applied must be paid in full by the regular due date of the bill.

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What are the different ways I can pay my bill?

You may pay your bill via U.S. mail; you may bring your payment to the office, or you may drop your payment in our night depository. You may pay via the telephone with MasterCard, Visa, Discover or with a check. You may sign up for our EZ Power Pay program where funds to pay your bill are automatically deducted from your financial institution or credit card account. Or you may pay your bill online by clicking the Online Bill Payment link. No fee is assessed for paying your bill online or with a credit card.

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What if I have trouble paying my bill – can I make special arrangements for payment?

YES. A special agreement consists of paying a minimum amount of $10.00 or ten percent of the total bill, which ever is greater, and the remaining balance to be paid before the following due date. You must sign an agreement that states the terms agreed upon. Special agreements are limited to two (2) per 12-month period. If you default on a special agreement, your service could be disconnected and you will not be eligible for another special agreement for 12 months.

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Please explain some of the things that appear on my bill.

Bill Date/Due Date: If your account number begins with a “1” you should have your bill by the 7th of each month. If it begins with a “2” you should have your bill by the 14th, a “3” you should have your bill by the 21st, a “4” and you should have your bill by the 28th. Your bill is due upon receipt. You have 17 days to pay your bill before a penalty is assessed to your account, and fourteen additional days before your account is scheduled for disconnection.

Generation/Transmission: This is the cost associated with the process of producing electricity and moving it from a generating facility (the power plant) to the transmission lines of a distribution company (Johnson County REMC). These charges come from our wholesale power supplier, Hoosier Energy. Hoosier Energy is a generation and transmission cooperative (G&T) that maintains two power plants located in southern Indiana producing wholesale electric power. They are owned and governed by 18 distribution cooperatives including Johnson County REMC.

Distribution: This charge covers the cost of the local wires, transformers, substations and other equipment required to move the electricity from high voltage transmission lines to your home. The more electricity you use, the higher your bill will be.

The cost for both of these segments of your monthly charges fluctuates based upon your usage. By listing these segments separately on your bill, you can reference the cost for each.

Facility Charge: This is a base monthly service charge to have facilities, whether power is used or not. It covers costs necessary to install and maintain equipment at your home or business.

Power Cost Tracker: Volatility in the wholesale market for energy purchases and other factors such as unexpected down time for generating units, create a situation where cost of generating, supplying and delivering energy becomes unpredictable. To prudently recover the unpredicted costs, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission allows utilities to implement a power cost tracker. This is defined as a regulatory mechanism that allows a utility to pass on to its customers a fixed charge outside the context of a general rate.

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What is the relationship between Johnson County REMC and the IURC?

The general purpose of the IURC is to oversee the provision of electricity in accordance with the law. This protects the consumer in a “for profit” environment and balances investors’ demand for profit against the consumer’s demand for reasonably priced services. But because we are a cooperative where our consumers are the owners, profit is not our motivation. We exist to provide goods and services at a reasonable cost to our member/owners.

Cooperative consumers have the opportunity to exercise control over the operation of the utility through an elected board of directors comprised of like members of the cooperative. The IURC recognized this and as such allowed cooperatives to opt-out of their jurisdiction. So, in accordance with the by-laws of Johnson County REMC, a majority of members voted to opt-out of IURC jurisdiction at the 1999 annual meeting of members. Though we still operate in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the IURC, important aspects of our operations such as rate approvals can be handled in a more efficient and streamlined manner.

As of 2012, all of the Indiana Electric Cooperatives have opted out of IURC jurisdiction.

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Troubleshooting High Electric Bills

There are many variables that affect energy consumption. While it is impossible to predict exact causes of fluctuations in monthly electric bills, some common causes are addressed here.

Changes to the Dwelling

  • Remodeling
  • Addition of appliances or electrical equipment

Appliances

  • Aging appliances
  • Consumption amount of various appliances. This can fluctuate based on the number of residents in a home, their ages and lifestyles, and amount of individual appliance use. Two homes that appear to be identical in their contents and residents can yield very different consumption results. As a guideline, some average consumption amounts for appliances are as follows.

Appliance

kWh per Month

Dishwasher 48
Microwave Oven 20
Range with Oven 80
Refrigerator Freezer 275
Clothes Dryer (Electric) 140
Iron (Handheld) 10
Water Heater (Electric) 525
Television 40
Vacuum Cleaner 5

Seasonal Factors

  • Furnace use or heating and cooling is approximately 50% of your bill.
  • Water heater use is approximately 14% of your bill. Older water heaters can cause this to be even higher. Also, one of the elements can be burned out or sediment can be built up in the tank causing higher electric usage as well.
  • Shorter days means more time indoors and more use of lights and appliances.

Thermostat Settings

  • When set to “off” some thermostats will still engage the furnace at 55 degrees.
  • Colder than normal weather will cause your heat source to run longer.
  • Thermostat may not be 100 percent accurate, especially the bi-metallic type common with ceiling and baseboard heat.
  • Digital thermostats may lose programming as a result of a power outage.

Billing Issues

  • Billing periods are from 28 to 33 days. A 33-day bill is higher than a 28-day bill.
  • A previous balance may be included in your total bill if the bill and payment crossed in the mail.

Insulation Factors

  • Window and floor coverings can impact the efficiency of heating and cooling systems.
  • Ducts that are poorly connected or not properly sealed can cause leakage. Be sure to seal with duct mastic and not duct tape, which has low durability and can fall off in dirty and dusty conditions.
  • As always, feel free to call the office with any questions you may have about your energy use.

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