URECC Co-Op Q&A
Question: Is there a way to avoid paying deposits on accounts?
Yes. Power2Go Prepaid Metering does not require a deposit. It allows a member to pay for their service as they go. There is no monthly bill either. You simply pay as you go. Also, you can see how much energy you are using daily, which helps you manage your usage more efficiently. Read more here.
Question: Can I change the due date of my bill?
Yes. Members can call member services at 903 843-2536 and request a cycle change for their billing due date if needed.
Question: Do senior citizens have to pay deposits on accounts?
Seniors, 65 years of age or older and have no outstanding account balance with the Cooperative (or another utility for the same service) during the past two years, do NOT have to pay a deposit on NEW or EXISTING accounts! Call Member Services at 903-843-2536. (Power2Go Prepaid metering is another option to avoid deposits. Power2Go Prepaid Metering is available to ALL URECC MEMBERS, regardless of age.). Read more here.
Question: Does URECC own the solar farm in Ore City?
The answer is "No". URECC buys the power produced at the solar farm, but it was built and is owned by Hecate Energy. The Hecate solar farm lies at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highway259 and Highway 155. It is owned by Hecate Energy. Power produced at the Hecate solar farm is sold to URECC as part of our energy portfolio, which currently includes power produced by solar, wind, hydro-electric dams, natural gas, and coal. Read more here.
Question: Why is my bill so much higher than last year?
There are other factors, but basically it comes down to TWO THINGS:
1. Federal government constricting and reducing the use of coal to generate electricity.
Coal is one of the least expensive, dependable sources to produce electricity.As the federal government moves toward its goals to be “GREEN”, they are regulating use of coal which makes it less affordable.By heavily regulating coal it is not as cost effective and leads to it not being competitive.As less power is generated using coal, it is replaced by electricity that is generated by natural gas (and intermittent sources like solar and wind).Natural gas prices are very volatile.As the price of natural gas fluctuates or rises, so will the prices of electricity generated by natural gas. Intermittent resources like solar and wind are often not as cost-effective as coal generation and do not provide around the clock generation that the electrical system needs. ***See below.
2. Inflation of the price of materials needed.
Americans have seen a steady increase in prices across the board since 2020.Just as the price of groceries, lumber, gasoline and most everyday household items increase, the price of power poles, transformers, power lines, and equipment have also seen drastic increases in price.To provide electricity and service to our members, these supplies are a necessity.Co-op members/owners directly pay for these expenses.
*** Shutting down EAST TEXAS COAL:
URECC, being a distribution cooperative, depends on locally generated electricity like Pirkey Power Plant near Hallsville, TX, to keep prices competitive. URECC, through its generation affiliates, is a minority owner in Pirkey Power Plant. SWEPCO, the majority owner, has made the decision to close Pirkey Power Plant years ahead of its useful life. URECC is bearing part of the cost of that closure. To provide additional resources to the Northeast Texas Region, SWEPCO has proposed to the Public Utilities Commission of Texas that they be allowed to build over 2 BILLION DOLLARS of renewable assets. (***See PUCT Docket #53625 for details.) Approval and subsequent construction of this project will escalate the price of power for not only URECC members, but all East Texans receiving power through SWEPCO generation. Everyone should recognize that intermittent resources should be backstopped by more dependable generation resources, that simply add additional costs.
What can you do to help URECC fight rising costs?
Many of our local East Texas politicians have already been fighting to help keep electricity reliable and affordable for East Texans already. Please show them your support and let them know how you feel about situations that could increase power bills to an even higher level.
Vote for and support politicians who will represent our best interests as East Texans!