A new way of doing business: EnergyUnited adopts bill paying plan
Published 10:54 am Friday, February 12, 2021
EnergyUnited recently concluded a yearlong study focused on identifying efficiency and savings opportunities to better serve cooperative members. As a result of the study, the Board of Directors adopted a new transactional service delivery model that prioritizes public safety, member service and cost savings that benefit all cooperative members.
The decision enables members to pay energy bills online, over the phone, at any EnergyUnited payment kiosk or drop box, or with any authorized pay agent without any associated fees. Waiving these fees will also expand member access to EnergyUnited’s authorized pay agents, an option that will be available for members who prefer to pay their bill in person. EnergyUnited will offer this free payment option instead of maintaining cooperative offices for that service, as cooperative offices will be closed under the new model.
“Our new model was shaped by many different data points – your (members) feedback on independently conducted surveys, guidelines implemented during most of 2020 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a study of the utilization of all available payment options used in recent years,” explained Wayne Wilkins, chief executive officer of EnergyUnited. “The study found that most members preferred to pay their bills online. Meanwhile, in-person transactions at cooperative offices were the least utilized and most expensive to service.”
Service was the primary focus of the study, as the cooperative also studied its average response time to member service requests and questions. Customer care representatives who once collected payments at cooperative offices will now be available to field additional questions from members over the phone, which ultimately enables the co-op to respond to all service requests more quickly. Meanwhile, the cooperative will continue to support community service opportunities that address important causes and meet our communities’ greatest needs.
“We are excited to implement the new service delivery model because of the positive impacts that are anticipated for cooperative members,” Wilkins added. “This decision delivers on our commitment to safety, service and savings for all cooperative members.”