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Important Rate Information

Our Lobby Is Now Open!

Our main lobby is now open for business! We are following CDC guidelines and asking customers to wear a mask and observe social distancing while inside the building. We have also done some remodeling in a effort to keep you, our members, safe moving forward. Come in and take a look during our regular business hours of 8 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday. 

Winter Weather Stresses Power Grid

Important Alert: The effects of widespread and extreme cold weather have led to increasingly tightening conditions in Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) service territory. Currently, power supplies are adequate, but the region’s system will be stressed further as temperatures become even more frigid overnight and into the morning hours. SPP has requested that Members help conserve energy. Here’s how you can make an impact:

Thermostat - Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable when you are at home during waking hours. Consider wearing additional layers of clothing to remain comfortable.

Lighting – Instead of lights, use sun from south-facing windows during the day. Close curtains at night to keep from losing heat through the windows.

Water heater – Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees.

Appliances – If possible, postpone using appliances like the washer, dryer and dishwasher until the weather warms up.

Devices – Turn off electronic devices and lights when not in use.

Fireplace – Keep the damper closed when you’re not using the fireplace. Close the doors leading into the room when a fire is kindled and lower the thermostat temperature. If you never use your fireplace, seal the flue.

Scam Alert!

 

We have received word from some of our members telling us they have been called by scammers demanding payment for past due bills.

 

How to identify a utility scammer over the phone?

These fraudsters usually request “payment” by strange or unconventional means. Demands for prepaid debit or credit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, money orders, or cash are a dead giveaway that the person you’re speaking with is trying to scam you. Another sign is extreme urgency - scammers may insist you have to pay in the next hour. Often, they will try to keep you on the phone to hurry and badger you, preventing you from realizing that you’re being deceived. If there is any doubt, please don't hestitate to call us and verify. 

PrePaid Metering

Exciting News! We are now offering Prepaid Billing

With prepaid billing, when you use electricity, your prepaid account balance will go down. You will simply add money to your account and pay in advance for your electricity. This will help you more accurately manage monthly budgets and make smaller, incremental payments. Please let us show what Prepaid can do for you!!

We're Here to Help

Dear Members,

As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus, I want to assure you that your local electric cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an Emergency Plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to flash floods. Early in this crisis, our staff updated that plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you have come to expect from your electric cooperative.

So far, that is exactly what has happened. We know that after a sufficient supply of food and water, electricity is the No. 1 thing you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is Job 1 for everyone involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system.

That starts with our generation cooperative, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, which has taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants are functioning as needed. It extends to the sixteen cooperatives that distribute that electricity across the Texas panhandle, South Plains and Edwards Plateau regions of Texas, into the Oklahoma Panhandle, Southwest Kansas and Southern Colorado, and it includes Deaf Smith Electric Cooperative, where business may be a bit unusual, but our service remains the same.

We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. As you know our lobby remains closed. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our headquarters drop box or new drive up, our online and phone payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.

If you call, the phones will be answered as always. We are also working to place additional protections in the office to further prevent the spread of germs in hopes of opening our lobby again very soon. These measures will allow for us to continue to serve our members in the event of a resurgence or simply make it more convenient for us to serve you into the future.

Our management team and board are communicating constantly to fine-tune this plan. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Texas and with the Texas Electric Cooperative statewide association, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

So far, it is working well, and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done adversity before. Nothing brings out the best in our employees better than a crisis situation. It’s kind of like gold that has been tested in fire…stronger and more beautiful!

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 has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.

All the best to everyone. Stay healthy, stay home when you can, and we will get through this together the cooperative way!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Annual Meeting 2020

The safety and well-being of our Membership and employees is of utmost importance. As part of that commitment, we wanted to take a moment to share our current stance as it relates to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We continue to monitor this situation very closely, and follow recommended practices as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health resources to ensure the health and safety of our Members and employees. We continually have ongoing and frequent internal communications, assessing the progression of COVID-19, reviewing our current practices and adjusting our course based on recommendations as outlined by CDC, WHO and others.

Due to CDC’s most recent guidance and out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our Members and employees, DSEC has decided to cancel its 82nd Annual Meeting.

We will remain vigilant in our dedication to serve our Members while minimizing the risk of infection for our employees and we have many options to address your needs.

Stay tuned to our web site (www.deafsmith.coop) and monitor our Facebook page (/deafsmithec) and Twitter feed (@deafsmithec) as developments arise and our contingency plans change according to those new developments.

 

 

Did you find some unclaimed property?

If you have not been told about www.claimittexas.org you might want to go check it out. As you do that, let me clarify what is going on there...

Every year Deaf Smith Electric Cooperative, Inc (DSEC) retires capital credits and hands out checks at our annual meeting. Many folks can't attend that meeting and shortly after (usually at the end of that same week) we will mail the remaining checks to the address we have on file. Often times those addresses are incorrect for many reasons but the most common is that the member has moved sometime in the past 10 years and we have not been notified of that change of address. Those checks are often returned as undeliverable. We keep track of those and will hang on to them in case we get some new information. Once three years have gone by, we are required by the State of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Unclaimed Property Division (the State) to submit those funds to the State. Many years the State will assign a portion of those funds as a donation to our scholarship fund. This number is usually a small percentage of the total amount and that donation amount has dwindled each year for several years in a row. 

If you find your name at www.claimittexas.org with an amount due you from DSEC, you have a couple of options. If there is a "Claim" button on that entry, the money resides with the State. You simply need to follow the instructions on the website to claim your property (in this case money) directly from the State. If there is an "Info" button on the entry, it will advise you to call the office and speak with a person whose name is listed on the entry. We have several who can handle this request and you can ask to speak with someone about unclaimed property, escheated funds, state held money, or however you'd like to phrase it. We'll direct you to the person that can answer your questions about that property. There are a couple of caveats that we would like to make you aware of however...

DSEC puts all funds that the State allows directly into our scholarship fund. That money is used to provide scholarships to qualifying students through an application process (you can find more information out about that on our website as well). Your typical stint in college is four years and accordingly, our scholarship donation policy has a four year lifetime. Money that is put into the scholarship fund that is awarded from the State is only available to claim for four years. That is four years from the time the check was written.

The State information is sent 3 years after the check is written, so if you see a year of 2019 on the State's website in the "Date Reported" column, that check was written in 2016. If the State directs you to call our office to claim your property, as long as the check was written in the last 4 years, you are eligible to claim it. If the check was written more than 4 years ago, the funds have already worked their way through the scholarship program and are not available to claim. Rest assured that the money went to providing some assistance to students that went to college. As we all are well aware, college is a very expensive but very worthwhile endeavor and DSEC is proud to be able provide our members with this valuable program. If you would like a donation receipt for your records we are happy to provide that as well.

DSEC thanks you for your patronage and we hope that this clarifies the escheat process as prescribed by the State of Texas. If you have further questions about this process, please don't hesitate to call us at 806-364-1166.

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Licensed as a Money Transmitter by the Banking Department of the State of New York. MoneyGram, the Globe and ExpressPayment are marks of MoneyGram. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. © 2014 MoneyGram. 

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Did you get a check in the mail?

 

Capital Credits - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Just one of the advantages of being a member/owner of an electric cooperative is sharing in its success. Deaf Smith Electric Cooperative is proud to provide its member-owners with affordable electric rates. Your cooperative is equally proud to have returned to its members, over the years in the form of capital credits.

The capital credit concept is often misunderstood. The following may answer some commonly asked questions:

What are capital credits?

Deaf Smith Electric (DSEC) is a cooperative and owned by its members. If, in a given year, revenues (income, or money coming in) exceed the cost of doing business (expenses, or money going out), the co-op has earned “margins” (profits). Each year, margins earned are assigned to DSEC members in proportion to the amount paid in electricity during that year. These are capital credits.

Do I earn capital credits every year?

Capital credits are only assigned for a year in which DSEC earns margins. Since they are your share of the margins, no credit is assigned on years of no margins. Also, you would not earn capital credits for any years you did not purchase electricity from DSEC.

I have lived on Deaf Smith Electric Cooperatives’ system for a long time, could it be possible that I did not receive a check because it got returned, or lost, or the dog ate it?  

Check with the cooperative office for any unclaimed capital credit checks. The cooperative keeps records of all of its members and maintains listings of unclaimed capital credit checks. Claims for these checks can be made indefinitely, but after three years, unclaimed amounts must be transferred to the Texas Unclaimed Property fund. Some of these unclaimed funds are returned to the DSEC to be placed in our scholarship fund. Using these proceeds, the DSEC Scholarship Fund has been able to support higher education for DSEC members and their families who live within the cooperative's service area. As a result of our effort to support these students in their higher education aspirations, any proceeds that were returned to DSEC for placement in the DSEC Scholarship Fund are only eligible for claim for one additional year. You may check the DSEC website for a current list of unclaimed property, you may check with the office and, of course, you may also check the State of Texas' Unclaimed Property website at ClaimItTexas.org

What is the difference between an allocation and a retirement?

Each year your portion, of any margins that DSEC may have are, “allocated” or assigned. When the board decides to “retire” those allocations is when you get your money.

Then how are my capital credit allocations used until they are retired to me?

That money is used for operating capital. It reduces the need for your co-op to borrow money.

Do I need to be a member for a certain amount of time before I am eligible to receive capital credits?

No. Since they are based on the percentage of electricity you paid in that year; you are eligible immediately.

Go ahead and use my allocation against my bill.

Sorry, remember that an allocation is an assignment; the board must vote on the retirement of that money. Once you've received your check we can certainly apply that to your bill. Just bring it by or call the office for more information.

If the Board decides not to retire capital credits for a year do I lose my money?

No, it is still assigned to you to be retired at a later date. In order to keep your costs per kilowatt low the cooperative runs as tightly as possible. Fuel prices going up, the cost of materials rising, weather related problems all can play into the cooperative not having a “good” year. The decision not to retire just means things are tight right now. DSEC has paid capital credits in full, well within the acceptable guidelines of the National Rural Electric Association. Meaning we are retiring well within the standard 20 year rotation.

Is interest paid on capital credits?

No

What happens to my money if I move off the system?

The money allocated to your during your membership will be sent to you as it is retired. It is the member’s responsibility to keep the cooperative informed of address changes.  According to DSEC policies if the check is returned (bad address) or never cashed, we will keep it for three years and then it will be escheated to the State of Texas' Unclaimed Property division. You can check with the DSEC website, office or check the state's website at ClaimItTexas.org.

Can my long lost cousin claim my capital credits if I should die before they are retired?

The Cooperative requires proof that you are the legal recipient of the deceased estate. You must show all the documents stating you are the heir and sign a claim form. If in fact, a fraud is committed you could be prosecuted as a felon.

 

 

Our current list of Unclaimed Property can be viewed here - Unclaimed Property 2019

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