Better understand your monthly electric bill
Check the following information for answers to commonly asked questions.
All payments are due and payable on receipt of statement. A finance charge of 1.5% will be added if payment is not received in our office by the due date.
- Reoccurring Payment - Pay your electric bill automatically each month by setting up an auto draft using a Visa, Mastercard or Discover card through our website
- Bank Draft - Pay your electric bill automatically each month through your checking or savings account. Click here to download the Bank Draft form
- On our Website - Pay your bill online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using a checking or savings account, Visa, Mastercard or Discover card
- Over the Phone - Call our office at 641.932.7126 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visa, Mastercard or Discover accepted with no processing fees
- On Our App - Pay through our MyCVEC App for Android or IOS, where you can view your monthly, daily and hourly usage
- In Person - Stop by and pay your bill our at office at 2090 Hwy 5 in Albia between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover accepted
- Drop Box - Drop your payment off in one of our secure drop boxes. One box is located in the circle drive up and the other is located by our front door
- Stamp & Mail - Send us your payment by mail using the return envelope included with your bill each month. Payments must be received in our office on or prior to the due date.
Note: a $30.00 fee will apply to all returned paper or electronic checks and/or a returned bank draft or auto drafts that are declined
- All meters are read on the 1st of each month
- Bills are mailed by the 5th of each month
- Due date is the 25th of each month
- A delinquent letter with the rights and responsibilities notice will be mailed the following business day after the due date. This notice allows 12 additional days to make a payment or arrangements
If you are unable to make your scheduled payment, please contact our office so arrangements can be discussed
a. Pay the bill in full; or
b. Enter into a reasonable payment plan with Chariton Valley Electric (see #2 below); or
c. Apply for and become eligible for low-income energy assistance (see #3 below); or
d. Give Chariton Valley Electric a written statement from a doctor or public health official stating that shutting off your electric service would pose an “especial” health danger for a person living at the residence (see #4 below); or
e. Tell Chariton Valley Electric if you think part of the amount shown on the bill is wrong. However, you must still pay the part of the bill you agree you owe Chariton Valley Electric (see #5 below).
a. Contact Chariton Valley Electric as soon as you know you cannot pay the amount you owe. If you cannot pay all the money you owe at one time, Chariton Valley Electric may offer you a payment plan that spreads payments evenly over at least 12 months. The plan may be longer depending on your financial situation.
b. If you have not made the payments you promised in a previous payment plan with Chariton Valley Electric and still owe money, you may qualify for a second payment agreement under certain conditions.
c. If you do not make the payments you promise, Chariton Valley Electric may shut off your utility service on one day’s notice unless all the money you owe Chariton Valley Electric is paid or you enter into another payment agreement.
a. Contact the local community action agency in your area: Appanoose County, 111 N. Main Street, Suite 2, Centerville, IA 52544; Phone: 641.856.8437 Davis County, 300 E. South Street, Bloomfield, IA 52537; Phone: 641.664.1911 Lucas County, 117 S. Grand, Chariton, IA 50049; Phone: 641.774.5323 Marion County, 3014 E. Main, Knoxville, IA 50138; Phone: 641.842.6571 Monroe County, 221 S. Clinton St., Albia, IA 52531; Phone: 641.932.5107 Wapello County, 725 West 2nd St., Ottumwa, IA 52501; Phone: 641. 682.8741 Wayne County, 220 E. Jefferson,Suite 2, Corydon, IA 50060; Phone: 641.872.1282; or
b. Contact the Division of Community Action Agencies at the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E. 12th Street, 2nd Floor, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; Phone; 515.281.0859. To prevent disconnection, you must contact Chariton Valley Electric prior to disconnection of your service.
c. To avoid disconnection, you must apply for energy assistance before your service is shut off. Notify Chariton Valley Electric that you may be eligible and have applied for energy assistance. Once your service has been disconnected, it will not be reconnected based on approval for energy assistance.
d. Being certified eligible for energy assistance will prevent your electric service from being disconnected from November 1 through April 1.
Contact Chariton Valley Electric if you believe this is the case. Contact your doctor or a public health official and ask the doctor or health official to contact Chariton Valley Electric and state that shutting off your utility service would pose an “especial” health danger for a person living at your residence. The doctor or public health official must provide a written statement to Chariton Valley Electric office within 5 days of when your doctor or public health official notifies Chariton Valley Electric of the health condition; otherwise, your utility service may be shut off. If Chariton Valley Electric receives this written statement, your service will not be shut off for 30 days. This 30-day delay is to allow you time to arrange payment of your utility bill or find other living arrangements. After 30 days your service may be shut off if payment arrangements have not been made.
If you do not agree with your utility bill and are disputing the charges, please contact CVEC to report the charges you are disputing and why. If you do this, Chariton Valley Electric will not shut off your service for 45 days from the date the bill was mailed while you and Chariton Valley Electric work to resolve the dispute. You may also ask the Iowa Utilities Board for assistance in resolving the dispute. (See #9 below).
a. Chariton Valley Electric can shut off service between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
b. Chariton Valley Electric will not shut off your service on nights, weekends, or holidays for nonpayment of a bill.
c. Chariton Valley Electric will not shut off your service if you enter into a reasonable payment plan to pay the overdue amount (see #2).
d. Chariton Valley Electric will not shut off your service if the temperature is forecasted to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder during the following 24-hour period, including the day your service is scheduled to be shut off.
e. If you have qualified for low-income energy assistance, Chariton Valley Electric cannot shut off your service from November 1 through April 1. However, you will still owe Chariton Valley Electric for the service used during this time.
f. Chariton Valley Electric will not shut off your service if you have notified Chariton Valley Electric that you dispute a portion of your bill and you pay the part of the bill that you agree is correct.
g. If one of the heads of household is a service member deployed from military service, utility service cannot be shut off during the deployment or within 90 days after the end of deployment. For this exception to disconnection to apply, the utility must be informed of the deployment prior to disconnection. However, you will still owe the utility for service used during this time.
a. You must be given a written notice at least 12 days before a CVEC service can be shut off for nonpayment. This notice will include the reason for shutting off your service.
b. If you have not made payments required by an agreed-upon payment plan, you may be disconnected with only a one day notice.
c. If CVEC does not have a current phone number on account, a written notice will be placed on the door of your residence (or in another conspicuous location on the premise if posting on the door is not practical), notifying you that your utility service will be shut off. This process applies from November 1st through April 1st.
d. CVEC is only required to try and reach you by phone from April 1st through October 31st before shutting off your utility service.
a. Chariton Valley Electric will turn your service back on if you pay the whole amount you owe or agree to a reasonable payment plan (see #2).
b. If you make your payment during regular business hours, or by 7 p.m. for utilities permitting such payment or other arrangements after regular business hours, Chariton Valley Electric must make a reasonable effort to turn your service back on that day. If service cannot reasonably be turned on that same day, Chariton Valley Electric must do it by 11 a.m. the next day.
c. Chariton Valley Electric may charge you a fee to turn your service back on. Those fees may be higher in the evening or on weekends, so you may ask that your service be turned on during normal business hours 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
If Chariton Valley Electric has not been able to help you with your problem, you may contact the Iowa Utilities Board toll free at 877.565.4450. You may also write the Iowa Utilities Board at 1375 E. Court Avenue, Room 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069, or by E-mail at email@example.com. Low income customers may also be eligible for free legal assistance from Iowa Legal Aid and may contact Legal Aid at 800.532.1275.
If you think your electric bill is too high, understanding some of the most common causes of high electric bills is something that you can do to control the amount of energy you use.
- History – Review your history that is provided in the 13 month chart on your bill and compare your recent month to the same month a year ago. Many times weather fluctuations are a factor. The average CVEC residential customer uses about 1000 Kwh of energy each month.
- Weather – High humidity can lead to higher electricity usage either from running an air conditioner or turning on additional fans. Additionally, lightning can cause damage to pumps, or appliances causing these devices to run more.
- Seasonal Use – Shorter, cooler winter days can lead to more electricity consumption from heating sources in your home. Likewise, longer, warmer summer days causes increased electricity usage for cooling.
- Increased Usage or Change of Lifestyle – Visiting guests, new family members, college students returning home, etc. can mean more use of electricity.
- Home Renovation or Additions – If you are remodeling or adding a new addition, make sure that the proper size HVAC system is installed. A system that is too large or to small can increase your electricity usage unnecessarily.
- Appliances and Electronics – Many of these devices continue to draw power even when they are not turned on.
- Length of Billing Cycle – Electric bills can vary due to the length of the billing cycle. Be sure to look at this figure when comparing monthly bills.
- Check your bill – Are there charges besides the regular monthly bill? Such as:
- Additional service fees such as deposits, connection or disconnection fees, or returned check fees
- A past-due amount from a previous bill that is still outstanding
- Charges for any products or services that you may have purchased
High Bill Troubleshooting – Here are some basic items to check when you feel your electric usage is higher than normal:
- Check your meter to see if it is working.
- Shut all breakers off at the panel box. See if your meter stops working. It should.
- Set up daily usage alerts by using your CVEC online profile. You will receive a daily usage alert each morning, which can help you monitor how much kilowatt hours you are using each day. If you do not have the capability of setting up an online profile, simply read your meter each day at the same time for 3 or 4 days to monitor how much kilowatt hours you are using each day.
If you still feel there may be a problem after checking the above items, please call our office at 641-932-7126 or 800-475-1702.
Deposit – New Build
A new service without an account history pays a $130.00 deposit
Deposit – Existing Location
- A new member at an existing residence with prior service pays the highest bill in the previous 12 month period at that location. The deposit fee may be waived with an acceptable letter of credit from the member’s former utility provider showing consecutive on-time payments for the last 12 months. Once CVEC receives 12 consecutive on-time payments, your deposit will be applied as a credit to your account.
Transfer of Service
- When you request a transfer of service you will be charged a fee of $15.00 plus tax.
Connect or Reconnect Fee (between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday):
- Non-Energized: A location that does not have a meter already installed or a meter that cannot be read remotely will be charged a $50.00 trip charge fee (plus tax)
- Energized: A location that has a meter that can be read remotely will be charged a $25.00 fee (plus tax)
Disconnect or Disconnect for Non-Payment Fee (between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday):
- Non-Energized: A location that requires the meter be removed or a meter that cannot be read remotely will be charged a $50.00 trip charge fee (plus tax)
- Energized: A location that has a meter that can be read remotely will be charged a $25.00 fee (plus tax)
Reconnect from a Non-Payment Disconnect Fee (between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday):
- Non-Energized: A location that does not have a meter already installed or a meter that cannot be read remotely will be charged a $50.00 trip charge fee (plus tax) and any other additional amounts that may be due i.e. past due balance, disconnect/reconnect fees or an additional deposit if required
- Energized: A location that has a meter that can be read remotely will be charge a $25.00 fee (plus tax) and any other additional amounts that may be due i.e. past due balance, disconnect/reconnect fees or an additional deposit if required
After Hours Reconnect Fee (after 4:30 p.m.):
- Non-Energized: A location that does not have a meter already installed or a meter that cannot be read remotely will be charged a $175.00 trip charge fee (plus tax) and any other additional amounts that may be due i.e. past due balance, disconnect/reconnect fees or an additional deposit if required
- Energized: A location that has a meter that can be read remotely will be charge a $87.50 fee (plus tax) and any other additional amounts that may be due i.e. past due balance, disconnect/reconnect fees or an additional deposit if required
24 Hour Hanging Notice:
- A $50.00 fee is charged when a 24 hour notice for non-payment is posted at the location.
- A $30.00 fee will be assessed for any checks, electronic checks, bank drafts or auto drafts that are declined by your financial institution. Additionally, your bill will be considered unpaid which could lead to disconnection and additional fees.
Late Payment Charge:
- A 1.5% penalty will apply if your payment is received after the due date printed on your bill. Please contact our office at 641-932-7126 or 800-475-1702 for information about our current rates.
*For a full listing of fees, call our office at 641-932-7126