Frequently Asked Questions
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- Electricity Service
How do I apply for service?
A new residential consumer will need to submit a residential service application and a copy of each applicant's drivers license.
A new commercial consumer will need to submit a commercial service application.
Applications are also available at our office, or one can be faxed or mailed
Once complete, applications and licenses can be faxed to us at 252-426-8270, or they can be scanned and emailed to us at email@example.com or mailed to us at P.O. Box
69 Hertford, NC 27944.
A credit check will be performed once we have received your completed application and drivers license. Results of the credit check will determine
your deposit amount. In addition to the deposit, you will be charged a $50 connect or transfer fee.
How much is the deposit?
The security deposit for residential service can range from $0 to $450.
The security deposit for commercial service is up to $1,000 or two month's estimated bill, if greater.
- About Your Bill
What causes the dramatic swings in the cost of electric service from month to month?
Demand for electricity is extremely dependent on weather,
especially for residential consumers. This is because the devices
that generally use the most electricity are used for heating and/or
cooling our homes. Periods of extreme cold and heat can often double
or triple a residential power bill from one month to the next.
How long do I have to pay my bill before I am cut off?
Payment is due 20 days from the bill date. After 20 days, the bill is
considered delinquent. If you have not paid this bill by the next time
you are billed, a penalty is added and a disconnect date for 15 days
later is assigned. These dates are clearly stated on your bill. After
15 days, your account is subject to disconnection for the overdue
What does the fuel charge on my bill mean?
The fuel charge, or WPCA, represents a Wholesale Power
cost Adjustment. Because the wholesale energy market is
subject to move much more quickly than our rates can be
adjusted, the WPCA was put in place to "smooth out" the
month to month changes in wholesale energy costs.
Without the WPCA, we would have to have rates high
enough to ensure that the month-to-month changes in our
wholesale costs could be covered by their bills. The
WPCA allows us to adjust for these temporary spikes or
declines in the market.
What choices do I have to pay my bill?
We have worked hard to provide you with a number of
convenient payment options. You may pay your bill via
the following methods:
• Cash - accepted at our office during normal business hours.
• Check - accepted at our office or by mail.
• Money Order - accepted at our office or by mail.
• Credit/Debit Card - Visa/Mastercard accepted at our office, on the phone or online.
When making payments at our office during business hours, you may come
inside or take advantage of our drive-through window. After hours,
simply drop your payment in our night deposit box.
Can I have my meter tested?
Albemarle EMC will test the electric meter, provided the
member pays a $50 meter-test fee in advance. If the
meter tests faster than 2 percent, the fee is refunded
and the bill is adjusted accordingly. If the meter is
accurate within plus or minus 2 percent, then the fee is
retained to cover the cost of testing.
Does Albemarle EMC offer budget billing?
Albemarle EMC offers levelized billing in lieu of budget
billing. Levelized billing differs from budget billing
in several ways. Budget billing calculates your average
bill once and you pay that amount each month. This can
result in a large balance to your account at the end of
the year. Levelized billing recalculates the average
payment each month to smooth out extreme changes in your
bill. Since the average is constantly recalculated, the
need to pay a balance at the end of the year is
alleviated. For a levelized billing application form,
- Capital Credits
What are capital credits?
Any revenue margins that the cooperative makes after all
operating expenses are paid are returned to our members
in the form of capital credits. These margins are not
always returned immediately, as the cooperative may need
to use those funds in the short term to pay for
extraordinary operating expenses. However, eventually
every dollar of profit that your cooperative makes is
given back to the membership. Capital credits are one of
the most unique and beneficial advantages to being a
member of an electric cooperative.
I am no longer a co-op member, but was at one time. How can I find out if I am due any capital credits?
Please contact us, and provide us with the name in which
your account was listed and the time you were a member.
We may be holding your capital credits because we could
not locate you.
How are capital credits distributed?
Living members are issued capital credits through a process known as
General Retirement Funds. On a regular basis, the board of directors
will determine that the financial condition of the cooperative is
such that a general retirement of capital credits is warranted.
Active members will be mailed a check to their current address.
Former members will be mailed a check at their last known address.
How do I apply for deceased member capital credits?
Please contact us and request a "Deceased Member's Capital Credits Form."
Please note that accounts in the name of the deceased must be changed or
disconnected prior to application.
- Storm Outages
What should I do if my power goes out?
Albemarle EMC maintains a 24-hour dispatch center.
Please report all power outages to the dispatch center
by calling 1-800-274-2072.
Because a power outage can affect hundreds of consumers, your call
may be answered by a computer so that we may effectively manage the
large call volume. When you call, the number you are calling from
is sensed by the computer. If this number matches the number we
have for you in our database, it will instantly notify our
dispatchers of your address and location. We can then dispatch
crews quickly and efficiently to where they need to go. Because
your telephone number is an important factor in our ability to
quickly respond to your outage, please contact us if your telephone
number changes so that we may update our records.
Regardless of whether the number you are calling from is in our
database, all callers will have the opportunity to leave a voice
message. Please do so; we listen to each and every call.
What causes outages?
Outages can result from many things. Trees and other
vegetation are a major cause of outages. Lightning
striking power lines also precipitates outages. Other
causes include animals, automobile accidents, construction and
sometimes equipment failure. Albemarle EMC constantly patrols the
electrical system to identify and remedy any potential causes for
Why do my lights go out and come back on?
The electric distribution system is equipped with special equipment
called reclosers. These devices are designed to de-energize the line
during a fault or short-circuit condition. This protects the
electrical system from unnecessary damage and gives the fault a chance
to clear. Moments later, the recloser re-energizes the circuit to
determine if the line is now clear. If the faulted condition does not
clear, the recloser will stay open permanently. Cooperative personnel
must then patrol the line to determine the cause.
Sometimes my power goes out and my neighbor's stays on. Why does this happen?
Albemarle EMC maintains a three-phase electric distribution
system. It is possible for one of these three phases to become
faulted while the other two remain clear. If your home is served
from the phase that is de-energized, you could experience an
outage and your neighbor would never lose power. If the
transformer that serves your home is damaged, neighboring homes
may not be affected.
What should I do in the event of a major storm in our area?
We all know that our area is prone to severe thunderstorms and
hurricanes. Whenever such a storm arises, please follow these helpful
1. Keep away from windows and open doors.
2. Don't use electrical appliances or the telephone. Lightning can follow the wires into your home.
3. Stay out of the water. Never go swimming or boating during a lightning storm. If you're in the water, get out as quickly as possible. Lightning can follow metal plumbing pipes, so avoid the shower or bathtub during a lightning storm.
4. Avoid trees, poles and other tall objects. Avoid large metal objects. These things are targets for lightning.
5. Go to low ground and crouch down low if you're caught outdoors.
6. Keep a flashlight, battery-powered radio and batteries on hand in the event of an electric outage.
Why do I sometimes not see Albemarle EMC personnel when I experience an outage?
The cause of your outage is likely far away from your
residence. Some of our lines are upwards of 10 miles.
Albemarle EMC repair crews search for the source of
the outage, repair the damage and then re-energize
the line. All of this may happen without the repair
crews coming to your neighborhood.
- Service Rules
Why does the cooperative charge me to move a pole?
The cooperative incurs costs when a pole is moved. If a pole is
moved at the member's request, the member is required to pay in
advance the nonbetterment cost of relocating the pole. Nonbetterment
costs are the costs to replace the facilities that were already
existing. Albemarle EMC may choose to upgrade those facilities, but
the member will not be charged for the upgrade. This ensures that all
members do not absorb the cost for the work that, otherwise, would not be
Who owns the meter base?
Residential members generally own the meter base. Albemarle EMC provides
the meter base required for special applications. These special
applications include metering for three-phase services and some large
single-phase services. Your electrician determines which type of
metering is necessary for a new service.
What voltage should I have at my outlet?
The normal expected voltage is approximately 123 volts AC. This voltage will vary
according to your location on the electrical system. If you live close
to a substation, the voltage will likely be higher. If you live near
the end of the line, the voltage can be lower. These values vary
according to load, which changes throughout the day.
Will the cooperative supply me with three-phase service?
Yes. However, when a member or an individual requests that the
cooperative supply electric service in a manner requiring
equipment and facilities in excess of what the cooperative would
normally provide, such excess equipment and facilities will be
provided at the cost of the member.
Does the utility protect my electronics from surge damage?
The cooperative has high voltage surge suppressors that are made
to protect the equipment that brings electricity to your home or
business. The member is responsible for protecting any equipment
beyond the point of delivery. The cooperative does offer surge
suppressors to guard the member's equipment beyond the point of
Can I have my overhead service changed to underground?
Yes. Please call the co-op at (252) 426-5735 to schedule a service
technician to meet with you. The fee is based on the distance from
the power line to your house or business.
How is the amount of my security deposit determined?
The deposit amount is based on a credit score as determined by Experian
Information Solutions Inc. The deposit ranges up to $450 depending on
that score. If you have questions about your credit score, visit the
Experian Web site.
- Right Of Way
Will Albemarle EMC cut trees at my request?
Co-op personnel will, at their discretion, trim or cut down
vegetation of trees that present a hazard to the electrical system.
If you have vegetation that is close to power lines, contact us.
Will the cooperative remove the debris after cutting right-of-way?
Albemarle EMC will remove limbs from a normally maintained
area after right-of-way trimming. If Albemarle EMC must cut a
tree down, we will remove the brush and debris from any maintained
areas affected by the cutting. We do not remove the tree trunks. The
responsibility of removing the trunks lies with the property owner.
Does the cooperative spray chemicals to control vegetation?
Yes. Albemarle EMC contracts with Natur-Chem to spray portions of the electric
system right-of-way. Spraying promotes the wildlife habitat more
efficiently than conventional cutting. The trade name of the chemical
used for spraying is Arsenal. It provides a safe and effective means
of vegetation management.
How often does Albemarle EMC re-clear the right-of-way?
Your cooperative clears the right-of-way at a rate of approximately
once every four years. In order to clear at this rate, contract crews
clear right-of-ways throughout the year to keep the power lines clear.
This ensures that our members receive the highest quality of
electrical service possible.