Update July 29, 2020
Utility bill assistance available for Iowa small businesses impacted by COVID-19
The Iowa Economic Development Authority recently announced a new program to assist small businesses and nonprofits struggling to pay their electric and natural gas bills due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Small Business Utility Disruption Prevention Program will distribute $14.5 million to provide short-term relief to eligible small businesses in Iowa. Governor Reynolds allocated funding for this program from Iowa’s share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in March.
Applications will be accepted at www.iowabusinessrecovery.com until August 21, 2020, or until funding is depleted, whichever comes first. An eligible business can apply for a grant up to $7,500 to cover utility bill debt incurred for electric or natural gas service provided between March 17, 2020, and June 30, 2020. The applicant's utility service provider(s) will receive a credit, which will be applied to the applicant's utility debt.
Download the Small Business Pages 1 and 2 below for more information, or go to the Iowa business recovery website link in the paragraph above.
Update July 20, 2020
The lobby has been temporarily closed to members and the public as precautionary measures. At this time, only employees and essential services are allowed to enter the building.
The drop box in front of the building is checked daily. Members can also contact us by calling 1-866-242-4232 or email us at email@example.com.
Update June 23, 2020
Some changes have been made at the Access Energy Cooperative headquarters facilities to offer a safer atmosphere for members and employees. A glass barrier has been added to the front counter, and we were able to open the office back up to receive members and the public in our lobby.
Members can also access your account and make payments on our website with Smarthub, or download the app on your mobile device, or call us at 1-866-242-4232.
We will continue to provide updates here as new developments are made known.
Please read the statements and updates below pertaining to COVID-19 and your cooperative.
Please contact us with any questions - click the Contact Us button at the top of the page.
Update March 24, 2020
As we all deal with the new realities brought on by the coronavirus, I want to assure you that your electric cooperative is here to help you. We have always had an Emergency Action 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 through our entire three-tier cooperative system, starting with our generation cooperative, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., which has taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants are functioning as needed. It extends to the six transmission cooperatives, such as Northeast Power, that wheel the electricity across Missouri and parts of Iowa and Oklahoma. And it includes Access Energy Cooperative where business may be a bit unusual, but the 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. We’ve closed our lobby to prevent the spread of germs. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our drop box, online payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills.
We have postponed all non-essential work and member contacts. All of our employees are practicing social distancing. However, if you call the phones will be answered as always.
We have separated linemen from other employees and even from each other to limit possible spread of the virus. Trucks are being relocated so that linemen can head to the job site without coming to the office. New routines are in place for contractors working on our system in order to keep them away from employees. Deliveries are being quarantined.
Our management team is meeting constantly to fine tune this plan and are keeping the Board of Directors updated on this fluid situation. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in Iowa, Missouri and with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, which in turn is working closely with our national association, the state legislature, Governor Reynolds, state agencies and other state electric cooperative associations.
So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’ve done this 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 and we will get through this together the cooperative way!