Member Rights & Responsibilities

1. What can I do if I receive a notice from Woodbury County REC that says my electric service will be shut off because I have a past due bill?

  • Pay the bill in full; or
  • Enter into a reasonable payment plan with Woodbury County REC (see #2 below); or
  • Apply for and become eligible for low-income energy assistance (see #3 below); or
  • Give Woodbury County REC 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
  • Tell Woodbury County REC 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 Woodbury County REC (see #5 below).

2. How do I go about making a reasonable payment plan? (Residential Customers Only)

  • Contact Woodbury County REC as soon as you know you cannot pay the amount you owe. If you cannot pay all the money you owe at one time, Woodbury County REC 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.
  • If you have not made the payments you promised in a previous payment plan with Woodbury County REC and still owe money, you may qualify for a second payment agreement under certain conditions.
  • If you do not make the payments you promise, Woodbury County REC may shut off your utility service on one day’s notice unless all the money you owe Woodbury County REC is paid or you enter into another payment agreement.

3. How do I apply for low-income energy assistance? (Residential Customers Only)

  • Contact the local community action agency in your area: Community Action Siouxland, 2700 Leech Avenue, Sioux City , Iowa, (712) 274-1610; or
  • Contact the Division of Community Action Agencies at the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; telephone (515) 281-0859. To prevent disconnection, you must contact Woodbury County REC prior to disconnection of your service.
  • To avoid disconnection, you must apply for energy assistance before your service is shut off. Notify Woodbury County REC 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.
  • Being certified eligible for energy assistance will prevent your electric service from being disconnected from November 1 through April 1.

4. What if someone living at the residence has a serious health condition? (Residential Customers Only)

  • Contact Woodbury County REC if you believe this is the case. Contact your doctor or a public health official and ask the doctor or health official to contact Woodbury County REC 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 Woodbury County REC office within 5 days of when your doctor or public health official notifies Woodbury County REC of the health condition; otherwise, your utility service may be shut off. If Woodbury County REC 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.

5. What should I do if I believe my bill is not correct?

  • You may dispute your utility bill. You must tell Woodbury County REC that you dispute the bill. You must pay the part of the bill you think is correct. If you do this, Woodbury County REC will not shut off your service for 45 days from the date the bill was mailed while you and Woodbury County REC work out the dispute over the part of the bill you think is incorrect. You may ask the Iowa Utilities Board for assistance in resolving the dispute. (see #9 below).

6. When can Woodbury County REC shut off my utility service because I have not paid my bill?

  • Woodbury County REC can shut off service between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Woodbury County REC will not shut off your service on nights, weekends, or holidays for nonpayment of a bill.
  • Woodbury County REC will not shut off your service if you enter into a reasonable payment plan to pay the overdue amount (see #2).
  • Woodbury County REC 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.
  • If you have qualified for low-income energy assistance, Woodbury County REC cannot shut off your service from November 1 through April 1. However, you will still owe Woodbury County REC for the service used during this time.
  • Woodbury County REC will not shut off your service if you have notified Woodbury County REC that you dispute a portion of your bill and you pay the part of the bill that you agree is correct.

7. How will I be told Woodbury County REC is going to shut off my electric service?

  • You must be given a written notice at least 12 days before Woodbury County REC service can be shut off for nonpayment. This notice will include the reason for shutting off your service.
  • If you have not made payments required by an agreed-upon payment plan, you may be disconnected with only one day notice.
  • Woodbury County REC must also try to reach you by telephone or in person before it shuts off your service. From November 1 through April 1, if Woodbury County REC cannot reach you by telephone or in person, Woodbury County REC will put a written notice on the door of your residence to tell you that your utility service will be shut off.

8. If service is shut off, when will it be turned back on?

  • Woodbury County REC will turn your service back on if you pay the whole amount you owe or agree to a reasonable payment plan (see #2).
  • 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, Woodbury County REC must make a reasonable effort to turn your service back on that day. If service cannot reasonably be turned on that same day, Woodbury County REC must do it by 11 a.m. the next day.
  • Woodbury County REC 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 Woodbury County REC business hours.

9. Is there any other help available besides Woodbury County REC?

  • If Woodbury County REC has not been able to help you with your problem, you may contact the Iowa Utilities Board toll free at 1-877-565-4450. You may also write the Iowa Utilities Board at 350 Maple Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069, or by E-mail at iubcustomer@iub.state.ia.us. Low income customers may also be eligible for free legal assistance from Iowa Legal Aid and may contact Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275.