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Funds help with late utility bills

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Energy Outreach Colorado has committed $100,000 to Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) to help members with past due balances make the transition from a traditional account to the co-op's new prepay program, My Choice.

Energy Outreach Colorado is an independent non-profit raising money to help provide home energy assistance to low-income Coloradans, according to a posting on the Internet.

Energy Outreach Colorado funds are available for members to help reduce past due balances when signing up for My Choice. The money can also be used to cover the cost of a My Choice in-home display. The in-home display provides daily consumption information and account balance alerts.

"Energy Outreach Colorado is excited to partner with DMEA to help its members benefit from the My Choice program," said Enrique Hernandez, Energy Outreach Colorado's energy assistance manager. "This program provides valuable tools to help energy consumers better control their costs. We support DMEA in its efforts to make home energy more affordable."

My Choice allows members to purchase energy before they use it. When making a payment, members put a positive balance on their account. As they use electricity, that balance goes down and participants receive alerts when they have fewer than five days' worth of electricity remaining. Members can choose to add money to their prepay balance at anytime through a variety of payment methods.

"My Choice allows members to customize their payments to their lifestyle and budget. Some choose to make smaller more frequent payments, while others choose to put a large balance on their account. Either way, it allows members to be in control of how much energy they use and their costs," said Jasen Bronec, DMEA CEO. "In addition to being a convenient option, prepayment programs like My Choice typically result in significant energy savings. Studies have shown that, on average, people on prepaid electric accounts use 10% less electricity than those on traditional post-pay accounts. We are excited to offer this new option to our members."

If the account balance goes below zero, power is automatically disconnected. However, a member can have their power turned back on in minutes by making a payment at any time of the day. Payments can be made 24/7 online, via a computer or smart device, at a DMEA self-serve kiosk, or by phone. Members can also pay in person during business hours. Members on My Choice are not subject to disconnect fees, reconnect fees, late fees, or collection fees. There are also no payment due dates or minimum payments associated with the program.

My Choice is a voluntary prepayment program. Interested members must sign up in person in order to receive an up-to-date account balance and apply for assistance funds. Learn more about the program by calling DMEA at 1-877-687-3632.

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