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4-County pre-pay plan may revolutionize how families budget their energy usage

December 3, 2012

4-County Electric is offering its customers a number of unique options for payments these days.
These new payment methods are not only convenient for many customers who are currently using them, but they may help clients reduce long-term energy usage and lower the cost of electricity each month.
On Monday morning, 4-County held a press conference in its Columbus office announcing the full implementation of services that have been in the pilot stage since October.
Jon Turner, 4-County’s Manager of Marketing and Public Relations was the first to sign on to the company’s pre-pay plan that not only allows consumers to pay for electricity in advance, but it also informs the customer on a daily basis how much energy is being used and the cost-per-day.
“Often times, there is a disconnect between what you use and why your bill is so high,” Turner said. “This makes a lot of sense, and it fits just about any budget from a college student to an elderly person trying to budget their money.”
4-County customers can opt into the program that does not require a deposit. They can pay online or a “pay site” kiosks located throughout the Golden Triangle.
Each day, a text or email is sent to the customer telling how much wattage was used the previous day, how much it costs and how much the current balance is on the account. When the account gets close to zero, messages will appear telling customers to refill their accounts.
Turner says that the beauty this program is that if the customer is on the plan, is disconnected because of a below-zero balance, then they can be reconnected without any reconnect fees that would usually exist in a typical account.
“This ends the debt cycle,” Turner said.
Leslie Mooney, a 4-County customer who has been on the plan for a couple of months says that it has worked out smoothly for her thus far.
“I love to see how much voltage I use daily,” Mooney said. “I don’t have to get a $250 bill in the mail either. I can pay as I go.”
Jason Polk is a student at Mississippi State, and the Madison native told us that the plan works well for college students too.
“I get a text everyday, and I’m aware of what I’m using,” Polk said. “I had never heard of any electric company anywhere offering something like this. It really helps.”
Turner also said that 4-County customers who are not on the pre-pay plan can opt into receiving messages notifying of how much energy was used at their residence the previous day.

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