LINCOLN — Over the last several months, Lincoln Electric System has continued to monitor pandemic developments in the Lincoln area, providing solutions to customers struggling to pay their electric bill due to the disruption COVID-19 has caused. These solutions have included temporarily suspending disconnections due to nonpayment, modifying qualifications for LES’ Energy Assistance Program and developing individualized repayment plans to fit customer needs.
“We all have family members, friends or neighbors who have been affected by this pandemic,” said Lisa Hale, LES Customer Services vice president. “Their struggle is real and here at LES we continue to do everything we can to ease the difficulties created by COVID-19 while balancing the needs of our entire service area.”
Now that Lincoln has begun the gradual process to safely move forward from this national emergency, its community-owned electric utility is working to do the same.
During the June 19 LES Administrative Board meeting, it was determined that the assessment of late payment charges will resume beginning July 1, 2020. Disconnections for nonpayment are scheduled to begin in early August 2020. LES will continue to work with customers’ specific circumstances and develop flexible repayment plans to suit those circumstances while helping them to get current with their bill.
Customers who have been working with LES to develop a plan regarding their current financial situation are advised to stay the course and contact LES again if circumstances change. Anyone struggling to pay their electric bill at this time who has not contacted LES is urged to do so immediately. There are customer service representatives ready to help develop a repayment plan or connect customers in need with resources for financial assistance.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling to pay their electric bill, please call LES at 402-475-4211. Other community resources include:
- LES’ Energy Assistance Program, administered by Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders counties — 402-471-4515.
- Nebraska DHHS’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, administered by ACCESSNebraska — 800-383-4278.
“Ultimately,” Hale said, “it comes down to communicating with us. We understand many customers in our service territory have been affected by the pandemic. As a public power utility, it is our responsibility to help those customers as best we can, but we can’t help if people don’t contact us to begin the conversation.”