LAS CRUCES — For El Paso Electrical utility prospects who depend on in-person cost facilities in New Mexico and Texas to pay their payments, large modifications are coming. Over the previous two months, El Paso Electrical has quietly begun nudging prospects away from in-person funds and towards their on-line invoice assortment methods.
In keeping with EPE Regional Director of Authorities Affairs Eric Montgomery, the transfer is an try to remove in-person funds.
“Lots of that is because of new applied sciences and developments that we’re implementing,” Montgomery instructed the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
In keeping with EPE customer support supervisor Robert Heimer, lower than 5% of all utility prospects pay in particular person at one in every of 4 branches in New Mexico and Texas.
“The vast majority of our buyer site visitors that we see…has been primarily by telephone,” Heimer mentioned. “It additionally expanded on-line.”
Heimer mentioned closing branches comes all the way down to saving cash. Additionally, since so few individuals use the facilities, Heimer mentioned ECE desires to concentrate on assembly individuals by way of different entry factors.
In Texas, EPE has already closed in-person cost facilities. This variation occurred on January 13. Each Las Cruces facilities will finish in-person collections on February 10.
How can prospects pay their payments?
For the 5% who pay in particular person, EPE affords a couple of options for paying payments.
Via the EPE website, utility prospects pays by bank card, ATM/debit card or digital verify. For every bill, this selection carries a price of $1.50 to $2.35.
An alternative choice is to make use of cost kiosks in El Paso, Van Horn and Las Cruces. Nonetheless, kiosks could have charges relying on how prospects pay. Moreover, third-party cost companies like CheckFree or Western Union settle for funds with a price connected. In keeping with an EPE press launch, greater than 100 third-party cost companies are in EPE’s service space. Shops like Walmart, Greenback Basic, and plenty of grocery shops home these companies.
With cost facilities closed, third-party cost companies and kiosks would be the solely strategy to pay electrical energy payments in money.
Utility prospects also can prepare a financial institution draft with EPE by way of their web site. On this system, the utility takes cash immediately from utility prospects’ financial institution accounts when the invoice is due. There is no such thing as a cost for this technique.
EPE additionally accepts checks mailed through a stamped envelope to its El Paso workplace at El Paso Electrical, PO Field 982, El Paso, Texas 79960. Moreover the price of the envelope and stamp, this technique is free.
Lastly, EPE accepts funds by telephone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday or through their cellular utility. Each of those strategies have charges between $1.95 and $2.35.
What about employees?
On the 4 websites, EPE employs 21 individuals. None will likely be fired, Heimer mentioned.
As a substitute, EPE will create new roles for employees.
“We’re presently working to make sure that everybody who works in a department can efficiently transition to different channels,” Heimer mentioned.
Heimer didn’t say how the department workers’ jobs would change. Nonetheless, he mentioned the rise in on-line or phone buyer communications has created a requirement for EPE’s consideration in these areas and steered that EPE would practice employees in these areas. He additionally mentioned many would begin working from dwelling.
“By reusing these workers, we’re going to have the ability to do extra for our prospects than we do at the moment,” Heimer mentioned.
Heimer acknowledged that the relationships between prospects and ECE representatives at in-person facilities run deep.
“Prospects carry (employees) sweet and items and ask ‘how are you children’ and issues of that nature,” Heimer mentioned. “There’s an important relationship there.”
However, in the end, Heimer mentioned these employees ought to get used to working with individuals with out seeing them in particular person.
Justin Garcia covers crime, courts and public security. He could be contacted by e mail at [email protected].
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