Murfreesboro, Tenn. - In keeping with federal calls for diligence toward mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus, Middle Tennessee Electric and Murfreesboro Electric will close their offices to walk-in traffic starting Thursday.
One positive deed that the utility provider is doing will help those who are trying to make ends meet with food, hours that have been cut at work or the loss of a job - that main thing is keeping electricity ON. Past due accounts will not be shut off during this period of time.
That was Amy Byers with Murfreesboro Electric.
As for closing the lobby of our local electric providers, Middle Tennessee Electric CEO Chris Jones and Murfreesboro Electric General Manager P.D. Mynatt said both utilities will keep all drive-thrus open and that customers have a number of avenues to manage their accounts.
"Middle Tennessee Electric is service-oriented organization and the welfare of our members and our employees has been a core principle of our cooperative since its founding more than 80 years ago" said MTE President & CEO Chris Jones, "Given the information and guidance that we have about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we believe that it is the right thing to do in order to protect our members and employees."
MED General Manger P.D. Mynatt echoed the sentiment, "At Murfreesboro Electric Department, we value the health and safety of our customers above all else, which is why we are closely monitoring events concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are fortunate that, as of yet, our area has had a limited number of reported cases and we want to help keep it that way. It is important for all of us to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus."
While taking protective measures may not prevent some people from getting the virus, it can help reduce the number of patients our health care system must treat in a short period of time. In addition to this limit on interaction between employees and customers, both utilities will institute additional Center for Disease Control (CDC) safeguards such as:
• All employees who feel sick are being instructed to stay home.
• Those employees whose work will allow them to work from home are being encouraged to do so.
• Employees are practicing the 'social distancing' guideline set out by the CDC.
• Meetings are being limited to groups of 10 or less.
• Employees who work directly with ratepayers will avoid shaking hands or making any physical contact.
• All non-essential work-related travel and conference attendance has been cancelled.
• Additional disinfectant products are being supplied to all offices along with additional reminders for employees to wash their hands often.
• All employees are asked to take proper precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.
In the meantime, as critical energy providers, both Middle TN Electric and the Murfreesboro Electric Department will continue to provide power to their customers and members, while operating as close to normal as possible.
Middle Tennessee Electric members are encouraged to manage their accounts and pay bills using other options that do not require face-to-face interactions:
• Online bill pay and account management via myMTEMC.com and the myMTEMC mobile app.
• Paying the bill automatically each month with the Autopay option on the myMTEMC.com website. Autopay may be set up with a credit/debit card or bank account without extra fees.
• Members can call 877-777-9020 for over-the-phone bill payments 24/7/365 with full-service member support weekdays from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
• Local office drive-thrus and night drops.
Murfreesboro Electric customers have similar options to manage their accounts:
• Visit MurfreesboroElectric.com to take advantage of online bill-pay.
• Download the SmartHub app on your tablet or smartphone to view usage and pay your bill.
• Call 1-888-678-1986 to pay your bill by phone.
• Call 615-893-5514, and press 3, to speak with a customer service representative.
• MED office drive-thru and night drop.
"These are very unsettled times, but Middle Tennessee Electric and Murfreesboro Electric well understand the vital importance of the product we provide." said Jones. "A reliable source of electricity is a chief source of comfort and certainty as the Coronavirus situation continues to unfold. Both utilities are here to serve our members and customers, and that won't change."