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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

EN ESPAÑOL

Berkeley Electric Cooperative’s management team has been monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak for several weeks and has been taking steps in accordance with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect the health of our community. The World Health Organization declared on Wednesday, March 11, the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, which is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads worldwide beyond expectations.

 

Working from home? Here are some tips to make your home office more energy efficient.

 

UPDATE 03/27/20

MEMBER ADVISORY

The FBI reports scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money and your personal information -- or both. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following:

  • FAKE CDC EMAILS - Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.
  • PHISHING EMAILS - Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines, and fake testing kits.

Tips, you can protect yourself and help stop criminal activity:

  • Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don't recognize.
  • Do not provide your username, password, date or birth, social security number, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or robocall.
  • Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
  • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a ".gov" ends in ".com" instead).

 

UPDATE 03/23/20

Berkeley Electric Cooperative is refunding $4.8 million in security deposits to more than 33,000 residential accounts to help its members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If Berkeley Electric is holding a deposit on your account, you will see the credit in SmartHub after it is applied to your account in the coming days. A credit will be subtracted from your usage when you receive your next bill.

 

We know families will experience financial hardships because of the coronavirus -- many members are already facing reduced employment or unemployment. You also need electricity more than ever as you follow health officials’ recommendations to stay home to slow the spread of the virus. We want to do everything in our power to help our members and the economy during this difficult time.

 

No cash refunds will be issued.

 

UPDATE 03/19/20

Our Awendaw district office has temporarily closed to all retail traffic and is no longer accepting payments through the lobby or drive-in. Please refer to the alternative methods of payment listed on this page.

 

UPDATE 03/18/20

For any member who suspects they may have the coronavirus (COVID-19), there are virtual care visits available for free through MUSC, Prisma Health, Roper St. Frances and McCloud Health. Click the links to get started and use the promo code "COVID19."

https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html

https://www.palmettohealth.org/medical-services/other-services/smartexam
https://www.rsfh.com/virtualcare/

https://www.mcleodhealth.org/services/care/telehealth/?rf=mcleodtelehealth

To view a live map of coronavirus cases in South Carolina visit the Post and Courier's website at https://www.postandcourier.com/health/covid19/

 

UPDATE 03/15/20

Effective Monday, March 16, Berkeley Electric Cooperative is closing all district office lobbies until further notice. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, but this proactive step is to protect the health of our employees and our members during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Drive-thru services will remain open at this time. Several electronic options are available to manage your account:

  • Smarthub app — a free download from the app store, it allows you to pay your bill from your phone, tablet or computer. You can also set reminders for payment dates and alerts for high usage.
  • Online bill pay at www.berkeleyelectric.coop
  • Kiosks — located in the drive-thru lane at the district offices in Moncks Corner, Goose Creek and Johns Island. A standalone kiosk is located inside the St. Stephen IGA.
  • Automated phone payment line (877-853-6731)
  • Electronic check
  • Bank draft
  • Other online bill pay service offered through some financial institutions
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Berkeley Electric Cooperative is suspending disconnects for non-payment for all accounts at this time, including pre-paid accounts. We are offering this leniency so members do not have to worry about losing vital services during their time of need but if you are having trouble paying your bill, please contact your Berkeley Electric district office.
  • PAYING YOUR BILL: You are responsible for paying for the electricity you use, the same as you would be for any other product or service. We cannot provide electricity free-of-charge because we are a member-owned, not-for-profit utility. Forgiving electric bills would only shift the cost onto other members because the cooperative has no other source of income to offest those costs. We urge you to stay current with your bill as long as possible to avoid building up a large balance that will have to be paid when services return to normal.

 

To our members

If you need to set up service, go to www.berkeleyelectric.coop and click the “Apply for Service” link in the top right corner of the screen. You will be contacted by phone when your online application has been received, so please provide a valid phone number.

For members who need to disconnect service, that request can be made through your SmartHub account portal or by calling your district office.

 

Please note we often see an increase in phone scams trying to take advantage of the fear and confusion of an emergency situation by calling members and threatening to cut off services unless immediate payment is made. Berkeley Electric is not disconnecting meters for non-payment at this time. If you have any questions please contact you local district office.

 

Awendaw: 843-884-7525

Goose Creek: 843-553-5020

Johns Island: 843-559-2458

Moncks Corner: 843-761-8200

 

Berkeley Electric is committed to providing safe and reliable electricity to our members, while doing our part to limit the spread of coronavirus. The cooperative will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and take steps in accordance with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect the health of our community.

To protect yourself

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, before eating or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard the tissue immediately. If a tissue is not available, use the inside of the bend of your arm, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

To protect others

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily at home and at work. This includes your car’s steering wheel, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

 

 

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