Frequently Asked Questions
We have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's). If you don't find the answer to your question here, please contact us by email or by phone at 888-326-3356.
- What should I do if my electricity goes out?
- Should my lights be blinking?
- What is the Sumner-Cowley Electric mailing address?
- Can Sumner-Cowley Electric disconnect for non-payment?
- What do I need to do to get electricity connected in my name?
- How do I get an account taken out of my name?
- What fees are charged to establish electric service?
- Can I make payments on my deposit and/or service connect fee?
- What forms of payment does Sumner-Cowley Electric accept?
- What is the monthly Customer Charge on my bill?
- What is the PCA on my bill?
- Why are my bills higher than my neighbors?
- What are capital credits and how can they be paid to me?
- Will Sumner-Cowley Electric trim my trees that have grown into the power lines?
What should I do if my electricity goes out?
- Check the main breaker panel in your house for any tripped breakers.
- Check any outside breakers. There may be additional breakers at the meter pole or pedestal and/or a breaker box on the outside of the building. Familiarize yourself with the breaker configuration at your location.
- When you call to report an outage, you will be asked if you have checked the above items. This helps us determine if an outage exists on our side of the meter and could help you save a substantial charge. If we dispatch a crew and it is found that the outage is on your side of the meter, you may be charged for the service call.
- If you heard any unusual sounds prior to the outage or if your neighbors are without power, please report that with your outage call.
- Calls reporting outages are answered 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Please call 888-326-3356. If you get a busy signal when trying to report an outage, please try again. We may be experiencing heavier than usual call volume.
Should my lights be blinking?
- If your lights are blinking off and on frequently, please contact us 888-326-3356. Power quality issues are generally correctable; we just need to know about them.
- Talk with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing similar blinking or outage problems. This can help us narrow down the source of the problem.
What is the Sumner Cowley Electric mailing address?
When using the US postal service, please use the following address:
P.O. Box 220
If you need to visit the Sumner Cowley offices or for UPS/FedEx deliveries, our physical address is:
2223 North A Street
When/Can Sumner-Cowley Electric disconnect for non-payment?
Sumner-Cowley Electric can and does disconnect for non-payment year-round. Sumner-Cowley Electric is not regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission, and therefore, is not under the Cold Weather Rule. See Sumner-Cowley Electric's Bylaws for details. If you will be unable to make a payment, contact our office before the due date. In many cases, Sumner-Cowley Electric personnel will try to work out satisfactory payment arrangements. It is the member’s responsibility to contact Sumner-Cowley Electric to make payment arrangements.
What is an AMI meter?
Sumner-Cowley Electric began installing AMI meters in 2010. These meters replace the old AMR "turtle" meters that have been in use on cooperative lines for over 10 years.
AMI meters offer the most up to date technology, including two-way communication. Old turtle meters would simply send consumption information to our office on a predetermined schedule. The only data you could extract from the readings was a total amount consumed. With the new meters, you will have access to more detailed usage information, such as what you consume on an hourly basis. We can tell you when during the day your consuming energy.
Instead of comunication being a one way street, now it's two. Not only can the meter talk to Sumner-Cowley Electric, Sumner-Cowley Electric is able to talk to the meter!
What do I need to do to get electricity connected in my name?
- Complete an Application for Service for each meter, and
- Include a $25 membership fee, plus
- Include the meter security deposit.
- The security deposit may be reduced or waived with a positive letter of credit from your previous electricity provider.
- The application and fees must be in our office at least one business day prior to connection or transfer.
- If applicable, the former account holder should call our office to allow an account transfer.
- Photo identification may be required.
- Renters may be required to provide a signed rental agreement.
How do I get an account taken out of my name?
- Contact the Sumner-Cowley Electric office at least one business day prior to the date you wish to be disconnected.
- Have your forwarding address available.
- If new people are moving in, please work with them to help avoid an interruption of service.
What fees are charged to establish electric service?
Fees include a $25 membership fee and a security deposit. Typically, the security deposit for residential service is based on the average electric consumption at the residence. Commercial deposits are based on estimated usage. The deposit may be reduced or waived with a positive letter of credit from a former electric provider.
For newly constructed homes or buildings, an aid-in-construction contribution must be paid prior to the building of electrical facilities. This aid-in-construction contribution starts at $100, but will vary depending on the cost of construction and cooperative contribution.
Can I make payments on my deposit and/or service connect fee?
Sumner-Cowley Electric allows new members to pay their deposit in full up front or have it split into four equal payments.
What forms of payment does Sumner-Cowley Electric accept?
- Sumner Cowley accepts cash, check, money order and MasterCard or Visa credit/debit cards.
- You can pay online with Mastercard or Visa credit/debit cards or electronic check.
What is the Facilities Charge on my bill?
The electric service charge helps pay for the physical equipment and maintenance costs associated with maintaining such equipment. The customer charge is applicable even when no energy is consumed.
Think of it as you would when you rent a car. You pay a rental fee whether the car is used or not. The gas you put in the car (and consume) is the equivalent to the kilowatt (kWh) billed on your electric account.
What is the PCA charge on my bill?
PCA stands for Power Cost Adjustment.
Sumner-Cowley Electric does not generate power, but buys it from KEPCo. Each month, we are charged for the variance in the cost to produce and generate electricity above and beyond the base rate. With the PCA, Sumner-Cowley Electric is passing along that increase or decrease in the cost of producing electricity that we are charged from our energy providers.
Why is my bill higher than my neighbors?
It is very difficult to make accurate comparisons with electric bills - there are so many variables. The size of house, the size of family, age and quality of appliances, type of heating and cooling systems, quality of insulation, condition of internal wire and many other factors. If you are concerned with your bill, contact 620-326-3356. They will able to provide valuable information to assist you.
When are capital credits paid to me?
Sumner-Cowley Electric pays capital credits to current and former members when the Sumner-Cowley Electric Board of Directors declares a payment (general retirement) for previous years. For example, in 2013, Sumner-Cowley Electric paid over $350,000 in capital credits to our members from 1991. It takes so long to get capital credit allocations because Sumner-Cowley Electric is a growing co-op. As new businesses and homes are added to our system, the construction of new electrical infrastructure requires a large amount of capital. In addition our lenders require certain levels of equity. If we fall below that level, capital credits cannot be paid.
If a member has passed away, capital credits that have accumulated can be released through an estate retirement. The electric account must be closed or transferred into another name. It is important to keep the cooperative informed of any address changes so a check can be mailed to you when capital credits are disbursed.
Will Sumner-Cowley Electric trim my trees that have grown into power lines on my property?
Yes, we will - provided the trees are on the primary side of the meter or before the meter. Any trees/bushes/overgrowth occurring after the meter - or on your side of the meter will be your responsibility. You will need to complete a Tree Trimming Consent form and submit it to the Sumner-Cowley Electric office before work will begin.