FAQs

Understanding your Electric Billing Statement

Due Date – The amount charged is due after the billing statement is prepared each month.  Payment received after the due date would incur a late fee. It is at least 15 days from your Invoice Date. If such date falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date is deferred to the next business day.

Net Amount Due – The total amount currently owed on the electric bill.

Billing Period – The time period from previous meter reading to most recent meter reading, usually about 30 days.

Previous Balance – The amount due from your previous bill.

Payment Received – The amount applied to the account as of the time the current bill is printed for last month’s bill.

Balance Forward – Equals Previous Balance minus Payment Received.

Current Charges – Includes monthly Customer Charge, energy consumption charges for the current month and program charges for Magic Dollar and Green Power Switch.

Adjustments – Typically credits you might be receiving.

Loans Charges – Includes heat pump and associated loans in accordance with TVA residential programs.

Message – Monthly information of general interest.

Consumption History – A snapshot of your energy consumption over discrete time intervals.

Meter information – Includes meter number and previous and most recent meter readings.

Amount Used – Total of kilowatthours consumed during the billing period. A kilowatthour is equal to 1,000 watts of power used for one hour, or the equivalent of ten 100-watt light bulbs used for one hour.

Customer Charge – Covers the fixed recurring monthly cost of providing electric service, such as meter reading, billing, collections, account reconciliation, etc..

 Energy Charge – A breakdown of your consumption charges through the appropriate rates.

TVA Fuel Cost Adjustment -The FCA is adjusted up or down monthly by TVA depending upon shifts in the production and supply cost of electricity, such as coal and natural gas to fuel generators and any power purchased by TVA from other utilities to meet the electric demand of consumers. (Click to TVA FCA web page http://tva.com/fuelcost/index.htm)

Magic Dollar – Customers may elect to add a set amount each month (typically a dollar) to their bill which is passed on to a local community agency which in turn provides assistance to those consumers who are unable to pay their electric bill and face disconnection.

After Due Date – The amount owed if you are paying after your due date which includes a late fee.

 

Deposits and Connection Fees


What is the purpose of a deposit?

Murfreesboro Electric Department is a not-for-profit municipal utility. Its contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority provides that rates should be charged at the lowest possible level and any excess revenues shall be returned to the customers in a form of reduced rates. Consequently MED manages its operations such that its debt expense is minimized to the lowest possible amount and that customers, to the extent practical, are accountable only for their individual risk associated with non-payment.


Do I have to pay a deposit?

Whether you have to pay a deposit depends on:
• your payment history, if you have had service with MED within the last six months and did not have a deposit previously;
• your credit evaluation through ONLINE Utility Exchange, if you have not previously had service with us or had a break in your service history with MED longer than six months.
• all commercial and industrial customers are required to have a deposit, or suitable surety, for the life of the electric account.

The deposit amount:
• will be required before service is connected;
• will be the larger of $300 or twice the average billed amount in the past 12 months;
• may be paid in person at MED’s office, over the phone by using the Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system, or over the internet at www.murfreesboroelectric.com
• may be paid with cash, money order, personal check or credit/debit card.

(Concerned about your credit rating? Contact ONLINE Utility Exchange directly at 1-800-765-8268.)


If I move, do I have to pay another deposit?

We will transfer your deposit to your new account if:
• you move to another residence we serve, and;
• you have no outstanding balance.

You will be charged a connection fee each time you move.

What if I need to change the name on my account?

No charge will be assessed if the name on the account must be changed due to the death of a spouse (a death certificate will be required).

You will be charged a new connection fee if:
• the name change requires opening a new account under a new name and Social Security number.
A new deposit may also be required.


Billing and Disconnection


When will I receive my bill?

Bills are mailed out monthly in billing cycles.

The customer’s billing cycle is determined by geographical location within our service area.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept requests for changes in billing cycles.


How do I pay my bill?

We offer a number of payment options so you may choose what is convenient for you:

Sign up to pay your bill automatically by bank draft at no charge.

  • Use the return envelope provided with your bill.
  • Make a payment by electronic check or credit card over the phone by calling (615) 893-5514 or online at www.murfreesboroelectric.com.
  • Drop it by our office at 205 North Walnut where you can come inside or use the drive-through window during business hours, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, you may use the night depository box located next to the drive-through window.


What happens if I do not pay my bill?

The bill will clearly designate your last date for payment before incurring a late fee, and it will include what the amount due would be if you fail to pay by your due date (which includes a late fee of five percent of the first $500 owed, and one percent on amounts more than $500).

Failure to pay within 10 days from your due date subjects you to possible disconnection of service.

If your service is disconnected, you must:

  •  pay all past due amounts
  • request reconnection by calling or coming to our office;
  • pay a reconnect fee;
  • pay other fees if they apply, such as a returned check fee and/or a late payment fee;
  • pay all past due amount on your account;
  • make these payments at our office between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by electronic check or credit card payment over the phone at (615) 893-5514.  If paying by phone you must then call our Customer Service department to verify payment has been made to your account to ensure a service truck will be dispatched for the reconnect.

If your service is disconnected, you must also:

  •  pay a $300 deposit, if one has not already been paid.


What can I do if I think my power bill is too high?

First, look at your bill to check your historical electric usage and the number of days in the month. Consider any lifestyle changes you might have had (friends staying with you, a hot tub installed, etc.).  Additionally, since weather is a primary driver of our comfort level, adjusting the thermostat of the HVAC system will have a material effect of electricity consumption.  During extreme temperatures (very hot or very cold) the HVAC unit will operate for longer periods of time, consuming more electricity, even with no changes to the thermostat setting.


Does MED offer paperless billing?

Yes.  You may sign up for paperless billing through SmartHub.


 

MED Fees


What and how much are MED's fees?

Connection Fee $50
Reconnection Fee $65
Returned Check Charge $30
Meter Test Charge $50

Late Fee – 5 percent of the first $2000 owed, then 1 percent on all amounts more than $2000.


Meter Access

Murfreesboro Electric Department strives to provide reliable power to residential customers as well as area businesses and industries. To achieve this goal MED must have adequate access to the electric meter. An area of 36 X 36 inches is adequate (18 inches left and right from the center of the meter and 36 inches in front of the meter). A clear path to the meter is required as well.

Please trim or rearrange any shrubbery or vines preventing proper access to the meter and/or any objects blocking access to the meter. Having suitable access to the electric meter will assure correct meter readings and expedite service to your meter when needed.

Customer agrees to permit authorized agents and employees of MED free access to the premises for the purpose of inspecting, reading, repairing, removing property of MED.

 

Fuel Cost Adjustment


What is a fuel cost adjustment?

It is the mechanism TVA uses to help recover the largely variable fuel and purchased power costs. A variety of factors affect these costs, including weather and global supply and demand issues.


How does it affect electric bills?

The FCA, which started Oct. 1, 2006, appears as a separate line item on MED billing statements. It adjusts up or down monthly depending upon shifts in fuel costs, such as coal and natural gas, availability of hydro power as well as the mix of generation available to TVA.


How does it work and how is it calculated?

The FCA calculation works by capturing the difference between the amount that TVA forecasts to pay for fuel and the amount that is collected through rates. This formula has two main components: the first is a forecast of anticipated fuel and purchased power costs; the second is a reconciliation of any fuel costs TVA under or over collected. The FCA can be a charge or a credit depending on these differences. It is included on consumers’ bills as a per kilowatt-hour charge or credit.


Is the FCA just another way to make money?

The FCA covers the actual cost of fuel and purchased power of TVA to produce electricity.  There is no markup in the cost for either TVA or MED and only actual costs are recovered.


What is purchased power?

Purchased power is electricity TVA buys on the open market when it cannot produce adequate power to meet customer demand or when it can be purchased at a lesser cost than TVA can produce it.


Do any other utilities use this method to offset these fluctuating prices?

Yes. Most utilities across the nation use similar mechanisms to adjust their rates. Fuel adjustments have been used for quite some time across the country to help the utility industry better align cash flow with fluctuations in fuel and purchased energy costs. TVA actually had a monthly fuel expense adjustment in the mid-1970s.


Does fuel refer to gasoline?

This is not about recouping increased gasoline charges for TVA vehicles. The fuel costs this adjustment addresses are the fuels TVA uses to generate electricity, which are primarily coal and natural gas. The prices of both coal and natural gas have grown increasingly volatile. Additionally, when TVA cannot generate enough electricity to supply the power demand of Valley customers, it has to purchase electricity on the open market. That is necessary but expensive, and the associated costs can be recovered through the Fuel Cost Adjustment.


Electric Safety at Home


Why do they say you should not use extension cords on toasters and irons?

Most household extension cords are rated for 7-10 amperes (amps). Toasters and irons often draw considerably more current, 10-12 amps. Since most household circuits are fused to “blow” or “trip” at 20 amps, they won’t trip even though the appliance is drawing more current than the cord should have put through it. Result – the extension cord is overloaded and can become overheated.


Should extension cords be run under rugs or carpet to prevent tripping?

Although that installation will prevent tripping, it is not a good idea. If the cord should become worn or if it overheats, it could become a fire hazard.


Sometimes I see an arc when unplugging an appliance. Is this normal?

This is caused by breaking the flow of current at the plug. It can be prevented by turning the appliance off prior to unplugging. If the appliance does not have a switch, you may expect to see a spark when unplugging it.


What is GFCI and how does it protect me?

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter detects tiny amounts of stray current and shuts off the electricity before it can cause harm. A GFCI is much more sensitive to a problem than a fuse or standard circuit breaker.


What circuits in the home should be GFCI protected?

Those in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoor receptacles.


Should I unplug appliances when not in use?

This is not practical for all appliances but is a good idea for irons, toasters and those appliances that heat up or get used infrequently. Remember, don’t pull on the wire; grip the plug itself when unplugging something.


Power Outages


What are priorities for restoring service?

Our crews work around the clock until all customers have power. The following is generally our process for locating and repair the trouble spots.

  • Repairs are made at substations and on main distribution lines that emanate from the substations.
  • The line crews will repair damage to tap lines that branch off from the main lines.
  • Power is restored to generalized areas and then to individual homes.
  •  Critical locations such as hospitals, police and fire stations may receive advanced attention.


Why does my neighbor have power and I don't?

There could be a few reasons. There may be damage to the service wires leading only to your home. These wires don’t affect your neighbor’s electric supply. Additionally your neighbor’s home may be served by a different circuit than your home.


How does MED know when I've lost power?

MED’s SCADA system initiates an alarm whenever there is a power system disturbance. This will provide a high level view of the extent of any outage and helps pinpoint the trouble area. However, if your outage appears isolated to you report it right away by calling (615) 893-5515.


If my power goes out, what should I check?

Check your circuit breakers or fuses to see if it’s an isolated problem. Next, examine your meter.  If the meter box or any wires look damaged, call a certified electrician.  They may need to make repairs before we can reconnect power.  If you don’t find any problems, call our outage reporting system at (615) 893-5515.


Who do I call if electrical wires have been pulled away from my house?

MED is responsible for delivering power to your home’s connection point. You are responsible for repairs from the meter into your home, including wires located in the riser. If service has been pulled away from your house, a qualified electrician must make the repairs before power can be turned back on. In certain cases, an inspection by the City Codes Department may be required.


Is power automatically shut off during a tornado or other major storm?

No. MED will not turn off power unless instructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and, in some cases, emergency management authorities. In the interest of safety, we will not attempt to restore service until conditions improve.


What if I have special medical needs?

If you, or a family member, rely on an electrical life-sustaining medical device in your home, call our Customer Service Department at (615) 893-5514. You will also need to provide a statement from your health care provider stating the type of equipment you use.  However in cases where severe weather has wreaked havoc to the electric distribution system it can take days to make repairs. It is vitally important to have an emergency back-up plan in place.


How can I tell if a downed power line is still carrying electricity?

Any line lying on the ground should be considered live, so never go near downed power lines. Please call our Operations Department at (615) 893-5514 to report a downed power line.


Are there safety concerns in using a portable generator?

Yes. You should never operate a generator inside your home. Keep it outside for proper ventilation. Only a qualified, licensed electrician should attempt to hook up a generator to the main electric panel of your home or business. If it’s connected improperly power can “back-feed” onto utility lines. For safety concerns, please call our Operations Department at (615) 893-5514 if you have a generator connected to your electric entrance.


Who do I call if a tree falls near a power line?

If a tree or limb falls and results in an outage, leave the work to us. If the line is sparking, please report the emergency by calling 911.


How do I report a power outage?

To report an outage, call MED at (615) 893-5515 . Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Please have the following information available when you call:

  • Your name and address
  • Type of electrical problem you’re experiencing
  • Time you first noticed the problem
  • Cause of problem, if obvious (i.e. fallen tree over power lines, lightning strike, etc.)
  • Area affected, if known


 

 

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