MANAGING YOUR ACCOUNT
To better help Beltrami Electric Cooperative serve you, please keep your contact information up-to-date. This includes your phone number, mailing address and email address.
You will find information listed below to help you with billing and account maintenance questions. If you need further assistance, please contact our member services department at (218) 444-2540 or (800) 955-6083 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
Billing & Account Information
The Access Charge ensures that your expectations for continuous power and outstanding customer service are met. It gives each member a fair and equal share of the cooperative’s operation. It provides funds that must be invested now to maintain the quality, reliability and integrity of services that our members have traditionally counted on and come to expect.
Among the expense items covered by the access charge are:
Line trucks, wire, transformers, power poles, meters and labor needed to build and maintain the electric distribution system
Keeping pace with increased system investments to improve both capacity and reliability
Implementing new technologies to provide increased reliability and operational efficiencies such as the outage management system and advanced metering
Liability insurance, interest, taxes, and emergency storm restoration
Because all cooperative members benefit from having reliable electric service available when they want it, the access charge ensures that everyone pays their fair share of the basic costs – costs that exist whether or not a single kWh is used.
Avoid fluctuating electric bills with even monthly payments!
Beltrami Electric offers a budget billing program that bills a consistent amount each month throughout the year. Members still receive a monthly statement showing their current usage and charges as well as their monthly budget amount due. (Budget bill amounts will vary slightly each month.)
Requirements to Participate in Budget Billing
Budget Billing is available to all residential consumers that have 12 consecutive months of their own billing history for the location they live in and they also must have a good credit rating with the cooperative. The budget billing program is not intended for past due accounts requesting a payment arrangement.
For more information, contact our office or click on the following link to enroll. Budget Billing Form
A security deposit may be required for service at each location. The deposit amount is based on two times the monthly average history, provided that 12 months valid history exists. If valid history does not exist, the deposit amount shall be $225. Existing deposit amounts may be modified based on 12 month usage history if service is disconnected for non-payment.
The cooperative will assess a credit risk by using a credit evaluation service. If the credit evaluation identifies a member as low risk, the security deposit may be waived. A member with a medium risk profile may enroll in the Auto Pay program for a minimum of 12 months, which allows for a waived security deposit. (If the Auto Pay stops for any reason, during the initial 12 months, the Cooperative will assess a deposit at that time.) A member identified as a high credit risk will be required to make a deposit.
A credit evaluation will be completed for both names of a joint membership. If the credit evaluation identifies either name as a high risk—a deposit will be required.
Commercial/Business accounts will require a security deposit of two times the monthly, average history, provided that 12 months valid history exists. If 12 months history is not available, the deposit amount will be determined on an individual basis by Beltrami Electric management based on an assessment of credit risk involved and the size of the service.
Interest on the amount of a held deposit is paid each year and applied to your electric bill as a credit. If you keep your bill current for one full year, the deposit will be refunded and the credit will be applied to your electric bill. If you discontinue service, the deposit (and the $50 membership fee) will be applied to your final bill. Any credit balance remaining will be refunded to you in the form of a check.
If you are a Minnesota resident, you may be eligible for a sales tax exemption on your electric bill from November through April each year if electricity is the primary source of heat in your home.
If more the one type of heat is used, electricity is not taxable if electric is the primary source of heat. Primary source of residential heat is the source that supplied more heat than any other source for the largest period of time during the heating season. Members with an off-peak meter are only exempted sales tax on the electricity that is recorded on the off-peak meter.
Some buildings have both residential quarters and commercial operations. If there is one meter for the entire building, the exemption applies if more than 50 percent of the square footage of the building is residential.
Complete and submit the following form only if you are eligible for the exemption. If you have more than one account, an exemption form must be filed with each location.
The State of Minnesota recommends the Exemption forms should be updated and resubmitted every 3 to 4 years to be eligible for the exemption. Members who receive a tax exemption when electric heat is not their primary source of heat are in violation of the sales tax law.
Commercial Accounts - Commercial/Business accounts must use an ST3 form for tax exemption for your business. Please complete, print and submit form to:
Beltrami Electric Cooperative, PO Box 488, Bemidji, MN 56619-0488
The member is required to contact the cooperative prior to the due date if they are unable to pay their bill so they may schedule how they plan to pay the balance in full as soon as possible. The cooperative will work with the member to develop an acceptable payment plan.
Should an account become disconnected for nonpayment, the account will be charged a $50 collection fee. There is also a $150 fee to have the location reconnected. The fees are added to the balance that is presently owed. An additional security deposit may also be required. This additional deposit, together with any existing deposit, will be no higher than two months’ average bill. A delinquently disconnected account wanting reconnection after normal business hours will also pay an additional fee of $100. (Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
During the cold weather months, October 15 through April 15, the cooperative will follow the Cold Weather Rule guidelines.
Federal law and the cooperative’s bylaws require all consumers be members of the cooperative. The membership fee is $50 and must be paid prior to receiving electrical service. The membership fee will be refunded if they cease to have an active service with the cooperative.
When moving to a location, please contact the cooperative to confirm the date the transfer took place, to update your contact information and to provide the meter readings. This creates an effective date from which you will be responsible to pay for the electric usage until the cooperative is notified of an effective date to take the service out of your name.
The amount of a monthly billing statement is determined by a meter that measures the electric usage. The readings from the meter are recorded at the office through an automated reading device inside the meter. The monthly bill is due each month by its due date as indicated on the statement. If the bill is not paid by the due date, a late charge will be added to the amount owed. This also includes budget-billed amounts due that aren’t paid by the due date—regardless if there is a credit on the members account. Members with an account more than 30 days past due will receive a late notice and may be subject to disconnection.
Operation Round UP® is unique to electric cooperatives and is just what it's name implies. Each month, members participating in ORU allow their monthly billing statement to be rounded up to the next whole dollar amount. For example, a member's monthly bill of $62.73 would be automatically rounded up to $63.00, with the additional 27 cents going to the Operation Round Up fund.
Through participation in Operation Round Up, the AVERAGE YEARLY CONTRIBUTION is six dollars ($6). The MAXIMUM ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION per member is $11.88. Contributions are tax deductible, and the annual amount donated is shown on the billing statement you receive in January.
Beltrami Electric Cooperative members have the option of receiving bill notifications electronically. Electronic notifications make a positive impact on the environment by minimizing the use of paper, printing and postage. Log in to your account to sign up.
Beltrami Electric Cooperative offers several ways to pay your bill, giving you the opportunity to choose the one that works best for you. Click the button below to view the many payments options available.
Payments must be received at our office by the due date in order to avoid a penalty. If you choose to pay by traditional mail, please allow additional mail time for the payment to arrive by the due date.
As a not-for-profit cooperative, our rates are designed simply to cover the costs of wholesale power, transmission and distribution related costs plus provide adequate margin.
The whole premise of electric rates in a cooperative is one of fairness. Beltrami Electric Cooperative (BEC) uses consulting engineering firms to assist in studying the impact that each member group has on incurring the cost components. We then develop a method to send the correct rate signals in order to recover the expenses incurred in serving each customer group.
In an electric cooperative, the ultimate authority on all issues belongs to the member elected board of directors. The staff and consulting engineers must present the studies and proposed rate to the member’s representatives for approval, including service rates.
If a member requests the reconnect of an existing service that does not have power but has a meter base installed—a $150.00 reconnect fee will be required. (Plus other applicable charges.)
If a member requests the reconnect the same service they had disconnected within the past 12 months—a $150.00 reconnect fee plus the monthly access charges from the disconnect date to the reconnect date will be required. (Plus other applicable charges.)