Neighbors helping neighbors
The Board of Aldermen has voted unanimously in support of a new program aimed at helping customers in financial crisis or who are at risk of not being able to pay their utility bills.
The New Bern CONNECTS Round Up program is a voluntary assistance program funded by donations from New Bern utility customers and other individuals or organizations that want to help their neighbors in need. The City is partnering with Religious Community Services (RCS), a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to families and people in crisis, to administer the program. Only residential New Bern customers who meet program requirements will receive assistance with their utility bills.
Here’s how the program works: customers sign up voluntarily to have their utility bills “rounded up” to the next dollar with the remaining funds going into the Round Up program. For example, if your utility bill is $92.75, the bill would be automatically rounded up to $93 and the extra 25¢ would be deposited in the New Bern CONNECTS Round Up fund. The average contribution per customer is approximately 50¢ per month, or $6 annually.
Customers can also opt to add $1, $5 or more to their monthly utility bill. When you enroll in Round Up, designate the amount to automatically be added to your monthly bill. The monthly contributions will remain in effect until the customer notifies the Utility Business Office to discontinue.
If you are not a City of New Bern utility customer, you can still contribute to the New Bern CONNECTS Round Up program. One-time donations are welcome and residents, businesses and other organizations are encouraged to participate.
New Bern CONNECTS features a series of programs designed to benefit city utility customers. Load Management Rewards was approved in November (see below), a program that offers customers an opportunity to save money by participating in load management, along with a reduced deposit for those who qualify. Load Management Rewards and Round Up both begin January 1, 2015.
Want to sign up for Round Up? Click here for our brochure and application. Customers who want to participate in either program may also call the Utility Business Office at (252)639-2750.
Lower your energy costs, lower your deposit & save $ throughout the year!
The City of New Bern has launched New Bern CONNECTS, a series of programs designed to benefit city utility customers. One of those programs is Load Management Rewards, a way residents can save money on their utility bills by participating in city's load management program. Participants may also qualify for reduced deposits.
Load management helps control utility rates by limiting peak demand for electricity. Load control devices on customers’ appliances cycle off for 7 ½ minutes each half hour during peak demand. During this short power interruption, water heaters are able to keep water hot. Compressors inside your heat pump (in cooling mode) and central air conditioners are also cycled off for 7 ½ minutes each half hour during load management. However, internal fans remain on allowing cooled air to circulate. Load management is not used every day, but is used on hot summer afternoons and on cold winter mornings. Most customers notice minimal changes in the heating and cooling of their homes while participating in load management.
City utility customers who participate in the New Bern CONNECTS Load Management Rewards program can receive up to $110 or more per year in energy credits. Monthly credits are applied to homes equipped with certain appliances such as water heaters, heat pumps, and heat strips. Credits depend on the qualifying appliances and the time of year.
If you'd like to participate in New Bern CONNECTS Load Management Rewards, fill out this short application form and then contact us at UtilCustomerService@NewBern-NC.org or call us at (252)639-2750. You can also sign up by visiting the Utility Business Office located at 606 Ft. Totten Drive. We're open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thank you to our partners at www.NewBernNow.com for helping us share this important information!