As Verendrye Electric fights the coronavirus with our communities, we want to assure you we are here to help and will continue to provide you with reliable electricity. We have always had an emergency plan that has served us well in a variety of circumstances, from ice storms to tornadoes to flash floods. Early in this crisis, our staff updated that plan with a special emphasis on ensuring we can continue to provide the reliable electric service you have come to expect from your electric cooperative.
We know electricity is one of the most important services you need to maintain some sense of normalcy as we hunker down in our homes. With that in mind, keeping the power flowing is Job No. 1 for everyone involved in maintaining the electric cooperative system.
That starts with our generation and transmission cooperatives, Basin Electric and Central Power, which have taken extreme measures to ensure its workforce is healthy and its power plants are functioning as needed.
What we’re doing
We thought you might want to know some of the steps we have taken in order to keep your power flowing. We’ve closed our lobbies to prevent the spread of germs. Instead, we are encouraging members to use our drop box, online and phone payment options and the “good old” U.S. Postal Service to pay bills. This is a great time to check out our SmartHub application for your computer, phone or electronic device. If you need help signing up, please give us a call. We are still open for business, but we request members call ahead if they need equipment or an on-site visit.
Some of our employees are working from home and we have the capability to increase that number if needed. If you call, the phones will be answered as always. We’ve arranged work schedules and segregated lineworkers so they can practice social distancing even when on the job. We are fortunate to have offices in Minot and Velva and outposts at the Minot Air Force Base and Harvey. Having multiple service locations helps us isolate crews to help with social distancing.
Our management team and board can modify the plan quickly if needed. We are in constant contact with the other electric cooperatives in North Dakota and we share information with the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC). In addition, we are tracking what cooperatives are doing nationally and we are keeping up with recommendations made by local, state and national government officials.
So far, it is working well and everyone has adapted to the new norm. That’s because we’re a co-operative. Our principles include working together and having concern for others. Our focus here is on doing our part to keep your life as normal as possible through this situation and beyond. The cooperative way of doing business has brought us this far, and the cooperative way will help us through this crisis.
Please follow our Facebook page and our website for periodic updates. You can always call us too.
Verendrye Electric will be closing our offices to walk-in visitors to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We will continue to be fully staffed with inside and outside employees.
We encourage all members to use the SmartHub application to pay their bills. However, payments can still be dropped off in our drop boxes at both our Minot and Velva offices. For information on all of the ways to pay your bill, call us or go to the billing tab on our website.
If you need to pick up equipment or make deliveries, please call and someone will meet you at the door. If you need to speak to or meet someone in person, please call us at 852-0406 ahead of time to make an appointment.
We are taking these steps to keep our members and employees healthy so we can continue to keep the lights on in these unprecedented times. Follow us on Facebook and on our website for the latest information and when we plan to reopen.