FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Click questions to reveal the answer.

HOW DO YOU BECOME A MEMBER?

A consumer wishing to receive electrical service from VEA must first become a member. Contact the main office at (775) 727-5312 or stop by at 800 E Hwy 372 in Pahrump to get started. You will need to provide at least one form of identification along with your social security number. After completing the application form, return it and any other required documents to VEA’s main office.

 

WHAT IS THE “MAIN BREAKER” AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT MY SERVICE?

The main service disconnect (main circuit breaker) disconnects service at the meter base. It is a safety device used by your electric service provider, emergency personnel (fire department, etc) to disconnect electric service between the meter and your house. If the meter is turned sideways or there is no meter, call the main office at (775) 727-5312.

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE METER BASE AND TRENCHING?

The consumer, or their contractor/developer, is responsible for providing the appropriate meter base (wall mount, overhead pole mount or pedestal) and any and all trenching as may be required. Trenches must be inspected and approved by VEA personnel prior to any electrical conductor being placed in the trench. Sufficient trench openings are required at each end for VEA personnel to perform the appropriate installation connections.

 

WHAT IS THE “RIGHT-OF-WAY EASEMENT” AND WHY DO I NEED IT?

Wherever possible, VEA electric lines will be constructed on private land. The landowners grant right-of-way easements for the cooperative to build there. Locating lines along highways or other public right-of-way can make the costs of relocating such electric lines more costly for the members. Since VEA maintains ownership of all service conductors up to the meter panel, it is important that an easement be granted providing VEA with the appropriate access to those conductors, to include the right of ingress to and egress from the premises of the consumer. This is not a take away easement and the property owner can still utilize the land in a manner consistent with the policies of VEA.

 

WHAT IS THE DEPOSIT USED FOR?

Deposits are required until/unless the consumer meets one of the following conditions:

  1. They have established a satisfactory credit history (12 months with no late payments) with Valley Electric Association or any other electric utility in the previous 12 months or
  2. They are the surviving spouse of a VEA member who had a satisfactory credit history and they are applying for membership.
  3. Pre-paid metering

Any consumer unable to meet one of these conditions shall make and maintain a deposit equal to two times the highest monthly bill at the location where they need service or minimum of $200. New construction accounts will require a $200 deposit or credit reference letter and new commercial accounts will require a deposit of $300. Deposits will be credited after 12 months of good credit history.

 

WHERE DOES VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. GET ITS POWER?

VEA buys power from the open market, where we find the best price possible per kilowatt-hour. Also, a percentage of our power comes from hydro-dams along the Colorado river.

 

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes, we currently have three plans:

Automatic Payment Plan – This plan is an agreement between VEA and the member authorizing the co-op to automatically deduct your payment from a bank account. The member will still receive a statement from VEA explaining how much power was used and the amount the account was billed for that month.

Balanced Payment Plan – This plan is offered to residential members and allows them to pay the same amount each month. The member must have lived at their present address for the past 12 months. The member will arrange with the co-op to pay the same dollar amount each month based on previous power use. This plan can be used along with the Automatic Payment Plan, making it easy for members to pay their bills.

Pre-paid Metering Plan – Pre-Paid Metering offers the members an alternative to a normal monthly billing statement. While there is no deposit required, members must establish a pre-paid metering account with a credit of $50. Instead of receiving a paper bill each month, member energy usage is calculated and billed daily against a self-managed credit balance on their account. When the credit balance runs out, the power is disconnected. However, Pre-Paid Metering accounts will not be charged disconnect or reconnect fees. Once a credit balance is restored to a Pre-Paid Metering account, the power will be automatically turned back on within minutes.

 

ARE THERE MEETINGS TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT VEA?

Your Cooperative conducts monthly Board Meetings to discuss and act upon the business of VEA. Additionally, there are six district meetings each year in March and an Annual Meeting in April. Members can also join our Ambassador program, which is a voluntary member group that helps support and shape the future of VEA. The Ambassador program has quarterly meetings, and it is a great opportunity to learn about the cooperative and its benefits, meet other members and get involved in the day-to-day activities of your Cooperative.

 

WHAT IS THE NUMBER TO CALL WHEN I HAVE AN EMERGENCY OR IF I HAVE TO CALL AFTER BUSINESS HOURS?

You can call (775) 727-5312 anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have an after-hours call center that will assist you!

 

WHAT IS ENERGY CHOICE?

Today, VEA procures, transmits and distributes the electricity needed by all its member-consumers to their homes and businesses. An analogy would be water procurement and distribution. In a water example, VEA would procure, transmit and distribute the water the consumers need. Water in this example is the same as electricity. If Energy Choice passes, and depending on the rules and regulations that are put into place by the Nevada Legislature, consumers would choose who they procure their electricity from in the future.

VEA would still transmit and distribute the electricity to the homes and businesses of the consumers. As background to Energy Choice, a Nevada Constitutional Amendment was proposed and placed on the November 2016 ballot. Approximately 72% of the voters in Nevada approved the proposed amendment. A second vote is required in order for Energy Choice to become effective. Energy Choice will be on the ballot a second time during the November 2018 general election. If the Nevada voters vote to pass the amendment a second time, all consumers in Nevada, including VEA members, will eventually have the right to choose who they purchase their electricity from.

These are exciting times in Nevada as we move forward into the future and more information will be provided as it becomes available. For more information, click here.

 

WHAT IS VEA’S BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH GRIDLIANCE WEST, LLC, WHICH PURCHASED VEA’S 230 KV FACILITIES?

VEA members approved the sale of VEA’s 230 kV transmission system to GridLiance in 2016, and the sale to GridLiance closed on September 14, 2017.As part of the sale, several business relationship were put into place between GridLiance and VEA on the effective date of the sale. Some of the business relationships include the operation and maintenance of the transmission system, reporting and compliance requirements to certain regulatory agencies, transmission planning functions and generation interconnection requests, and coordination with the California Independent System Operator (“CASIO”) on various levels. Some of these agreement are long term agreements with terms as long as fifty (50) years.

This business relationship with GridLiance helps VEA to manage its overall costs to its member-owners, ensure that the reliability of the transmission system is maintained, and allow the opportunity for VEA to encourage and participate in the development of renewables within the State of Nevada.

VEA looks forward to a long and prosperous business relationship with GridLiance on behalf of its member-owners.

 

HOW DO I CONNECT GENERATION TO MY HOME OR BUSINESS?
VEA requires all members to submit a Net Metering Application to VEA Engineering for approval prior to constructing any generation that will be connected to VEA’s electrical system. If you are interested in connecting a backup generator, a Backup Generator Application will need to be submitted to VEA Engineering.
DOES VEA PURCHASE EXCESS POWER FROM MY HOME OR BUSINESS?

Per Policy Rule 20 Section 1.2 – Section 1.4, VEA net metering provides for customer-generators to be credited at the applicable rate including the power-cost-adjustment in kilowatt-hours (kWh) at a ratio of 1:1 for any excess production of their generating facility that exceeds the customer-generator’s on-site consumption of kWh in the billing period following the billing period of excess production. VEA shall carry over any excess kWh credits earned under the policy and apply those credits to subsequent billing periods to offset any customer-generator consumption in those billing periods until all credits are used or until the end of the calendar year. At the end of each calendar year, VEA either shall carry forward any excess kWh credits for the use against consumption in future months, or shall compensate the customer-generator for any excess kWh credits at the VEA’s average avoided cost of electricity supply over the same calendar-year period.

 

WHEN WILL FIBER BE INSTALLED IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD?

Originally, we had planned to roll out fiber on a very ambitious schedule. Our construction plans for 2018 included the build-out of large areas of Pahrump for fiber-optic service, a huge capital investment and commitment by the Cooperative.We have taken a step back to review our plans and have determined that a more responsible approach would be to scale back the fiber build-out and concentrate on areas that will generate revenue. We are, therefore, targeting fiber installations in Beatty as well as the Mountain Falls and Winery Road areas in Pahrump.

Focusing on those areas makes the most sense and continues the responsible management of Valley Communications Association, Inc., assets and resources. All three communities are among the more densely populated in our service territory. Installing fiber to homes constructed in close proximity to each other holds down construction costs, allows for more efficient installation and generates revenue.

We hope to have most of the work completed in those areas by the end of the summer. Then we will move on to other areas. For some members, fiber will arrive later than we had hoped, but it is still coming. We regret the delay, but we also believe it is the correct way to deploy our resources.

 

HOW WILL NEVADA’S ENERGY CHOICE IMPACT VEA AND VEA MEMBERS?

Question 3 would amend State policy that “electricity markets be open and competitive so that all electricity customers are afforded meaningful choice among different providers, and that economic and regulatory burdens be minimized in order to promote competition and choices in the electric energy market.”Valley Electric supports the Energy Choice Initiative, which will be on the November ballot as Question 3. Our support begins with our member-consumers, who overwhelmingly voted yes on the initiative in 2016 when the same question was put before voters. As a member-owned cooperative, we believe that the desires of our members should shape our outlook.

How the initiative would affect VEA (if it passes) will be determined by the Nevada Legislature, which would have several years to craft an open and competitive market.

 

HOW DO I REQUEST NEW ELECTRICAL SERVICE TO A NEW HOME?

That’s easy. All you need to do is come to our office at 800 Highway 372 in Pahrump. You will be asked to complete an application for service, which can be downloaded by clicking here: APPLICATION FOR SERVICE.

 



CAPITAL CREDITS

A cooperative does not earn profits in the same sense that other businesses do. At the end of each year and after all operating expenses have been paid, any remaining margins are allocated to each member based on the amount of energy they purchased. Capital credits represent each members’ share in the ownership of the cooperative.

Capital Credits are one of the many benefits of being a cooperative member. When you have Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) as your electric provider, you are part owner of the cooperative. That means every time you pay your VEA bill, you are investing in the equity of the cooperative. Those equity investments are called capital credits. “Capital,” being the type of equipment investments-such as lines, substations, upgrading systems, etc. and “Credits,” being possible future payments to our members.

For information regarding Capital Credits, please
CLICK HERE
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©2018 Valley Electric Association, Inc | All rights Reserved
VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC.
800 E. Hwy 372, Pahrump, NV 89048

24/7 PHONE: (775) 727-5312
LOCAL TOLL FREE: (800) 742-3330
MAIN FAX: (775) 727-6320