How does Heartland decide when to declare a Peak Day?

Here are a few questions we ask ourselves when deciding whether to declare a Peak Day for the following day:

  • Is tomorrow likely to be the hottest day of the month? Higher temperatures mean air conditioners work harder and longer, meaning more strain on the system.
  • Are we expected to have several days of high temperatures in a row? If so, it's likely that the Peak Day will occur after a few days of high temperatures rather than right away.
  • What does the electrical load on the system look like? Is it reasonable to expect that it might reach the highest point of the month tomorrow?
  • Has KEPCo (our power supplier) declared a Peak Day? Just because KEPCo declares a Peak Day doesn't mean we will—sometimes our interpretation of the data is a little different—but their forecast does inform our decision-making process.

When examining weather and load data, we have to consider areas beyond just Heartland's system, because KEPCo's Peak Days are based on usage throughout all of the areas served by KEPCo including parts of western Kansas.

Why doesn’t the Peak Charge on my bill match up with what I see in SmartHub?

If your monthly peak hour occurred from 4 to 5 p.m., your bill will list 5 p.m. as the basis for your Peak Charge. This reflects the way our behind-the-scenes metering system measures usage.

SmartHub looks at the same data a little differently. If you want to see the same time period in SmartHub, you would need to look at the 15-minute interval data from 4:00, 4:15, 4:30 and 4:45. Add up those kW readings and you should have something very close to what is shown on your bill, although there will be small differences due to rounding as SmartHub uses two decimal places while our metering system uses three.

How much does it cost to start new service?

The process of establishing electrical service at a new location starts with filling out an Application for Service form and paying a $250 engineering deposit that will be applied to your project if you decide to move forward. (See our Connect New Service page for more details.) The engineering deposit ensures we can pay our stakers for their time visiting your location and planning the construction.

The total cost of construction depends greatly on many factors, including:

  1. How Far You Are: If your property is far from where the electricity is already set up, it might cost more. This is because we might need to put in more poles, wires and other equipment to reach you.
  2. The Land: If your land is tricky to work with (for instance, rocky or hilly), it could make things more complicated and expensive to set up the service.
  3. Service Requirements: Sometimes, the cooperative might need to upgrade infrastructure like transformers or even the number of phases on the lines running to your location to ensure we can provide the power you need.
  4. Getting Access: If we need to get permission to set up things on someone else's land to be able to reach you, there might be costs involved with obtaining easements.
  5. Local Rules: The area you're in might have special rules or fees that can affect the cost of setting up the new service.

Please call us at (800) 835-9586 if you have additional questions.

How do I split capital credits in the event of a divorce or break-up?

Please call us at (800) 835-9586 and we will guide you through the process. Typically, the jointly held account will be closed, and any capital credits accrued will be allocated proportionally. The member who continues to live at the service address will start a new account that accrues new capital credits. The capital credits will be paid out over time in keeping with our normal processes. Learn more on our Capital Credits page.

Why do I have to pay an electrician to fix a line that’s down between the meter pole and my building?

For liability and insurance reasons, we do not work on members' equipment. Per Heartland's Rules and Regulations (PDF), Heartland's obligation to supply electric service is completed by supplying electric service at the member's point of delivery (i.e., the meter), and the cooperative "will not be liable for any loss, damage, or injury whatsoever caused by leakage, escape, or loss of electric energy after it has passed the point of delivery, nor for defects in the Member's wiring, appliances, or equipment" (pages 22-23, section 7.C).

Why can’t I give my credit card information to Heartland staff over the phone?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is a set of rules and guidelines that businesses (including Heartland) that handle credit card information are required to follow as part of their agreements with card processing companies. Think of it as a security checklist to make sure that credit card data is kept safe and protected from hackers and thieves. We follow these rules so that the cooperative and our members are protected from things like hacking and stealing of your information.

PCI compliance requires Heartland to use safe ways to handle your credit card info. The fewer people who have access to your info, the better. Sharing credit card information from person to person over the phone just isn't as safe as other methods. We strongly recommend using SmartHub on the web or app, but other good alternatives include using our automated payment phone line or paying in person. We have a wealth of resources to help you get started on our SmartHub Member Portal Guide, and you are always welcome to call us at (800) 835-9586 for assistance.

How do I find out how much has been allocated to me in capital credits?

Send a message using the Contact Us form or give us a call at (800) 835-9586 and one of our member service representatives will be glad to look up your total capital credit allocation. Each March, members with active accounts will receive information about their annual allocation on their regular billing statements. Inactive members will receive a separate mailing at the same time.

What should I do if I see a downed power line?

Here are some steps to take if you come across a downed power line:

  • Stay away: Keep yourself and others at least 30 feet away from the downed line. Power lines can be energized and dangerous, even if they are not sparking or visibly smoking.
  • Call for help: Call 911 or your local emergency services immediately to report the downed line. Also, contact Heartland at (800) 835-9586 to report the location of the downed line. Our phones are staffed 24/7.
  • Warn others: If it is safe to do so, warn others to stay away from the area. If the line is blocking a roadway, warn drivers to avoid the area.
  • Stay in your vehicle: If you come across a downed power line while driving, stay in your vehicle. Do not attempt to drive over or around it.
  • Do not touch anything: Downed power lines can energize anything they come in contact with, including fences, trees, and even the ground. Do not touch anything that may be in contact with the downed line.
  • Be prepared for power outages: Downed power lines can cause power outages in the area. Be prepared for possible power outages by having emergency supplies, such as flashlights and extra batteries, on hand.

It's important to remember that power lines can be dangerous and you should never touch or go near them. If you come across a downed power line, always stay away and call for help immediately.