What is the Basic Service Fee?
The basic service fee is a monthly charge designed to cover, in part, the fixed cost of making electric service available to our members. The monthly basic service fee is determined by your cooperative’s investment in system facilities, as well as some operations and maintenance costs. Thus, even if a member uses no electricity, North Star Electric still incurs costs related to maintaining facilities (lines, service drops, transformers, meters, right-of-way, etc.) necessary to supply service.
We can only read your meter(s) if there is power to it, so if you shut off a breaker, you shut off our access. We would appreciate knowing if you have done this so we can properly estimate your usage.
When an “S” appears at the end of the meter number, the usage on that meter is subtracted from the main meter to determine the non-off-peak usage.
Each monthly bill reflects the usage from the previous calendar month, usually from the first day of the month to the last day of the month. The kilowatt hours used are multiplied by the applicable rate to calculate the amount billed. An 18-month history of your usage per meter will be listed in the upper right hand corner of your bill, so you can compare usage month to month.
Explaination of Terms
- kWh is the basic measure of electric energy use. For example, one kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy is required to operate a 100 watt bulb for 10 hours or a 1500 watt space heater for 40 minutes.
- Operation Round Up® is a voluntary program for members to round up their bill to the next whole dollar. The donated money is placed in a trust fund and distributed to local charitable organizations by a board representing North Star’s area.
- Budget Billing averages your amount due so you pay the same amount every month except June.
- Off Peak Load Control Info helps you determine if your heat is being controlled by checking our website at http://northstar.lm.minnkota.com/status/.
What are my bill paying options?
ACH (automated clearing house)—Direct Payment from Bank Account
Consider signing up for automatic payment from your checking or savings account! You will continue to receive your monthly statement showing how much is due each month, or you can switch entirely to our paperless email option. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting your payment to us in time, before a late fee is added. We send the request for funds to your bank on the due date each month. If you are signed up for ACH bankdraft, this will be indicated in the payment remittance area at the bottom of your bill. This service is FREE and you can save about $6 per year on postage! Click here for the form to sign up!
SmartHub® is available online or through a mobile app. It gives you access to account information and sends you complimentary emails when your bill has been calculated, which will be days before it shows up in the mail. You can still receive a paper copy, or choose the green method–paperless. To learn more about what you can do with SmartHub, visit our Learn More About SmartHub page.
You may deliver your payment in person to either our Baudette or Littlefork office. You may also pay your electric bill to any teller at the Warroad Security State Bank, TruStar Federal Credit Union in Big Falls or Littlefork, Bremer Bank in International Falls, or Border State Bank or RiverWood Bank in Baudette.
Send payments to North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc. at PO Box 719, Baudette, MN 56623.
Payment drop boxes are located at both our Baudette and Littlefork offices.
Payment by Phone
If you want to make a one-time payment from your credit card, or checking or savings account, you can call our toll-free automated Secure Pay number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call 855-874-5354.
When is my payment due?
You should receive your monthly billing after the 7th of each month. The bill due date is the 20th of the month and is shown in the payment remittance area at the bottom of your bill. You will have until the 20th of the month to pay without penalty. Payments must be postmarked by the due date to avoid late fees or charges. If your payment is late, a 1.5% late fee is automatically added to your account. If you still carry all or a portion of this amount on your bill on the following month, another 1.5% late payment fee will be added in addition to a $5.00 late notice fee. The collection trip fee is $75.00, and the reconnect fee is $75.00 ($150.00 if after hours). If you should experience payment difficulties, please contact us for help at 888-258-2008. We will do our best to work with you.
Do you offer Budget Billing?
Are the seasonal swings in your electric bill hard on your budget? If you would like to pay a set amount each month, please contact us to sign up for budget billing. The bills sent out from July through May are all at a flat amount, and the June bill reconciles the estimated bill amounts with the actual. This works very well with ACH, the automatic payment of your electric bill from your bank account. If you would like information, please contact Brittany at email@example.com, or at 218-634-2202 or toll free at 888-634-2202.
Am I eligible for a Heat Sales Tax Exemption?
An electric heat sales tax exemption is available to any Minnesotan whose primary heating source is electric. Please call 218-634-2202 or 888-634-2202 for more information.
What should I do if I think I have an outage?
If you are without power, please check your fuses or circut breakers inside and on the pole before calling. If possible, check to see if your neighbors have power. After hours outage reporting should be directed to 888-668-8243.