Our Response to COVID-19
COVID-19 UPDATE: JULY 1, 2020
WCEC Requires Face Covering for Visitors
As required by the City Of El Campo Emergency Order Requiring the Use of Facial Protection approved by the El Campo City Council on June 29, 2020 to be effective 12:01 AM July 2, 2020, Wharton County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (WCEC) adopts the following policy:
All employees and visitors 3 years of age or older will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in an area, or performing an activity, inside WCEC facilities that will involve close contact or proximity to other employees or the public.
This policy will be in effect for the duration of the Emergency Order Requiring the Use of Facial Protection.
As a precaution, we encourage our members to limit visits to our office. Please call ahead to 979-543-6271 to determine if a face-to-face visit is necessary. Alternative payment options are available through our automated phone system, online or through our SmartHub app as well as by drive-through at local banks and our drop box here at the office. For more information, visit https://mywcec.coop/payments.
COVID-19 UPDATE: MAY 6, 2020
WCEC To Hold "Drive Thru" Annual Meeting
Due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions, Wharton County Electric Cooperative will hold a non-traditional, drive thru Annual Meeting of Members on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at the El Campo Civic Center from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
The WCEC Annual Meeting generally draws well over 800 people to the El Campo Civic Center each year. At this time, COVID-19 guidelines would not allow a gathering of this size. With no set timeline on a full lifting of precautions available, the WCEC Board of Directors determined that a drive thru method would be the best and safest option.
"This was not an easy decision for the board to make,” WCEC GM/CEO Gary Raybon says. “Many ideas were discussed at length. Ultimately, it came down to keeping our members safe and healthy while at the same time adhering to our bylaws and keeping the board election timeline intact. The drive thru method met all the criteria.”
The drive thru meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the El Campo Civic Center parking lot. Members will be directed to stations throughout the parking lot to conduct meeting business. They will be registered, receive a copy of the Annual Report and ballots, pick up an attendance gift, and turn in completed ballots. Two ballots will be used this year - the Director Election Ballot to vote for board representation and an Approval Ballot to approve business reports from the previous year.
A meal will not be served, but all members casting a ballot will receive a $20 bill credit on their account and will be entered in the prize drawing to be held at a later date. The prize drawing will still include the same variety of fabulous prizes with a grand prize of a $300 electricity credit.
As proxy voting is not allowed in WCEC bylaws, members MUST be present in the vehicle to vote. Voting will end at 7:00 p.m. sharp – no access to the parking lot will be allowed after 7:00 p.m.
"On behalf of the board, we want to thank our members for their patronage and their understanding of the method of this year’s WCEC Annual Meeting,” President Leroy Kaspar says. “Once this passes, and it will, we look forward to seeing you in person at next year’s annual meeting.”
As a cooperative, WCEC is an independent, private, and not-for-profit organization owned by the members it serves. Members are represented through a democratically elected board of directors which are voted on at the Annual Meeting of Members each year.
More information can be found at MyWCEC.coop.
COVID-19 UPDATE: MARCH 30, 2020
Wirehand Wireless Updates Coming
Due to an increase in residential Internet usage during the daytime hours, Wirehand Wireless technicians will be performing a series of updates to our system over the new few days. During the updates, our users may experience intermittent loss of Internet or spotty service. The first upgrade will be performed from 2-6 a.m. tomorrow, March 31.
We know, now more than ever, that our users depend on reliable Internet in their homes. Wirehand Wireless is committed to doing all we can to keep everyone connected during these uncertain times. For more information, please contact our Internet department at 979-543-6271.
COVID-19 UPDATE - MARCH 23, 2020
WCEC Suspends Internet Service Installations
In a continuing effort to protect our members and employees, effective today, WCEC has suspended all Internet installations and repairs that require an in-home visit by a technician. The Spring Promotion offering free installation on Wirehand Wireless through the end of March will also be suspended.
All site surveys and scheduled installations have been canceled at this time. Those who were added to the site survey or installation lists from March 1 – 20 will qualify for the promotion savings once we resume normal operations.
COVID-19 UPDATE - MARCH 19, 2020
WCEC Working to Protect Our Members & Employees
Further action has been taken by WCEC management to provide more measures of social distancing for our members and employees.
In addition to asking our members to limit face-to-face visits to our office, our staff will be restricting visitor access to all areas of our building except for the front lobby. Events scheduled for the Edison Room will be canceled or rescheduled later by the event coordinators. All in-home appointments with our members have also been canceled.
Load Management Device
Testing Load Management Device Installations
Repairs and installations for our Internet Services will continue as needed on a case-by-case basis as will water heater repairs and installations. These precautions are being put in place as we focus on maintaining a healthy workforce. It is imperative that we keep key personnel—such as line workers and member service representatives— available so that we can continue to provide the excellent service you expect from us.
COVID-19 UPDATE - MARCH 18, 2020
WCEC Urges Members to Practice Social Distancing
To protect the health of our members and employees, WCEC is encouraging our members to practice social distancing and limit face-to-face visits to our office.
"While we will not be closing the office at this time, we do want to encourage our members to only visit if it is absolutely necessary," says GM/CEO Gary Raybon. "There are many options to handle WCEC transactions without visiting our office."
Members who need to drop off a payment can do so using the dropbox located in the drive-through at the office. Payments are also accepted at the drive-through of these El Campo banks:
First Financial Bank
First State Bank
Payments can also be made online through the SmartHub web portal or mobile app.
For payments over the phone, please call 1-877-833-3326.
You will need your account number to use the automated phone system and to set up an account on SmartHub. Your account number is listed on your monthly bill or you can call us for that information at 979-543-6271 or toll-free at 1-800-460-6271.
"Do not hesitate to call ahead to ask our CSRs if an office visit is necessary to serve your needs," Raybon says. "As always, we put our members first, and, during this time of uncertainty, we want to be as proactive in protecting everyone as we can be."
COVID-19 UPDATE - MARCH 17, 2020
WCEC Monitoring COVID-19 Situation
Wharton County Electric Cooperative is monitoring the situation with COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and will provide updates to members if decisions are made to change any business processes as a result of the virus.
If you are trying to avoid going out, please keep in mind that there are options to pay your WCEC bill over the phone or website. Information on that is available here.
For the latest reputable information on the virus, please visit CDC.gov/COVID19. At this time, they are encouraging everyone to wash their hands and to be cognizant if you are in one of the higher risk groups. If you have concerns, please call or visit your local health professional.
Know that behind the scenes, we are preparing should COVID-19 have a significant impact in any of the communities we serve. We are evaluating options to work with a smaller workforce, a threatened supply chain and limited support services, while keeping key personnel available so that we can continue to provide excellent service to our members if it comes to that.
Members should also be on the lookout for suspicious emails, phone calls, or persons impersonating business employees or charitable organizations. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of these opportunities. If you get a call from anyone claiming to be with WCEC and demanding payment, hang up and call us at 1-800-460-6271 or 979-543-6271. We will verify if any payment is needed on your account.