New Phone SCAM

Phone SCAM Image

Nebraska City Utilities would like to notify our customers and the general public of yet another new phone scam that multiple customers have brought to our attention.

The scam involves someone contacting you by phone posing as your utility company (We know from some customers they have faked their caller ID), claiming you have missed a payment and owe money that must be paid within a short amount of time (we have been told they have been saying you have 30 minutes to make a payment).

Our recommendation should you receive a call like this, no matter what the person sounds like or what the caller ID information says, that you hang up the phone and call us back (preferably during the business office’s hours of 8-4PM) and inquire directly with us.

When you do, please pass on as much information about the SCAM call as soon as you can so we can work to identify and eliminate the SCAM and its associated threat(s).

If you have any questions please call our main number 24/7 at 402-873-3353, reach us by email at service@nebraskacityutilities.com, or reply using the “REPORT AN OUTAGE/PROBLEM” option on the located on our website’s main/home page in the right most column.

IMPROPER USE OF WET WIPES AND OTHER MATERIALS ARE RAISING SEWER COSTS FOR THE CITY

NC Waste Water Treatment Plant, Primary Raw Lift Station Pump plugged and damaged by flushable/non-flushable wet wipes and other cloth like materials that should NOT be in the sanitary sewer system

SEWER COSTS WILL MOST LIKELY BE INCREASING DUE TO WET WIPE/OTHER MATERIAL INFLICTING DAMAGE

Since the beginning of the pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020 we have been seeing wide use of wet wipes being disposed of via flushing them into the sewer system. THESE ARE NOT TOLIET PAPER AND WE HAVE REPEATEDLY NOTIFIED THE PUBLIC of the damage these wipes and similar materials cause to the city’s sanitary sewer system.

It takes very little effort to properly dispose of these as solid waste in the city refuse pickup similarly to disposable baby diapers. Doing so saves us all, as a community in maintenance costs. Costs that will eventually lead to fee increases for everyone we serve.

WET WIPES ARE NOT SAFE FOR THE SEWER SYSTEM EVEN IF THEY SAY THEY ARE FLUSHABLE!!!

IT DOES NOT MATTER IF THE WET WIPES SAY FLUSHABLE OR NOT!!! Both types cause extreme issues with the sewer system that have a high price tag including costs of employee overtime hours, mitigation, and repair/replacement of the damaged equipment.

Damage with a replacement cost of $25,000 – $35,000.00 per raw lift pump per incident

The Nebraska City Waste Water Treatment Plant has a primary lift (pumping) station with 2 pumps that handle all waste water collected in the city. At least one of these pumps must be running at all times to raise the waste water from the incoming sewers to the level where it can be processed by the facility.

In the picture above the damage is very evident inside of one of these two very important pumps. When you summarize the costs of the damage shown in the picture you get:

1.) A mechanical shaft seals needs to be replaced at $2,500 just for the seal mechanism itself, plus the cost for a dedicated installation of the seal mechanism by the manufacturer of the pump.

2.) Over 40 employee hours for two operators to pull the pump, clean the pump, ship the pump for repair, and then receive and reinstall the pump which costs nearly as much as a new shaft seal mechanism.

3.) The cost of repairing/replacing the damaged pumps

4.) Finally, add on any penalties levied by Federal and State regulators (if there is a raw waste water discharge) and the cost can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars per incident. We at Nebraska City Utilities strive to be responsible to our environment and do all we can to perform our duties and protect the world we live in, however, when equipment fails we do not have a choice in the matter.

Damage to the primary clarifiers with a cost up to $25,000 dollars per incident

Primary Clarifier fouled up by fiber materials and drain lines being plugged

The rags and wet wipes clog up the primary clarifiers, plugging lines and damaging the scrapers/rakes that help remove the solids from the waste water.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…

DISPOSE OF YOUR WET WIPES AND OTHER FIBER MATERIALS THAT DO NOT BELONG IN THE SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM AS SOLID WASTE!!! This small step performed by every member of the community helps us perform our mission to responsibly provide the best service for the lowest possible cost to you, our community.

WE THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO HELPING OUT WITH THIS ONGOING ISSUE!!!

Notice to Customers Using Online Services

There has recently been some confusion about how to properly use our online services to conduct business with Nebraska City Utilities. Our billing (Accounting) system and the online bill pay systems are separate systems.

To check your balance you should click the “Customer Login” Link circled in red in the graphic/picture above. You will need to create a user account to access this feature.

To make a payment you should use the “Pay My Bill Online” Link circled in orange in the graphic/picture above. You just need to enter basic information to access the correct account and it will show limited information to verify you have the correct account. The balance due is what should be paid for the current billing period.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ALL CUSTOMERS TO KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD NOT USE THE “PAY MY BILL ONLINE” LINK TO CHECK YOUR BALANCE. IT ONLY SHOWS WHAT IS DUE BY THE DUE DATE. IF YOU PAY IN FULL BEFORE THE DUE DATE IT WILL NOT CHANGE TO $0.00 UNTIL AFTER THE DUE DATE PASSES! FOR CUSTOMERS THAT DO NOT PAY IN FULL A NEW BALANCE WILL SHOW AFTER THE BILL DUE DATE HAS PASSED.

So to check your balance (especially if you are unsure if you paid your current bill ) use the “Customer Login” link and if you haven’t already done it go through the account setup. This is to prevent you making double payments on your account.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact us at 402-873-3353 or via the contact us form on this website.

Weather Repair Outages

We are aware of much of the damage to the Nebraska City Utilities’ electrical system caused by the record breaking storm activity that happened yesterday afternoon.

We performed many temporary repairs to ensure that we could get power to as many customers as possible yesterday evening.

Currently, we are in the process of making the needed permanent repairs. During which some of our customers will experience some limited power outages which are necessary so we can safely perform this repair work. We will do our best to notify affected customers of any outages that we plan in their area.

We appreciate and thank you for your ongoing patience as we carry out these repairs.

Please call if you have any questions, comments, or concerns at 402-873-3353 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). You may also reach us through our website at: https://www.nebraskacityutilities.com and service@ncunebcity.com

Customer-Owned Generation

The Nebraska Legislature has found that it is in the public interest to:

  • Encourage customer-owned renewable energy resources;
  • Stimulate the economic growth of this state;
  • Encourage diversification of the energy resources used in this state; and
  • Maintain low-cost, reliable electric service.

Pursuant to those findings and Nebraska Revised Statute §§70-2001 to 70-2005, the Nebraska City Utilities have enacted this policy regarding Cogeneration and Small Power Production.

You can see the detailed guidelines regarding cogeneration and small power production by clicking HERE.

To review and download an application for review of interconnection and parallel operation of a customer-generator facility click HERE.

2022 Net Metering Annual Report

Energy Assistance Agencies

If you are needing assistance with paying your utility bill, you may contact the following Energy Assistance Agencies. They may be able to help you.

Dept. Health & Human Services – Contact person Liheap 1-800-383-4278

Otoe County General Assistance & Veterans Svc. 402-873-9540

Southeast Nebraska Comm. Action – SENCA 402-862-2411

Catholic Social Service in Auburn 402-274-9362

For additional information on assistance click on the link below:

https://www.nebraskacityutilities.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Eviction-Prevention-Emergency-Rental-Assistance-and-FHA-Mortgage-Relief.pdf

Disconnect Procedural Policy

Pursuant to Chapter 70 Article 16 of Nebraska Revised Statutes

1. All bills are due and payable the day they are mailed from our business office.

2. Payment at net is allowed if paid by the due date shown on the bill. After that date the bill is delinquent and payable at the gross amount.

3. A reminder notice will be given by mail after the due date.

4. If the past due amount is not paid within six (6) days of the date of the reminder notice a disconnect notice will be sent by first class mail. Subscriber will be given seven (7) business days to pay the bill or arrange for an installment payment plan. The notice will contain the following information:

a. The reason for proposed disconnection.

b. A statement of intention to disconnect unless payment has been made by date shown on the disconnect notice.

5. In case of inquiry or complaint in regards to disconnect notice, the following applies:

a. Contact the Office Manager, Assistant Office Manager or other designated staff at 100 Central Avenue, Nebraska City, Nebraska, phone number (402) 873-3353 during normal business hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday excluding holidays. After hours arrangements may be left as a voice message provided a phone number is also included for utility staff to return the call.

b. A subscriber shall have the right to request a conference, regarding a dispute over the disconnection, prior to the disconnect date.

c. No disconnect shall be made prior to the requested conference being held.

d. Upon such written request for a conference being given to the designated utility employee, he/she shall set the time and date within fourteen (14) days of the date of the request. The utility shall notify the subscriber in writing of the time and date. This conference shall be informal and not governed by the Nebraska Rules of Evidence. Failure by the subscriber to attend such conference shall relieve the utility of any further action prior to the disconnection of service. The subscriber may, prior to the scheduled conference, give good and sufficient reason that they will be unable to attend the conference at the appointed time and date. The utility shall make a reasonable effort to reschedule the conference.

e. Based solely on the evidence presented, the employee of this utility shall make and render such decision as he/she shall deem fit. Disconnection of the service shall be the last resort after all other remedies are exhausted.

f. Any decision made as a result of the conference may be appealed to the Office Manager of the Nebraska City Utilities. The procedure of such appeal is on file in this office and upon request will be given to the subscriber.

g. At such appeal hearing you may be represented by legal counsel or other spokesperson. Files and records pertaining to this dispute may be examined and copied at least three (3) or more days before the scheduled hearing. Witnesses may present evidence. Other witnesses may be cross-examined and confronted. A record of the proceedings may be made at the subscriber’s expense.

h. When an appeal has been filed, this office shall set and notify the subscriber of the time and place. This appeal shall follow the set procedures.

i. The disconnect may be postponed by filing with our office, within five (5) days after receipt of the disconnect notice, a duly licensed physician’s, physician’s assistant’s or an advanced practice registered nurse’s certificate certifying someone in the household has an existing illness or handicap that would suffer an immediate and serious health hazard if the disconnect is made. A thirty (30) day postponement will be granted, one time only, from the date of filing that certificate.

j. THERE WILL BE A SERVICE CHARGE OF $35.00 WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF NEBRASKA CITY, NEBRASKA, AND $45.00 OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS OF NEBRASKA CITY, NEBRASKA, PLUS PAYMENT IN FULL OR OTHER ARRANGEMENTS MADE AFTER ANY DISCONNECT OR SERVICE TRIP MADE BECAUSE OF A DELINQUENT BILL. AFTER NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS, THE SERVICE CHARGE WILL BE $45.00 WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF NEBRASKA CITY, NEBRASKA, AND $65.00 OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS OF NEBRASKA CITY, NEBRASKA. FULL PAYMENT MUST BE MADE BY CASH OR MONEY ORDER BEFORE SERVICE WILL BE RECONNECTED AFTER NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.

k. Interruptions or disconnections made necessary for repairs, maintenance, health and safety reasons do not apply to this act.

6. Any subscriber who has previously been identified as a welfare recipient to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services shall receive such disconnect notice by Certified Mail and notice of such proposed termination shall be given to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

a. Domestic subscribers who are welfare recipients or other subscribers may qualify for assistance in payment of their utility bill and should contact the Department of Health and Human Services in that regard.

7. Domestic subscribers may arrange with the utility for an installment payment plan.

a. If an installment payment plan has been agreed upon, failure to comply with this payment plan may result in immediate disconnection of service.

8. DEPOSITS WILL BE REQUIRED IF SERVICE IS DISCONNECTED OR IF A SERVICE TRIP IS MADE BECAUSE OF A DELINQUENT BILLING WITH NEBRASKA CITY UTILITES. THE AMOUNT OF THIS DEPOSIT WILL BE TWO TIMES THE HIGHEST MONTHLY BILLING AMOUNT IN THE CUSTOMER’S PRIOR TWELVE (12) MONTHS BILLING HISTORY.

Planting Trees Makes A Difference And Impacts Us All

For the past several years we have partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to offer Energy Saving Trees to our customers. Since 2013 customers have planted 598 trees. The projected impact of planting these trees benefits us all.

Thank you to all the customers who have participated in this program. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation thru the years to come.

If you missed getting your free trees thru this years spring program, you can still participate in our tree rebate program. Planting the right tree in the right place can save you energy and you can be reimbursed half the cost of one“Energy Saving Tree”. (up to $100)