You asked, we listened. Southern Pioneer Electric is no longer charging convenience fees on transactions when paying your utility bill.

“You asked and we listened,” said Anita Wendt, vice president of energy services. “Consumers now have the freedom to avoid convenience fees when making payments toward their accounts whether with credit/debit cards, e-check, through MoneyGram, by app or online.”

Previously, consumers paid an additional $3.95 convenience fee when making payments involving e-Check or credit/debit cards. This was used to offset the transaction fees charged for e-Checks or by credit/debit card providers each time a consumer used these options to make a payment.

“Many large stores and retail businesses embed the service charge for these payment transactions into the price of their goods, products and services they provide,” said Wendt. “However, utilities historically could not embed and recover the cost in an effective manner. But, with the declining transaction fees, we saw other utilities managing these costs and we looked to see how we could implement this at Southern Pioneer Electric.”

When the convenience fee was initially implemented, Southern Pioneer could not rely on electric revenue to help offset the cost of consumers using these payment methods. However, consumer feedback and discounts provided by these credit card companies prompted Southern Pioneer to review this procedure and ultimately remove the fees.

Wendt said, “We hope this will encourage members to try other payment options they may not have used in the past. Change comes from our consumers. We are more than a utility; we are a service company.”

Consumers now truly have the freedom of choice when it comes to paying their utility bill, with numerous ways to pay their utility bill at their fingertips. From online payments and by app, to phone and MoneyGram, the power of choice is now convenience fee free.

For more information on ways to pay your utility bill, please click here.