By Indiana Reed
Special to The SUN
In its continued effort to improve service to its members, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) now has an app, allowing members to connect to their accounts from any electronic device that accepts applications.
LPEA has, over the past year, upgraded its electronic services with the SmartHub, an online program that enables members to review their electricity usage, pay bills and more from their desk top or laptop computers. The SmartHub app takes the service a step further, so members can manage all aspects of their LPEA account from their smart phones (both iPhones and Android devices) and tablets.
“We want to give our members every option we have available to pay their bills and keep current with LPEA,” said Dennis Svanes, chief financial officer. “There’s a great deal of information on the site, and if a new AMI meter has been installed at your home or business, you can securely monitor even more.”
LPEA members must first establish an online account through www.lpea.coop and create a secure password. Then getting started with the app is easy, according to Svanes — simply visit the App Store via phone and/or tablet and search for SmartHub. The program will ask the member to identify LPEA and request the user identification/password.
“One thing we’re seeing is that through SmartHub — whether it’s through the app or on a regular computer — our members can track an increase in their bills,” said Nancy Andrews, a member of LPEA’s team of energy management specialists. “When our members can actually see the days when they had increased electricity usage, they often remember, ‘oh yes, that’s when the grandkids came to visit,’ or ‘that’s when we fired up the hot tub.’”
One advantage of being able to track energy usage, according to Andrews, is that LPEA members can consciously take steps to reduce their energy consumption — or at least understand the actions that triggered an increase in usage.
“The app also has outage notifications, and our members can report outages as well,” added Svanes. “Sometimes during an outage, your only connectivity is through your cell phone or tablet. This new app keeps you connected to LPEA.”