General FAQs

Why is my bill rounded up?

Cooperative members can choose to participate in our Roundup for Safety program by allowing their monthly bills to be rounded up to the next dollar. These funds are administered by an independent board of directors who award grants to non-profit groups throughout the Cooperative’s service area to help pay for safety-related projects.

Since 1998, the program has awarded more than $3.5 million to non-profit organizations supporting over 1,000 projects. Thank you to our members who participate in this program – together, we are making a difference in our community.

If you are not currently participating and would like to join the program or to learn more, visit our Roundup for Safety page.

What are capital credits?

Flathead Electric is a not-for-profit Cooperative that belongs to its member/owners who make an investment in the Cooperative each time they pay an electric bill. If revenues exceed expenses, the Cooperative has earned margins. These margins are allocated back to the members in the form of capital credits.

Capital credits are retained by Flathead Electric for a period of time to finance the electrical infrastructure needed to serve members. This keeps rates lower by offsetting the need for the Cooperative to borrow funds. One of the benefits of being a member/owner is that, as financial conditions allow, Flathead Electric’s Board of Trustees retires those capital credits in the form of checks to current and prior members.

Because capital credits may not be retired for several years, it is important that you keep the Cooperative informed of your current address.

Visit our What Are Capital Credits page to learn more.

Why does the Cooperative need my Social Security or Federal ID number?

All utilities are mandated by the federal government to require a credit check through your Social Security number. This soft utility credit report does not affect your credit score, but will help us determine if a deposit is required.

Additionally, FEC is mandated by the federal government to implement an Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in connection with the opening of a utility account. Therefore, an individual applying for service must provide the Cooperative with a valid SSN or other valid Federal ID Number to check for identity theft using an independent consumer reporting agency.

We understand the reservation you may have with providing your SSN; however, FEC must obtain this information in order to be in compliance with 16 CFR Part 681 and in order to protect the identity of the rest of our members.

Why do I have to keep paying the basic charge if I have the meter removed?

Your basic charge is there on your bill regardless of whether you have a meter in place. This fee covers taxes, depreciation, and insurance on the equipment in the field, plus the maintenance of our lines and substations that feed your service. Even though you are not using any electricity these costs are still incurred.

Why is there a sudden increase in my bill?

Several factors can cause your bill to be higher than normal:

  • Winter: Heating your home or other buildings and plugging in vehicles at night use more energy.
  • Summer: Air conditioning or are watering your lawn more often use more energy.
  • Other reasons for a sudden increase in consumption include water heater elements going bad or well pumps running all the time.

Flathead Electric offers a Budget Billing option which allows members to level their bill amounts throughout the year to help with budgeting. Under this plan, your last twelve month’s usage is averaged to determine your monthly bill amount.

Visit our Energy Solutions page for tips on how to minimize your use or qualify for rebates.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

Residential: All utilities, including Flathead Electric, are mandated by the federal government to require a credit check through your Social Security number. This credit check will determine if a minimum deposit of $150 is required. If deposit is required, it will be refunded after one full year of on time payments or when you leave our service territory. If you choose to enroll in our Flex Pay program, a deposit is not required.

New Construction: A deposit on new construction is based on the estimated load of the service.

Commercial: A deposit, surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit is required for all new businesses.

What options do I have to pay my utility bill?

Flathead Electric is pleased to offer a number of fee-free ways to pay your electric bill. We accept cash, check and credit/debit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express).

  • In person payments are accepted at Kalispell and Libby office locations.
  • Payment kiosks at Kalispell and Libby offices accept cash and debit/credit card payments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Kalispell and Libby offices have secured drop boxes for express and after-hours payments.
  • Glacier Bank will process payments if you provide them with your Flathead Electric account number.
  • Payment drop boxes are located at several locations throughout the valley. Please allow 3 to 5 days for our office to receive your payment if you use a drop box.
  • Our automated pay-by-phone system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (406) 751-1839 or (877) 761-4637. (Payments cannot be accepted over the phone by office staff.)
  • Payments can be made through your online account or “My Co-op” mobile app.
  • Automatic payments can be set up through your online account. Flathead Electric offers an automatic $0.50 monthly bill credit to members who use auto pay.

For more information about our payment options, visit our Payment Options page.

When is my payment due?

Your statement date and due date are printed on the top right hand side of your bill and on the payment stub. Normally the due date is 20 days from the statement date.