CLEVELAND – A national scam claiming President Barack Obama is providing assistance with utility bills has surfaced in Cleveland. Late this evening, Cleveland Public Power was contacted by a customer using a fictitious bank routing number to pay her electric bill.
A quick search of the internet led CPP officials to a scam that has been spreading across the country from California to Tennessee and now Ohio. According to reports on the internet the scam is being spread via social media, texting and posters.
Joy Perry, Assistant Commissioner for Customer Service at Cleveland Public Power spoke with the customer caught in the scam and explained how the scam is spreading locally, “According to our customer a routing number is being passed via word of mouth. They are told to enter the routing number and a number from the back of their social security cards. It is unclear if this number is being used to access any personal information, but it is bogus and was denied through our payment system.”
Cleveland Public Power is advising all customers and all residents of the City of Cleveland that there is currently no federal program offering credits or payment of utility bills.
“Residents should be cautious of anyone offering checking account or routing numbers to pay their utility bills. If they are contacted by telephone they should immediately end the conversation. The City of Cleveland’s Department of Public Utilities does not call asking for payment over the telephone and we do not accept payments at your home. Any suspicious activity like this should be reported to the Cleveland Police Department,” said Assistant Commissioner Perry.
Cleveland Public Power will post notices about the scam on its website and through its social media sites.
Cleveland Public Power & Efficiency Smart are helping residential and business electric utility customers to save money and energy this fall by mailing them valuable money-saving coupons for energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting (CFL).These coupons will arrive in the mail this fall when
efficient lighting is needed most.
“We are getting into the season when lights need to be on longer due to days getting darker earlier, so we want to encourage utility customers to use CFLs instead of incandescent lighting,” stated Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson. “Lighting is 20 to 30% of a typical residential el
CPP customers, check your mailbox for these coupons!
ectric bill. You can save up to 67% of the cost to light your home by replacing all incandescent lights with CFLs. It makes economic sense to switch out as many light bulbs that are less efficient as possible. The quality of CFLs has greatly improved over the past several years, and they can be used in a variety of places and ways, including indoor and outdoor flood lights, recessed cans and dimmable lighting locations.”
Customers of Cleveland Public Power will receive $26 of coupons that may be redeemed for at least 14 CFLs. By replacing 14 incandescent lights, customers can save up to $518 over the life of the bulbs. The coupons will be accepted at any store that has GE brand CFLs in stock and that accepts manufacturer coupons. A list of participating stores can be found in the home lighting section of the www.EfficiencySmart.org website. Utility customers can expect to receive the coupon mailing during the 1st or 2nd week of November. The offer will expire on December 31, 2011.
Efficiency Smart also provides a guide to help consumers choose the right light for the right location on their website www.efficiencysmart.org. To learn more about Efficiency Smart initiatives to help customers save money and energy, visit the website, or call Efficiency Smart customer support at 877-889-3777.
Efficiency Smart services include rebates for energy-efficient appliances and lighting, financial rebates and free removal of old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers from homes, and rebates for over 70 energy-efficient products and services for businesses. Efficiency Smart also offers account management services and customized incentives for large commercial and industrial customers. Efficiency Smart was established by American Municipal Power for the benefit of its member communities. It is administered under contract with the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. Operations are based in Columbus, OH.
The sun is shining today and the temps are chilly but not too cold, so why not take this opportunity to begin or complete the task of winterizing your home. While there are some common sense tips to prepare for winter and save money, we thought we would go to the ultimate source for information – the United States Department of Energy (DOE).
If you aren’t aware, DOE has a website filled with tips on how to conserve energy year round. Today we’re going to take a look at the tips offered for fall.
Looking to get rid of those pesky drafts coming in from your windows? Well one of the first steps would be to install storm windows – interior or exterior. DOE explains on this site, the installation of storm windows will “reduce heat loss by 25-50%” which means more heat inside the house.
To further ensure that heat is not escaping through windows you should also check the caulking around the frame. Information on the importance of weather stripping and caulk can be found here.
Now you may also find leaks around electric outlets, pipes, gaps around the chimney and even in the area around recessed lighting. The key in these areas is to apply more insulation. You might wonder how you are going to find these leaks. Well the unsophisticated method would be to observe the drapery or curtains for movement from wind outside, or hold a piece of paper up to the window to see if it moves from air coming in. The best methods however, may call for an expert. More information on these techniques can be found here.
It is also important to check your furnace filters and to have your furnace serviced if you believe there is a more serious problem. The DOE offers information on furnaces and boilers on its website.
These are just some of the tips offered by the Department of Energy, and to find more tips on saving energy, just visit this site.
In anticipation of the approaching storm Cleveland Public Power line crews and customer service staff are being held over to handle any problems brought on by the severe weather expected to hit the area in the next couple of hours.
Rich Barton, Assistant Commissioner of Operations reports, “All crews have been notified that they will be held over so that we will have all hands on deck to respond to any issues related to the storm.”
Additionally, customer service representatives are being held over to assist the late shift with what is anticipated to be a higher than normal call volume.
Public Utilities Director Barry Withers asked that customers call the Trouble Line in the event of an outage and that they take all necessary precautions in a storm of this magnitude. “The national weather service is predicting that this will be an unusually severe storm for this area, so we are asking our residents and customers to follow storm protocols of seeking shelter, but in the event of an outage to call us at 216-664-3156.”
In the event of widespread outages customers will also be able to follow updates on Twitter, by following @cppgreen here.
Cleveland Public Power learned this week that customers on the City’s northeast side, specifically in United States Postal codes 44110 and 44119 experienced a delay in receiving their August bills. These bills were sent out approximately three weeks late and when received this week, the bills were already past due.
We apologize for this error and want to assure you there will be no penalties assessed because of this mistake.
The September bills should be going out early next week, but should not reflect any past due amounts associated with this delay. Please pay your bill as you normally would.
Thank you to the customers who brought this error to our attention, and again we apologize for this delay.
Remember you can pay your bill online by clicking here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Customer Service at 216.664.4600.
CLEVELAND –Cleveland Public Power’s (CPP) administrative offices will be closed on Friday, September 3, Saturday September 4 and Monday, September 6, 2010 in observance
of the Labor Day Holiday. The additional day is a Furlough Holiday in line with the concessions Cleveland Public Power workers agreed to earlier this year.
While the administrative offices and most field crews will not be working, the regularly scheduled Trouble Crews will be on hand in the case of any emergencies or outages. Customers needing to pay their bills can do so by visiting CPP’s website at www.cpp.org.
The administrative offices will reopen, and crews will return to work on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.
It’s Talk Back Tuesday, and this week we are responding to a customer inquiry into the EAC or Energy Adjustment Charge listed on your monthly bill.
So during a recent community festival a young lady asked, “What is this EAC charge on my bill. ”
Well the answer to the question is as follows, “The Energy Adjustment Charge (EAC) portion of the bill represents the costs associated with the power you use. Cleveland Public Power buys the power for you and then charges it back to you.”
I hope this clears up the question of the EAC. If you have a question, please send it to cppgreen at gmail dot com, and we will research your question.