July 29, 2015

Barry Electric Enjoys Rise in Bill-Paying Efficiency with SEDC's Prepaid Metering Solution

Barry Electric

Write-offs for Barry Electric have dropped 99 percent with SEDC.

Barry Electric Cooperative, Inc. is currently working with SEDC, a leader in the development of innovative utility software solutions for nearly four decades, to improve bill-paying experiences for its customers and to decrease payment delinquency by utilizing SEDC’s prepaid metering solution.

Barry Electric Cooperative serves approximately 9,700 members throughout its 1,070 miles of line covering a portion of Barry and McDonald counties in southwest Missouri. Barry Electric started using a prepay system with another IT solutions provider in 2009, but within three years the system became inefficient.

Barry Electric decided to make the switch over to SEDC’s prepaid metering solution in 2012 and worked hand-in-hand with SEDC’s transition staff to navigate through this unprecedented project. Barry Electric had 950 accounts on its old prepay solution. SEDC brought a prepaid metering team on site to help make the process seamless. On the “go live” date, SEDC helped switch over all 950 prepay accounts to SEDC’s prepaid metering solution, showing it has the integration ability to convert accounts from an old IT provider onto its own solution.

“We have 17 percent of our customers on prepay right now and it has helped us become very cost-effective and efficient,” said Barry Electric’s Accounts Receivables Billing Supervisor Teresa Harrison. “Because SEDC’s prepaid metering solution is so user-friendly, it is able to integrate with our meter reading software from Aclara Technologies. Now when a customer makes a payment, SEDC automatically runs a ‘sweep’ every 15 minutes looking for prepay accounts with a credit balance. If the account is disconnected, a command is sent to Aclara to reconnect the service and power is usually restored within 30 seconds once the command has gone out. Our customers are also enjoying the ability to track their usage and the convenience of being able to pay online instead of coming into our customer service desk.”

The results of the switch have been substantial. “Our prepaid metering solution was designed to help utilities improve their cash flows and better streamline their collection process,” said SEDC Director of Product Strategy Bob Basaraba. “From 2013 to 2014, Barry Electric has seen its write-offs drop over 99 percent since switching over to SEDC’s prepaid metering solution. Overtime claims have also dropped from 15 hours per week to having one person successfully monitoring the system. These numbers show SEDC’s products are improving the way utilities do business.”

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