Berkeley Electric Co-op to refund $4.8M in deposits as pandemic stimulus

MONCKS CORNER (March 23, 2020) – The Berkeley Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees unanimously approved at its meeting on Monday refunding $4.8 million in security deposits to more than 30,000 residential accounts.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic will cause financial hardships for families -- many members are facing reduced employment or unemployment. They also need electricity more than ever as they follow health officials’ recommendations to stay home to slow the spread of the virus,” said Dwayne Cartwright, president and CEO of Berkeley Electric. “We want to do everything in our power to help our members and the economy during this difficult time.”

Berkeley Electric will apply the security deposits as bill credits to the eligible 33,981 residential accounts with a deposit. The total amount to be returned is $4,818,949.15.

Security deposits are assessed only on accounts with traditional billing, not accounts that use pre-paid metering.

In response to the pandemic, Berkeley Electric announced on March 14 it was suspending disconnections and late fees for nonpayment (on both traditional billing and pre-paid accounts). Members are still responsible for paying for the energy they use and are encouraged to pay what they can to avoid a large bill.

To help protect the health of employees and members, Berkeley Electric’s office lobbies are closed to the public until further notice. Members can manage their accounts online at berkeleyelectric.coop or via the drive-thrus at Goose Creek, Johns Island and Moncks Corner office locations.

The largest electric cooperative in South Carolina, Berkeley Electric serves more than 100,000 meters and more than 80,000 member-owners living in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.