Access to private property needed to provide electric service

lineman-exiting-truckFor decades, Bluebonnet’s meter readers were a friendly and familiar sight on our members’ property. But thanks to technology, the data that meter readers once gathered by hand now flows directly from the meter to our computer network.

Though there are no more meter readers, there still are times when our crews or contractors need to access our members’ property. In these days of heightened security awareness, seeing an unfamiliar person on your property may cause concern.

We are aware of that and we try to put ourselves in our members’ shoes. In the past, the member might have assumed the person on their property was from their power company. People no longer assume that.

The nature of Bluebonnet’s business requires our employees and contractors to access our members’ property. We notify them in advance when we can, but sometimes that’s not possible, especially during power outages. Our members need to be aware that at times it will be necessary for our employees or contractors to get on their property, and it might be during the night or weekends.

That is why it is very important that we have the most current contact information for our members, including home and mobile phone numbers, and email and home addresses. Our members can update their contact information by calling one of our member service representatives at 800-842-7708, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Or they can update their information at any of our five member service centers, on the stub they return with their payment and online at bluebonnet.coop.

When new members establish electric service with us, they sign a member service agreement that informs them that our crews or contractors might access our facilities on their property. Landowners who purchase property with our power lines on it should be aware that Bluebonnet has a utility easement on their property. And when we build new power lines we obtain easements from landowners.

The easements give our employees and contractors permission to go onto a landowner’s property to examine trees and plants near power lines that could hinder the ability to provide safe, reliable power. They also allow our employees and contractors to check easements and rights-of-way, inspect poles, upgrade power lines or to rapidly restore power during outages.

Our employees are easy to recognize. They drive company vehicles, white with blue lettering and logos, and wear uniforms with the Bluebonnet logo and the employee’s name embroidered on them. They also carry a company photo identification card.

Our contractors’ vehicles should have Bluebonnet logos and their employees wearing their company’s uniform.

We encourage our members to be safe and be sure. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching one of our contractors, call our member service representatives at 800-842-7708, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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About Will Holford

Have you ever wondered about the future of electric use? Perhaps you’re curious about how some global or national events might impact your power, the environment or your bill? Maybe you’re just interested in what’s going on at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. We want to share what we know, and that’s what the Bluebonnet Blog is about. Will Holford, Bluebonnet’s Manager of Public Affairs, is going to write most often for the blog. He’s been with the co-op since 2007, and has worked in communications for more than 14 years. Will enjoys learning about energy – and writing about it. He and other Bluebonnet employees (and occasional guest contributors) will get the conversation going -- about everything from where your power is generated to where it’s used, advances in technology, changes that will affect you, and interesting peeks behind the scenes at the co-op. We welcome your comments, questions and ideas. Email Will at will.holford@bluebonnet.coop.
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