Financial Assistance & Community Resources still available for OTEC members

By on Friday, January 15th, 2021 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

BAKER CITY – (Release from OTEC) As an essential service provider, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative knows that electricity is foundational to all other areas of the economy, including essential services such as health care and public safety. OTEC also recognizes that many of our member-owners continue to experience financial hardship during the nearly year-long COVID-19 pandemic and wants to remind those that are struggling to pay their electric bills that financial aid is still available.

OTEC encourages members in Baker, Grant and Union Counties contact Community Connections of Northeast Oregon, Inc, where they can apply for funds through the recently expanded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), on top helping find other state and federal aid. Members in Harney County are encouraged to contact the Harney County Senior Center for help to apply for assistance. OTEC will also help those members behind on their bills set up flexible payment plans.

“As a community-owned, nonprofit cooperative, we have always worked with our members in crisis and this time is no different.” said Eric Wirfs, OTEC’s Director of Member Services. “If you or someone you know is having trouble paying their bills, we urge you to give us a call so we can help by letting you know about the assistance that’s available, including our flexible payment plans.”

On top of helping procure relief for bills, the cooperative has numerous programs available for members financially impacted by COVID-19, including prepaid metering, levelized billing and OTEC continues to offer energy-efficiency rebates.

OTEC has also compiled local resources across its service territory to help those members who are experiencing other needs. That includes organizations that can provide help with other utilities, rent, food, clothing, and employment.

For more information on financial aid or any of OTEC’s assistance programs, please visit or call OTEC at 541-523-3616.  

Because of state mandates, OTEC’s office lobbies in Baker City and La Grande are closed to walk-in traffic through at least January 28. The drive-thru in La Grande is open normal business hours, 8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Thursday and 9:00am-5:00pm on Friday.

The John Day and Burns office lobbies are currently open to walk-in traffic. Proper social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines are required.

About the cooperative

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves nearly 60,000 residents in four counties in Eastern Oregon. Headquartered in Baker City, OTEC has district offices in Burns, John Day and La Grande.