La Plata Electric Association has started construction of a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year drive-thru kiosk at its office, at 45 Stewart St. in Bodo Industrial Park.
Construction begins today and will last about a week, LPEA said in a news release. The current drive-thru will be closed, but the front lobby counter will be open during business hours.
The kiosk, accessed by the drive-thru off the front parking lot, will be fully automated. No customer-service personnel will work the window. But the drop-box will remain available for payments.
Members of the cooperative will be able to pay at the kiosk with credit card, debit card, check or cash. If the exact amount isn’t paid, the excess will be credited to the member’s account.
Payments will be posted immediately.
Members must know their account number or take a bill with a bar code to scan. LPEA also is creating code cards, much like grocery store loyalty cards, that will carry the account number.
The full bill can be viewed on the kiosk screen.
Members who want to use the prepay card system must visit the service counter in person. Payment from home is possible by logging on to SmartHub at www.lpea.coop.
LPEA employees will no longer take payments over the phone, although payments can be made through LPEA’s automated interactive voice response, or IVR, system.
Automatic payment is possible by charging a credit card or bank account.