According to the Bible, Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Gospel of Matthew 7:15, King James Version).

Those words hold true today, especially when trying to navigate the internet.

SLEMCO, the Southwest Louisiana Electric Membership Corporation that provides electricity for over 100,000 customers in a 9 parish area, issued a warning about paying your electric bill online.

It appears that there are 3rd party websites that have mimicked the SLEMCO bill pay website.

According to SLEMCO, the 3rd party sites that have mimicked their site are legitimate sites, and if you CAN pay your bill through those sites, but here's the difference: the 3rd party sites charge you a fee.

With the cost of almost EVERYTHING going up these days, the last thing you need is an extra fee where one is not necessary. The 3rd party sites through which you can pay your SLEMCO bill charge a convenience fee to use their payment system. And the higher your bill, the higher that convenience fee is.

JP Valery via Unsplash.com
JP Valery via Unsplash.com
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SLEMCO recommends that you ALWAYS go to its official website, www.slemco.com, to pay your bill. Their SmartHub website will NEVER charge you a fee to pay your bill online.

From the SLEMCO Facebook page:

A really big word of warning about third-party utility bill payment websites that some SLEMCO customers use to pay their SLEMCO bills. These are legal, legitimate sites, BUT they make money by charging you a “convenience fee” to pay your SLEMCO bill. And, those convenience fees can get expensive because they charge a percentage of your bill, not a flat fee!! Some of these sites mimic SLEMCO’s real website, making things even more confusing. SLEMCO’s website never charges a fee to pay your bill online.

Not only do the 3rd party sites charge a convenience fee, but they are also known for sending your payment to SLEMCO after the due date.

While these companies do eventually pay your bill, they sometimes miss due dates or delinquent dates – costing you even more money – and perhaps have your account disconnected because they didn’t get your payment to us in time. Do yourself a favor. Only pay your SLEMCO bill online by going to www.slemco.com and logging in to your SmartHub account directly from our website.

Protect yourself and be sure to use the official websites for ALL of your online bill pay needs.

Also, if you are trying to cut down on your energy bill, the president of Entergy gave a quote to The Advocate out of Baton Rouge that I found interesting:

Every degree above 68 adds 3% more to bills. - Philip May, Entergy President, via the Advocate

The Department of Energy's website recommends that you keep your winter thermostat set to 68 when you are home and awake, otherwise lower it to 60.  In the summer, those numbers change to 78 degrees and 85 degrees, respectively.

Granted, that 78 degrees in Carson City, Nevada will feel MUCH different than the 78 degrees you'd feel here in Louisiana, so adjust accordingly. Just keep this in mind: the lower your thermostat goes in the summer, the higher your bill will go, especially if you pay your bill on a 3rd party website.

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