For Health and Safety, BEC Closes Office Lobby to the Public

Posted: March 16, 2020 at 2:26 pm

(RED LODGE, MT) – Following national, state, and local emergency declarations, Beartooth Electric Cooperative (BEC) is taking steps to protect members and employees from potential exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

BEC announced that beginning Monday, March 16 – out of concern for the health of the public and BEC employees –our lobby at the Red Lodge office will be closed to the public indefinitely. Staff will be available to conduct business over the phone, online, or via email.

“Safety is the number one core value of BEC,” said Kevin P. Owens, PE, BEC general manager. “Our commitment to safety includes the operation of our electrical distribution system and it extends to caring for our members, including actions we can take in this critical time to protect the health of our community. We ask for patience and understanding as we take these steps, which I am confident are in everyone’s best interests.”

This follows both Montana & Wyoming State Governor announcements, limiting large gatherings statewide. The move also covers BEC employee meetings and events hosted by the cooperative.

During the heightened awareness of the coronavirus, members are asked to use common sense and social distancing to protect themselves and the public from exposure while doing business with BEC:

  • Use BEC’s SmartHub online program or Android and iPhone device apps to pay bills, or manage accounts.
  • Use the BEC’s convenient bill drop boxes at the Red Lodge location.
  • Call BEC at (406) 446-2310 during regular business hours, or call our 24/7 SecurePay line at 888-395-5293.

All BEC employees are committed to ensuring continued reliability of the cooperative’s electrical distribution system. BEC line crews are always prepared to respond to outages. Members please call the office at (406) 446-2310 to report an outage.

“We are committed to providing safe, affordable and reliable services at all times. Now, more than ever, these services are critical,” said Owens. “As with many other challenges we face, we depend on our thoughtful planning and training to guide us in sustaining our operations. Members can have confidence in our reliability at this time.”

BEC will continue to consult with health and public safety leaders to make operations decisions based on science and prudent utility practices.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you or a family member is sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information.