Q: Why does Duke Energy have an $8 charge if you want to pay by credit card or even a debit card? Other services do not, including AT&T, Piedmont Natural Gas, and City of Winston-Salem for water. With the poor mail service, checks mailed may not get there by the due date.
Answer: Jimmy Flythe, the west region director for government and community relations for Duke Energy Carolinas, explained the fees and what Duke Energy has done during the pandemic.
“Credit and debit card convenience fees are paid by the customer using the service as defined in North Carolina’s rules and regulations governing utility operations.
“These fees cover the processing costs associated with handling credit card and electronic debit payments. No part of the convenience fee goes to Duke Energy.”
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we received approval to waive credit and debit card convenience fees for residential accounts only. And as of April 5, this fee has been eliminated for Duke Energy Carolinas residential customers. Non-residential customers have several “no fee” options including traditional mail and automatic bank draft.”
Flythe said that the fees have continued for non-residential customers per the states rules and regulations. The company has provided help to customers, residential and business who are behind in their payments. That help has included billing and payment options, referring them to organizations that can help with financial assistance and helping customers manage their power usage.
Q: When will the Goodwill donation truck be stationed back in Pilot Mountain?
Answer: It will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Sara Butner, the communications manager for Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, said, “Goodwill has no immediate plans to re-open the donation trailer in Pilot Mountain, but we may do so in the future.
“For Pilot Mountain, the nearest locations to drop off donations would be the Goodwill Retail Stores in Mount Airy, Elkin or King.
“People can find a searchable map of all of our current donation drop-off sites on our website, goodwillnwnc.org/about-donating/locations/.”
Backyard garbage collectionStarting July 1, the city will stop providing backyard garbage collection to any household that has not submitted a letter from a medical provider verifying that no one in the house is capable of rolling a garbage cart to the curb.
The letter will have to be dated and printed on the medical practice letterhead.
Existing exemptions from curbside garbage collection will no longer be in effect. Households that currently have an exemption will have to apply for a new exemption and submit the letter from their medical provider.
The Sanitation Division will be sending letters to the houses that currently have backyard garbage collection, notifying the occupants of the pending change and need to reapply.
This change does not affect backyard recycling collections.
Additional information and the curbside exemption application form are posted at CityofWS.org/Sanitation. Residents without access to a computer should call CityLink 311 and ask that an application be mailed to them.
Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101