Frequently Asked Questions

Questions you might have, answered all in one place.

New construction

How do I sign up for service?


Call DMEA at 877-687-3632. A phone call is all that is needed to get the process started. We will ask you some questions and ask that you complete a Request for DMEA System Design Services with a list of items that we need in order to insure that your service will be designed to fit your needs (also available online at dmea.com/new-construction).

A completed Request for DMEA System Design Services along with a $350 design fee will secure your spot in the design queue for a site visit. You can stop your local DMEA office to speak to one of our customer service representatives and turn in your completed application and fee.

When should I apply for a new service?


Call us after you own the property and have determined the need for a new electric service or service upgrade. Working upfront with your builder and/or electrician to determine construction details before contacting us will save you time and money by reducing DMEA design time and avoiding expensive changes. Due to the unusually high volume of construction in our service territory, DMEA is currently estimating that new residential services may take as long as 6 to 8 weeks for design and construction. Jobs requiring redesign, complex projects, commercial projects and subdivisions may take longer. Once a job is designed and paid in full, it will be sent to DMEA Operations for installation. One of our crew foreman will then contact you to schedule the work.

Where can I find more information on DMEA’s construction services?


If I need to cross my neighbor’s property to get power installed, how do I get an easement?


DMEA is happy to prepare easement documents for you to present to your neighbor, and will be happy to answer questions as they arise. However, you are responsible for taking care of obtaining an easement from your neighbors.

If I am working out of my home, will I be billed on a residential or commercial rate?


DMEA will assess each situation separately to determine the rate class. However, if the meter is under a business name it will be billed commercial. If we confirm that your electric use is 50% or more residential AND it is under a member’s name, it will be billed as residential.

Will DMEA upgrade my service from overhead to underground?


Changes of service made at your request are your financial responsibility. If you choose to remove your overhead service and reconstruct it underground, an Application for New Service is required along with the $350 design fee. DMEA System Designers will then schedule a time to design your underground service.

Do I really need the State Electrical Inspector to inspect my service?


Yes, for your safety anytime there is a new service installation or change in wiring on the customer’s side of the meter, the State Electrical Inspector is required by law to inspect your service before DMEA can install/re-install a meter. Your electrician is familiar with the Electrical Inspector in your area and should call them to schedule an inspection. Also, when a service has been disconnected for more than 6 months a state electrical inspection is required before DMEA will re-install a meter.

Who do I call to request removal an old electric service from my property?


Call DMEA at 877-687-3632 to speak to one of our Customer Service Representatives. Service wires, poles, transformers and meters are typically owned by DMEA. When DMEA determines that those services are no longer needed, DMEA may decide to remove them from the property. To complete the process, the landowner is requested to review and sign an Idle Service Retirement Agreement acknowledging ownership of the property and requesting removal of an idle/abandoned service.

Vegetation management

Who is responsible for trimming trees?


DMEA will trim trees away from our high voltage distribution lines. DMEA maintains tree clearances within DMEA power line right-of-way. Tree trimming and removal is required to avoid trees and limbs coming in contact with power lines causing outages, damage, and safety issues. You may not like how we trim trees! The best way to protect your investment in landscaping is to plan ahead - know the size of your trees and shrubs when full grown and avoid planting near both the overhead and underground utilities in your area.

I understand the need to not plant trees near power lines, but can I hide the ‘green boxes’ using large rocks and retaining walls?


DMEA asks that our members avoid putting landscaping items within 10’ of our equipment. Working with high voltage equipment is a dangerous job which requires a safe working zone for our employees. During outage events, linemen also need to find and access the equipment quickly. If the need arises, we will remove landscaping to restore power to DMEA members.

Also, digging can damage underground lines and cause electrocution or fire. To avoid accidents or incidents, call 811 or 800-922-1987 (Utility Notification Center of Colorado). There is no charge for this service, but all locations must be called in a minimum of three business days before digging begins.

For more information on electrical safety, visit dmea.com/safety.

Why does DMEA trim trees?


It is absolutely essential for DMEA to trim trees for safety, reliability, and affordability.  

  • Safety: Electricity can travel through trees and injure or kill anyone working or playing on the tree. In addition, trees growing too close to power lines increase the risk of deadly wildfires.
  • Reliability: Maintaining proper clearance around lines significantly reduces the chance that adverse weather will send trees or limbs into our lines and equipment.
  • Affordability: Preventing the need to repair and replace our power lines, poles, and equipment because of tree damage helps deliver affordable electricity.

What is the property owner responsible for?


DMEA’s vegetation management crews are responsible for trimming and removing trees along all our primary and transmission lines. Property owners are responsible for trimming and removing trees on the secondary line that brings electric service from the transformer to their homes. Members should work with licensed and insured tree trimmers to do this work.

After DMEA’s crew clears trees from a line, how long does cleanup take?


After a trimming job is complete, all debris will be cleared and chipped within three business days. All wood larger than 6” to 8” in diameter will be left on site for the landowner to use. In rural areas, wood chips will be broadcasted on site, and in unmaintained areas, branches will be lopped and scattered.

Can members keep leftover branches?


All wood larger than 6” to 8” in diameter will be left on site for the landowner to use. We can also leave other debris on site at the member’s request.

Does DMEA give away wood chips?


Due to safety reasons, DMEA does not deliver or give away wood chips.

I think I have a tree that might damage power lines. What should I do?


Never attempt to trim trees growing near power lines yourself. It is extremely dangerous and against the law. Always call DMEA at 877-687-3632.

I don’t want DMEA to remove or trim my trees. What are my options?


DMEA has the right to remove and trim any tree or vegetation growing in our rights-of-way. This work helps prevent expensive outage repairs and reduces the risk of wildfires. If there is a hazard tree growing in our right-of-way on your property, we will notify you of the need to remove the tree. Property owners that do not allow our crews to complete this work, will be held responsible for any damage caused by their tree(s) and incur the cost of all future trimming.


How do I report an outage?


Every outage is unique. The number of members impacted and the length of an outage varies each time, meaning outages can be as short as a few minutes and as long as days. As a result, DMEA may not be able to immediately tell you how long a power outage may last. We will do our best to provide an estimate of time and recommend checking the outage map above regularly and subscribing to outage alerts for the latest updates.

What should I do if I see a broken power line or damaged DMEA equipment?


Report any downed lines or broken equipment to DMEA immediately by calling 877-687-3632. Then, stay away from these items and keeps other, including children and pets, away. Do not attempt to repair or move downed lines or broken equipment or anything coming in contact with them. Even when damaged, always assume any power line or piece of equipment is still transmitting high-voltage electricity.

What can I do to be better prepared for a power outage?


DMEA recommends having an emergency kit on hand that is ready to go in case of any type of emergency. Be sure to include items like batteries, bottled water, a portable radio, flashlights, portable power banks, spare blankets, basic toiletries, and a first aid kit. You may not need most of these items during an average power outage, but you will be prepared for a more extended emergency. Learn more about power outage safety kits from the American Red Cross Power Outage Checklist.

If the power goes out, what should I do with the food in my refrigerator and freezer?


Don’t peek. If the door remains closed, your food can remain safely cold for about four hours. Frozen food can remain safe for up to two days if your freezer is full and the doors remain closed. Learn more about food safety during a power outage from the American Red Cross.

Should I have a generator in case of a power outage?


If you need guaranteed electricity 24/7 to power life-sustaining medical equipment, you should purchase a generator that can support your equipment during a power outage. It is critical that you follow all installation, maintenance, and use guidelines set by the generator manufacturer. Not only can it be extremely dangerous if a generator isn’t used correctly, putting both you and DMEA linemen at risk, it is also against the law and a violation of electrical codes to connect a generator to your home without an automatic generator and transfer switch. Why? If a generator is producing power during an outage and it is improperly connected, it can back feed (or send) power onto DMEA’s system and endanger the lives of our crews who are working to restore power. Additionally, it can be a major fire hazard.

Capital credits

What are capital credits?


Capital credits reflect each member’s ownership in the cooperative. Any margins related to the sale of electric service remaining after expenses have been paid are returned to the cooperative’s members in proportion to their electrical use.

Allocation of Capital Credits

An allocation is your share of the cooperative’s margin for a particular year. Allocations are based on your electric use for that year.

Retirement of Capital Credits

After capital credits are allocated, DMEA retains them for 25 years, as the most significant source of equity for the cooperative. Equity is used to help meet the infrastructure needs of the co-op, such as system improvements for reliability and expansion. Capital credits help keep rates affordable by reducing the amount of funds that must be borrowed to grow and maintain DMEA’s existing electric system.

Annually, the board of directors reviews DMEA's financial health and may declare a retirement, whereby a portion of your capital credits are returned to you.

What’s the difference between an allocation and a retirement?


Allocations are a proportional credit made to each member's account, while a retirement is payment of capital credits.

Can my capital credit allocation be applied to my current energy bill?


No. Your capital credit allocations for this year are new credits allocated to a capital credit account maintained in your name. Allocations are used as the operating capital of DMEA. They are not available as cash-in-hand until they are retired and paid back to you.

What happens to my capital credits if I move and terminate service with DMEA?


Your capital credits belong to you! Your existing capital credit balance will be maintained in a capital credit account in your name until it is retired (paid) in full. It is important that you maintain a correct mailing address with DMEA so you receive future capital credit payments.

What if I pass away before my capital credits are paid out?


Your capital credits will transfer to your estate. If the capital credits were allocated to a joint account, and one spouse dies, the surviving member may receive payment of the discounted capital credits, after completing the necessary paperwork. If you are the sole member, the discounted capital credits will be paid to your estate, after the necessary paperwork is received from your estate’s executor.

What if my family member passed away before capital credits are paid out?


DMEA’s Board of Directors will allow capital credits to be retired early or paid back to the legal representative(s) of your family member’s estate. To claim them, a notarized affidavit is required, along with a copy of the death certificate and personal representative appointment documentation (if one was appointed). Please contact DMEA at 877-687-3632 to get this process started. Capital credits that are claimed early due to the death of a family member are returned at a discounted rate.

Why can’t my capital credit allocations be refunded to me all at once?


Capital credit funds are used for long term investments, like reliability improvements and grid maintenance projects. Capital credit funds help DMEA remain financially sound, thereby ensuring stable, reliable electric service for all members.

When do you pay (or retire) capital credits?


In general, DMEA retires capital credits 25 years after the initial allocation. Before declaring a retirement, DMEA’s management and board of directors review DMEA’s financial health.

How can I update my mailing address so I receive any future capital credit refunds?


What does DMEA do with unclaimed capital credits?


DMEA seeks out former members who are due capital credits, even if they are no longer on our system. If the member does not claim them and the capital credits remain unclaimed for 3 years or more, they are transferred to a fund for charitable and educational purposes. This fund supports programs such as scholarships, sponsoring the Youth Tour to Washington D.C., and donations to Energy Outreach Colorado, an organization that helps people who are struggling with their energy bills.

Other capital credit questions?


If you have other capital credit questions, please call 877-687-3632 or send an email to capital.credits@dmea.com.


Who does DMEA use to run its annual election?


DMEA partners with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS), a full-service election company that has been setting the standard in election management since 1990. Located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, SBS offers world-class security, fantastic customer support and service, and a proven process used in over 800 elections every year. As a family business, SBS is not controlled by outside investors – just like your co-op.

How do I vote online?


There are two ways you can cast your vote online:

SmartHub: Starting May 3, all eligible voters will see a ‘Vote Now’ button in their secure SmartHub account. To access your electronic ballot, simply click the button, cast your vote, and submit.

Web Portal: If you have an email address registered to your DMEA account, you will receive an email with your unique secure link. This link will also be printed on your mailed ballot. To access your ballot, click or type in the link, enter the credentials provided in your email/on your ballot, and cast your vote. Be on the lookout for an email from noreply@directvote.net and add it to your contacts!

How safe is DMEA’s online voting system?


SBS employs several layers of security are employed to protect DMEA’s election. The voting website is hosted on SBS’s secure server, and our election website is only accessible to authorized members through unique voter logins and passwords. Ballots are transmitted to the data center using Symantec TLS encryption and authentication technology. Voting websites also employ passive and active network and security monitoring services to detect and prevent unauthorized access. Data is stored in a secure data center with controlled, monitored access 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

How do you confirm it’s me when I vote online?


You will be provided a unique voter login ID and password, which will be used by the voting website to confirm your identity.

What if someone tries to vote more than once online?


Each member’s login information is disabled immediately after submitting their web ballot, preventing them from logging into the voting website again and voting twice.

How do I know if my online ballot was received?


After submitting your ballot, you will receive an email message confirming that it’s been received.

What if I make a mistake when I vote online?


It’s easy to review and change your vote before your ballot is officially submitted for processing. After you make your selections, they will be displayed on a confirmation screen. At that time, you may either change your selections or submit your ballot. The website will also verify that you have voted within the correct parameters – that you did not over vote, for example – and will advise you of any corrections that must be made. This additional safeguard ensures the validity of your ballot.

Once your ballot is submitted, however, it cannot be changed.

What if someone votes online and then sends in a mail-in ballot?


Remember, you can only vote once. If you submit multiple ballots, only your first ballot cast will be counted.

Operation Round Up

Can I give more than the round up portion of my bill?


The program allows you to round your monthly electric bill up to the nearest dollar. You also have the option of contributing more than your rounded up portion in any amount you wish.

Who decides where the money collected from Operation Round Up goes?


A nine-member, volunteer board called the Delta-Montrose Electric Association Charitable Trust meets regularly, reviews applications and makes disbursements.

Who can serve on the trust board?


Anyone who is at least 18 years of age, a permanent resident of the county from which he/she is chosen, of good moral character, and a member of DMEA, qualified to vote in the election for DMEA Board of Directors.

Are board members of the trust paid?


No, they will be compensated for mileage and out-of-pocket expenses.

Who can apply for assistance to Operation Round Up?


Individuals or groups residing within DMEA's service territory can apply using forms provided by DMEA. Completed forms can be returned to DMEA or to a trust board member.

Are there limits on the amounts awarded?


Yes – no more than $10,000 annually to any individual, group, organization or charity. By a vote of at least five of the nine members, the trust may exceed these limits if they feel it’s in keeping with the purpose and spirit of the trust.The trust presently receives only about $4,400 per month from DMEA Round Up participants. Although the board would like to assist all applicants, the number of applications and limited resources do not allow funds to be awarded to every applicant.

What if someone has an emergency (their house burns, for example) between trust meetings?


The executive committee (officers), by a vote of at least three of its members, can make emergency expenditures of no more than $1,000 between regular meetings.

Will the trust be audited?


What uses are specifically prohibited for Operation Round Up money?


No funds of the trust can be used to support any candidate for political office or for any political purpose. Funds can be used to pay electric bills. However this is discouraged and allowable only in circumstances the trust considers critical need.

If I participate, how much will I contribute?


If you designate no money beyond what you "round up" to the nearest dollar, the average contribution will be about $.50 per month or about six dollars a year.

Are Operation Round Up donations tax-exempt?


Yes, DMEA will notify you on both your January and February bills of your total contribution for the previous year.

What if I decide at a later date I want to withdraw from the program?


You can withdraw at any time by notifying the cooperative by phone, in person, or in writing.


What is SmartHub?


SmartHub is DMEA’s free online account management tool for members and Elevate’s free online account management tool for customers. You can access your account 24/7 to check your balance, pay your bill, monitor your energy use, and more. Login on your computer, smartphone, or any mobile device.

How is my SmartHub account changing?


Beginning September 12, 2022, DMEA members and Elevate subscribers will be able to access both of their accounts using one combined SmartHub app. Previously, you were required to registered and sign in to two different SmartHub accounts and there were two different apps for your smart devices.

Why is my SmartHub account changing?


At DMEA and Elevate, we’re always looking for ways to provide better service to our members and customers. This new all-in-one app gives you the convenience of having both of your accounts in the same place. That means you can make updates to your email, banking information, and notifications settings in one place, instead of two!

What should I do if I have DMEA’s app on my phone but not Elevate’s?


If you are already using SmartHub for DMEA, you’re all set. Log in on your web browser at dmea.smarthub.coop as usual or through the app on your smartphone. If you are also an Elevate customer, your Elevate account information will automatically appear in your DMEA account starting September 12, 2022. Don’t see it? Give us a call at 877-687-3632 or email us at csrs@dmea.com.

What should I do if I have Elevate’s app on my phone but not DMEA’s?


If you're already using the Elevate Pay app (Elevate's SmartHub), we will push an automatic update to the app on your phone, and you'll see the new and improved app starting September 12, 2022. It will look a bit different though. Rather that Elevate's logo, you see the combined app shown at the top of this webpage. Your DMEA account information will also automatically appear.

Don’t see the update app? Can't find your DMEA account? Give us a call at 877-687-3632 or. email us at csrs@dmea.com.

What if I have both?


While either app will continue to work, we recommend deleting the SmartHub app you use for DMEA (it's light green with a sliver SmartHub logo). Your Elevate app will automatically update to the combined app (you can see the combined app icon at the top of this page!) on September 12.

If you don’t automatically see both your DMEA and Elevate accounts, contact us at 877-687-3632 or csrs@dmea.com.

What do I do if I have never registered for SmartHub?


Visit dmea.smarthub.coop and click “Sign up to access our Self Service Site.” You’ll be asked to enter a current email address, your DMEA account number, and the last name of the primary account holder. Follow the steps and you will receive an email with a temporary password that you can use to log in – you’ll be required to change this the first time you sign in.

What if I am Elevate customer but not a DMEA member?


You don’t have to be a DMEA member to access SmartHub for your Elevate account. Member or not, the process starts the same way.

Register a new SmartHub account here: dmea.smarthub.coop. Click “Sign up to access our Self Service Site” to get started. When you are asked to enter your account number, just enter your Elevate account number. Also be sure to use the name and email you have registered with your Elevate account.

Follow the steps and you will receive an email with a temporary password that you can use to log in – you’ll be required to change this the first time you sign in.

How do I get the app on my phone or other mobile devices?


Download the SmartHub app from the App Store or Google Play. Find it quickly by searching DMEA or Elevate bill pay.

Why should I get the SmartHub app?


SmartHub puts the power in your fingertips. It delivers real-time and accurate account information like account balances, payment history, and energy consumption. You can securely make payments 24/7, set up your preferred account notifications, and update payment preferences and banking information.