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Business - FAQs | Alabama Power

Business FAQs

  • Doesn’t it cost more to cook with electric?

    No. Actually most operations discover the opposite occurs. The gas bill cooking goes to $0 and the overall energy bill stays the same or goes down, because of a reduced load on air-conditioning units.

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  • Isn't gas cooking faster than electric cooking?

    No, except when using an open burner range or a woc range.

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  • Isn't gas cooking more efficient than electric?

    No. In every case more heat is absorbed by the food cooked on electric than that cooked on gas. The equation for measuring efficiency, as established by the University of Minnesota 1984 is: the amount of heat energy (BTUs) consumed by the cooking process divided by the amount of heat absorbed by the food, all times 100.

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  • Can I arrange it so that my bank account is drafted on a particular day each month?

    We do not have the capability to accommodate specific day drafts at this time.

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  • What if I have questions about my electric bill?

    Be sure to always review your bill as soon as you receive it and make sure the amount to be drafted is correct. If you have any questions, you can call your power provider to clear up any problems prior to the draft date.

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  • What if I move my business or change banks?

    You should call your power provider and inform them of your move or change of banks. Since the bank draft is for a particular account at one particular bank, we'll need you to complete a new bank draft agreement in order to arrange for your EFT service to continue after you move or change banks.

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  • How can surge protectors help me?

    Properly installed surge protectors help prevent damage to electronic equipment caused by momentary large voltage surges. These surges are associated with events such as lightning strikes, short circuits, load switching, equipment failure, and similar unusual events.

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  • Why do I need three phase power?

    Some electrical equipment in commercial buildings requires three phase power. For example electric motors and large air conditioning units.

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  • How do I compare Lighting proposals?

    There are several things to look for that can increase or reduce your long-term costs.

    Lighting Loss Factor (LLF) is specified in a design to create a safety margin for the depreciation of the light output over time. A design that doesn't compensate for LLF won't perform as specified after a few years of exposure and bulb age. A design with a low LLF, usually .8, or a 20% margin, costs more to purchase but less to run, which can result in a net savings in the long term.

    Average, minimum and maximum foot-candles. These are often used as measures of how evenly the light is distributed by a given design. It can be misleading to state an evenness measure in terms of Average foot-candles. It is possible to use fewer, higher-power lamps, to create a given "average" illumination that is actually quite uneven in areas. While this can result in a lower purchase price, these designs can significantly add to operating costs.

    Uniformity Ratio. A good lighting design can provide adequate illumination with energy-efficient bulbs by increasing its uniformity. A more accurate measure of total cost of ownership is the Uniformity Ratio. This is derived by dividing the average foot-candles by the minimum foot-candles, where a lower ratio is better. A good design typically has a 6-1 ratio, with a 1-1 only achievable, in practical terms, by the sun.

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  • What do I need to know about Security lighting?

    Security Lighting should provide adequate lighting for safety in these areas:

    - your parking lot 

    - along routes to and from your building 

    - strategic locations such as rear or hidden entrances 

    Brightness should be specified to give enough light for security personnel or police to see suspicious activity but not so much as to create glare in security cameras.

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  • How do I know which rate will save my company the most?

    We can run rate analyses to compare your usage against the rates available and help you decide which rate is best for your business. Contact us for more details.

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  • How do I get my power turned on?

    You may apply for electric service online or call us at 1-888-430-5787.You will need the following information to apply for service:

    - Name of the company (or name for the primary account holder, if different) 

    - Service address (where the power is to be turned on) 

    - Names of any Alabama Power engineering or marketing representatives who have assisted you 

    - County, location name and building size information (if the building is new) 

    - Company phone number 

    - Federal tax ID (or Social Security number of the primary account holder) 

    - Mailing address (if different than service address) 

    - Effective date you would like service to be turned on (Monday through Friday) 

    - Temporary contact information during the installation process. 


    We can connect your electric service Monday through Friday if all inspection requirements are complete (service is not available on weekends). Orders submitted during regular business hours (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm) are eligible for next day service. Please note that we will not be able to provide next-day service for new service

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  • Do I have to pay a deposit when I apply for new service?

    Yes. All commercial customers are required to submit a deposit or other security when establishing service. Some commercial customers may be eligible for non-cash deposit alternatives. Please contact the Business Service Center at 1-888-430-5787 for more information.

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  • How is the amount of the deposit determined?

    The deposit required for a commercial account is twice the average monthly bill of the location being connected. If we do not have a sufficient usage history for your location, we will estimate your usage based on the type of business and size of your building.

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  • How can I get a copy of my paper bill?

    You can download and print a PDF version of your current bill and past bills. In most cases you can print 3 months of billing history. 

    - To obtain a copy of your current bill, use the “View/Print Bill” link on the My Account page. 

    - To obtain copies of your past bills, use the “Bill History” link under on the My Account page. Click on the date of the billing period in question to view the bill.

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  • What billing services are available online?

    Business customers can enroll in Paperless Billing or Auto Pay through the Online Customer Care section of our website.

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  • What payment options are available?

    We offer many different payment options for your convenience:

    - You can make a one-time payment online using your bank checking or savings account. You may pay from the My Account page or the Pay Bill page. 

    - You can mail a check or money order (never cash) in the envelope provided. 

    - Auto Pay is a free bill payment program where you authorize your bill amount to be automatically debited from your bank checking or savings account. 

    - Pay in person at your local Alabama Power Office

    Pay instantly with a credit card by calling Bill Matrix at 1-800-835-2702 or you may access this service on the Pay Bill page (a processing fee is required.)

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  • Does Alabama Power accept credit card payment?

    Credit card payment are accepted through Bill Matrix, a third-party company. A processing fee is required by Bill Matrix.

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  • Where do I mail my payment?

    Mail payments to P.O. Box 242, Birmingham, AL 35292. Mail a check or money order - never send cash through the mail. Use the envelope included with your bill if possible. Always be sure to include your payment stub and write your account number on your check.

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  • How is power restored to my business?

    We concentrate our initial restoration efforts in the areas and on the power lines that restore electricity to the greatest number of people in the shortest period of time. We place emphasis on vital community needs such as hospitals, emergency services, public safety, and water and sewage facilities. Please be patient, and we will restore your electric service as soon as we possibly can.

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  • What are your Customer Service business hours?

    7am - 6pm Monday thru Friday. You can send us emai 24/7. Email inquiries will receive a response from Customer Service within one business day. Please visit the Contact Customer Service page for detailed information.

    You may report a power outage 24hrs/7 days a week at 1-800-888-2726.

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  • Where do I mail my payment?

    Our mailing address can be obtained on the Contact Customer Service page. Mail a check or money order - never send cash through the mail. Use the envelope included with your bill if possible. Always be sure to include your payment stub and write your account number on your check.

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  • How do I know which rate is best for my business?

    We can complete a rate analyses to compare your electric usage against available rates and help you decide the best rate for your business.

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