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602 - Consumer Billing

 

I.          OBJECTIVE

To provide a systematic schedule for the reading of meters and the payment of energy bills on a monthly basis and to establish regulations which will assure prompt collections of delinquent accounts to the end that all patrons will be treated on a fair and equitable basis.

II.         CONTENT

A.    Co-op Read, Co-op Billed Accounts: For accounts where the meter is physically read by the Cooperative in order for the Cooperative to calculate and render a billing to the member-consumer, the following applies.

1.The meters for co-op read, co-op billed accounts shall be physically read on or about the 1st of each month by Cooperative personnel and bills shall be calculated and deposited in the mail within three (3) working days.  Payment shall be remitted to the Cooperative on or before the 17th of the month.

 

2.If payment is not received by the 17th of the month, a late payment penalty will be assessed on each account not paid by the due date.  For accounts on the budget billing plan, the penalty will be assessed only on the amount of the monthly payment.  The bill shall also be considered delinquent.  A grace period is provided to extend the payment date to the first working day following the 17th if the 17th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

B.    AMR Read, Co-op Billed Accounts: For accounts where the meter is read by the Cooperative’s AMR metering system to calculate and render a billing to the member-consumer, the following applies.

1.     The AMR meters shall be read three (3) to six (6) working days preceding the end of each month and bills shall be calculated by the Cooperative and deposited in the mail by the 1st of the month.  Payment shall be remitted to the Cooperative on or before the 17th of the month.

 

2.     If payment is not received by the 17th of the month, a late payment will be assessed on each account not paid by the due date.  For accounts on the budget billing plan, the penalty will be assessed only on the amount of the monthly payment.  The bill shall also be considered delinquent.  A grace period is provided to extend the payment date to the first working day following the 17th if the 17th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

3.     Members that do not want the Cooperative to record their electric usage with an AMR meter may opt out of the remote metering program.  For those members that opt out, the Cooperative shall utilize a non-AMR metering package.  If a separate trip is required by Cooperative personnel to complete the meter change-out, a $47.50 charge will be assessed to help defray expenses.  Cooperative personnel shall then read the meter on a monthly basis for billing purposes.  A meter reading fee of $47.50 per month shall be applied to their account to offset the cost of reading the meter manually and inputting their electric usage into the billing system manually.

C.    Any account not paid after the delinquent date shall be sent a delinquent notice.  The delinquent notice shall inform the member-consumer that the balance due must be paid, or arrangements for payment made by the date indicated on the notice.

D.    If payment has not been received, or if arrangements for payment have not been made, by the date indicated on the delinquent notice, a disconnect notice shall be sent which will inform the member-consumer that the balance due must be paid, or arrangements for payment made, by the date listed on the disconnect notice or the electric service will be disconnected.

E.     If payment has not been received, or if arrangements for payment have not been made, by the date indicated on the disconnect notice and Cooperative personnel make a trip to collect or disconnect the service, a $47.50 collection or disconnect charge will be added to the delinquent account to help defray expenses

F.     Before a service is reconnected during normal working hours and Cooperative personnel make a trip to reconnect the service, the consumer shall pay a charge of $47.50 plus any other applicable charges or fees.  If the consumer requests that service be reconnected after normal working hours, the charge shall be $165.00 plus any other applicable charges or fees.

G.    The provisions of this policy shall apply unless a written contract for electric service has been executed with the consumer which specifies other billing and collection procedures.

H.    Billing Errors: When billing errors are discovered, the billing department will recalculate the billing to determine the amount overpaid or underpaid.

1.Any overpayment will be refunded to the member-consumer(s) involved.  No time limit shall apply.  The refund shall be calculated from the point the error occurred to the point it was discovered and corrected.  If the point the error occurred cannot be fixed with reasonable certainty, the refund will be limited to one year consisting of the twelve (12) months prior to the date the error was discovered.

2.For any underpayment, the Cooperative will limit the indebtedness to one hundred percent (100%) of the underpayment for a maximum look back period of one year (12 months).

3.The Cooperative shall offer a deferred payment plan to any member-consumer for indebtedness due to a billing error of the Cooperative that permits such members to retire the debt by periodic payments as defined in a deferred payment plan.

4.The terms, conditions and acceptance of the member’s request for making deferred payment arrangements will be determined by the Cooperative after considering the following:

a.Amount and age of past due amounts;

 

b.The member-consumer’s ability to pay;

 

c.The member-consumer’s payment history;

 

d.Reasons for indebtedness; and

 

e.Any other relevant factors to the member-consumer’s electric service.

5.Any “Deferred Payment Agreement” shall be signed by the member-consumer and include the following provisions:

 

a.The member-consumer shall pay all future bills for electric service in accordance with billing policies and procedures;

 

b.The member-consumer shall retire the indebtedness according to the terms of the deferred payment agreement;

 

c.No interest shall apply on the outstanding balance of the indebtedness;

 

d.The deferred payment amount shall be subject to late payment penalties; and

 

e.If the member defaults upon any payment due under the deferred payment agreement, the Cooperative shall have the right to demand immediate payment of the outstanding debt and service may be disconnected for nonpayment of any amount due.

III.       RESPONSIBILITY

A.    The General Manager is responsible for administering this policy and for recommending to the Board any changes deemed necessary.

B.    The General Manager may delegate to appropriate staff the various activities necessary to carry out this policy.

EFFECTIVE DATE:   January 1, 2017

DATE ADOPTED:     March 28, 2000

DATE REVISED:       September 25, 2002

DATE REVISED:       June 24, 2004

DATE REVISED:       August 21, 2008

DATE REVISED:       November 19, 2008

DATE REVISED:       May 21, 2009

DATE REVISED:       January 20, 2011

DATE REVISED:       December 22, 2011

DATE REVISED:       January 19, 2012

DATE REVISED:       November 21, 2012

DATE REVISED:       December 18, 2014

DATE REVISED:       November 19, 2015

DATE REVISED:       November 23, 2016

ATTESTED:   __________________________________

Chris Hofer, Secretary