Customer Rights – Residential Service
Effective October 15, 1992
All persons applying for electric utility service, with no established previous credit history with the Electrical Department, shall be required to complete an application for service. This application shall authorize the Electrical Department to seek a credit report from a credit reporting bureau.
If the new customer does not provide positive responses to at least three of the numbered questions on the application, and/or if the credit report received from a credit reporting bureau is unfavorable, the Electrical Department shall ask for a deposit equal to approximately three months of anticipated average monthly billings for the service address.
The Electrical Department may require a security deposit from a residential customer, other than a new customer, if any of the following conditions apply:
1. The Electrical Department has terminated the residential customer’s utility service during the past two years for any of the following reasons: (a) Non payment of a delinquent account; (b) failure to amortize an unpaid account balance in accordance with an agreement; (c) fraud or misrepresentation or (d) failure to reimburse the company for damages due to intentional or negligent acts of the customer.
2. If the Electrical Department has obtained a judgment against the prospective residential customer during the past two years for nonpayment of a delinquent account.
3. If the residential customer has had a delinquent account for three consecutive months or two consecutive billing cycles, whichever is more during the past two years.
4. If the residential customer has an outstanding delinquent account.
The Electrical Department shall pay simple interest on all residential security deposits. The interest rate shall be paid at the rate prescribed in Section 16-262J of the Connecticut General Statues and will be set annually in January of each year. The security deposit may, after a period of at least one year, be returned to the customer, at the Electrical Department’s discretion, providing a good payment history has been established.
The Electrical Department, in accordance with PURA guidelines, will not refuse to provide utility service where the customer lacks the financial ability to pay a security deposit, subject to PURA requirements.
An account shall be considered delinquent when a bill for electric utility service remains unpaid for a period of more than 30 days from the date it is rendered by the Electrical Department.
All delinquent accounts are subject to a 1 1/2% delinquency service charge, per month.
No partial payment of any delinquent account shall affect the delinquent status of the amount remaining unpaid on such account.
TERMINATION OF SERVICE
A notice of termination shall be sent with all past due bills, clearly stating the reason for pending termination and indicating the date on which service shall be terminated unless payment is received. In no instance shall this date be a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, or a day immediately preceding a legal holiday. In no instance shall service be terminated on any day after 3:00 p.m.
Right to Residential Utility Service
During Serious Illness
If you or anyone presently and normally living in your home is seriously ill, we will not shut off your utility service during such illness, if you have a medical letter, signed by your physician on file with our office. You will be required to make an equitable arrangement to pay your past due bills and to pay on a current basis all future bills while the illness continues.
The Electrical Department has the right to contest before the Department of Public Utility Control the validity of any serious illness certificate it receives.
You have the right to enter into a reasonable amortization agreement to pay off the past due balance of your account, during the timely payment of which your account may not be shut off. If you dispute the amount of your bill, the reasonableness of the amortization agreement, or a finding as to hardship (see below), you may appeal the Electrical Department’s decision to the Electrical Department’s Review Officer, and your account may not be shut off during the pendency of any such appeal. You have the right to protection from termination from November 1st to May 1st if you are a “hardship case” (as defined in the PURA Regulations) and lack the financial resources to pay your entire bill.
Please contact the Electrical Department immediately at (203) 866-9271 to exercise any of your rights as specified in this Notice.
A reasonable amortization agreement shall mean an agreement wherein the customer, in writing, promises to:
1. Immediately pay at least 20% of the outstanding past due balance.
2. Pay the remaining past due balance in monthly installments, not to exceed a maximum of eight months.
3. Simultaneously keep current his account for utility service as charges accrue in each subsequent billing period.
Once entered into, failure to comply with the conditions of an amortization agreement shall constitute a default and the entire account balance shall become due at that time, and a new termination notice shall be issued to the customer.
If a residential customer and the Electrical Department are unable to reach a reasonable amortization agreement, or from November 1st to May 1st to agree on whether the customer is a hardship case and lacks the financial resources to pay his entire account, the Electrical Department shall not terminate service, but shall refer the customer to the Electrical Department’s Review Officer. The Review Officer shall attempt to reach a reasonable amortization agreement with the customer.
The Electrical Department may request that the customer provide written documentation certifying that he is a hardship case and may require such documentation from a social service or other aid agency.
If the customer disagrees with the Review Officer on an amortization agreement or on a decision by the Review Officer as to whether or not the customer qualifies as a hardship (November 1st to May 1st), he shall be provided with a written report from the Review Officer. The report shall state that the customer has the right to appeal to the DPUC’s consumer assistance and information division for an informal investigation within five days of receipt of the Review Officer’s report. The report shall state the consumer assistance and information division’s toll free telephone number.
During the time in which a customer is appealing an amortization agreement or denial of hardship status, no termination shall be effected.
Electrical Department personnel sent to terminate service due to nonpayment are not authorized to accept any payment(s) in lieu of terminating service.
TERMINATION OF SERVICE TO TENANTS
Under PURA guidelines, service may not be terminated in certain situations. Please refer to PURA guidelines for a detailed explanation of conditions when these circumstances may apply.
RESTORATION OF SERVICE UPON TERMINATION FOR NONPAYMENT
Restoration of service will occur only after the customer has paid the entire past due (arrears) portion of his account, or entered into an acceptable amortization agreement.
All restorations shall take place after 1:00 p.m. on the day in which the account balance has been satisfied, as previously noted. In most cases, all restorations will be completed before 4:30 p.m., depending on the number of restorations to be performed that day.
A restoration (reconnect) fee of $30.00 will be charged and must be paid prior to restoration, if restored during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) or $75.00 if restored after normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reconnections after normal business hours will end at 9:00 p.m.
GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF SERVICE WITH NOTICE
(Other than for nonpayment)
The Electrical Department may terminate service, with notice, for any of the following reasons (list not all inclusive):
1. In the event that the furnishing of service would be in contravention of any orders, ordinances or laws of the Federal Government or by the State of Connecticut or any political subdivision thereof.
3. Customer use of equipment in such a manner as to adversely affect the Electrical Department’s equipment or the Electrical Department’s service to others, after the customer has first been notified and afforded an opportunity to remedy the interfering influence.
4. Failure of the customer to provide the Electrical Department reasonable access to its equipment, or in the event access thereto is obstructed or hazardous.
5. In the event unauthorized unmetered service or unauthorized metered service is found to be used.
GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF SERVICE WITHOUT NOTICE
1. In the event of tampering with wires, pipes, meters or other utility equipment by the customer.
2. Fraud or material misrepresentation in obtaining utility service.
3. Any condition that creates a dangerous or hazardous condition for the customer or distribution system.