AIKEN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS
100 - ELECTRIC SERVICE AVAILABILITY
101 - Application for Membership
102 -Service Security Deposits
103 - Extension Policy - Overhead Services
104 - Extension Policy - Underground Services
105 - Standard Supply Voltages
106 - Service Interruptions
107 - Standby Power
108 - Resale Power
109 - Office and Service Hours
110 - Prior Debts
200 - SERVICE CONNECTIONS, MEMBER WIRING, MEMBER EQUIPMENT
300 - RATE SCHEDULES
301 - Single Phase Service - Rate Schedule "A"
302 - Three Phase Service - Rate Schedule " B"
303 - School Service - Rate Schedule "D"
304 - Large Power Service - Rate Schedule "ISD"
305 - Large Power Service - Rate Schedule "IST-2"
306 - Large Power Service - Rate Schedule "LP"
307 - Security Lighting Service - Rate Schedule "E"
308 - Municipal Street Lighting - Rate Schedule "F"
313 - Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment - Rate Schedule "WPCA"
314 - Required Transformer Capacity
315 - Single Phase Service - Rate Schedule "AP"
316 - Net Metering - Time of Use Retail Sales - Rate Schedule NM-TOU
317 - Decorative Lighting Schedule - Rate Schedule "DL"
318 - Small Irrigation Single-Phase Service - Schedule "SI"
319 - Irrigation Time of Use Service - Schedule "I-TOU"
400 – METERING
401 - Electric Meters
402 - Meter Reading
403 - Incorrect Reading of Meter
404 - Failure of Meter to Register Correctly
405 - Meter Tests
406 - Automated Meter Reading
407 - Meter Tampering Charge
408 - Non-Standard Meter Reading Fee
500 – BILLING
501 - Billing Period and Payment of Bills
502 - Adjustment of Bills
503 - Collecting, Disconnect for Failure to Pay, and Re-Connection Fees
504 - Other Reasons for Disconnection
505 - Extension of Credit
506 – Payment by Check and Returned Items
600 - EASEMENTS, RIGHT OF ACCESS AND COOPERATIVE PROPERTY
800 - WITHDRAWAL OF MEMBERSHIP
- September 16, 1976
- March 15, 1984
- July 18, 1985
- May 3, 1988
- July 1, 1990
- April 1, 1992
- September 12, 1995
- April 25, 1996
- October 22, 1998
- November 23, 1999
- August 24, 2000
- October 27, 2005
- April 26, 2007
- September 27, 2007
- June 26, 2008
- March 26, 2009
- January 1, 2010
- July 28, 2016
- February 22, 2018
By: O. Dewitt Livingston - President , Linda Bramlett - Secretary/Treasurer
I - APPLICATION OF RULES AND REGULATIONS
These Rules and Regulations apply to each and every member or applicant for membership and it is the obligation of every member or applicant for membership to abide by these Rules and Regulations. They are a part of every contract for service made by the Cooperative, unless modified by special terms written therein, and govern all classes of service. Copies of all Rates, Rules, Regulations and Bylaws are on file in the Cooperative's offices and are open to inspection by members.
These Rules and Regulations may be revised, amended, supplemented, or otherwise changed from time to time by action of the Board of Trustees. All such revisions, amendments, supplements or changes shall become effective immediately unless otherwise stated and shall be filed with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.
100 - ELECTRIC SERVICE AVAILABILITY
101 - Application for Membership Top
Any person, firm, association, corporation or body politic or subdivision thereof desiring electric service shall become a member, sign a written application for membership and pay a $10.00 membership fee together with any service security deposit that may be required by the Cooperative. However, not having a written application for membership on file at the Cooperative in no way relieves the member from any duties, responsibilities, or obligations associated with membership. If already a member and desiring an additional service connection, a request for service shall be made and a service security deposit shall be paid if required by the Cooperative. In this application the consumer shall agree to purchase from the Cooperative all electric energy used on premises, with the exception of renewable energy generated by the member's own equipment and covered under applicable rate schedules, and to be bound by the Cooperative's Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and all Rules, Regulations and Rate Schedules published pursuant thereto. Upon termination of membership, membership fee will be refunded or applied against unpaid balance owed the Cooperative. Applicant agrees to pay all cost of collection including attorney fees, collection fees and contingent fees to collection agencies of 26%, such contingency fee to be added and collected by the collection agency immediately upon your default and our referral of your account to said collection agency.
All name changes requested by members must be supported by a proper legal document, e.g. divorce decree, marriage certificates and death certificates, etc. As an Aiken Electric Cooperative member, I may receive phone notifications including automated calls unless requested otherwise.
102 - Service Security Deposits Top
A service security deposit shall be collected in advance of connecting any service with respect to which the Cooperative determines that such deposit is needed to assure payment of the power bill. In determining the need for service security deposits, and in fixing the amount of such deposits, the Cooperative will give careful regard to the following factors:
A. Type of service involved;
B. Risk involved in a new business enterprise;
C. Reputation of the involved premises;
D. Credit rating of the consumer;
E. History of connects, disconnects and reconnects at the involved premises or for the involved consumer; and
F. Any other factor having a realistic bearing on the consumer's financial dependability.
However, such standard Residential deposit shall be $500. Payment arrangements on the deposit (Residential only) may be made with a minimum down of $200 with the remainder payable over three months.
Such standard Poultry deposit will be $1,850.
The deposit for other services (security light, barn, residential well, etc.) will be determined upon application for the specific service.
Existing customers whose accounts contain less than the standard deposit will be subject to additional deposits, up to the standard amount, if they incur three consecutive 30 days arrears in any 24 month period, or if their account is disconnected for nonpayment or fraudulent use.*
In lieu of a security deposit for residential and poultry accounts, the Cooperative may accept one of the following:
A. An acceptable letter of credit from a previous power supplier
B. A surety bond.
C. An irrevocable letter of credit
D. A certificate of deposit in a joint account for the consumer and the Cooperative
E. A financial responsibility agreement signed by a member in good standing.
F. An existing member with good payment history
G. An acceptable credit rating from the Cooperative designated Credit Bureau (if member declines credit check, one of the above options must be utilized to avoid deposit)
After one year and at member’s request, the deposit (Residential and poultry only) shall be refunded without interest unless:
A written contract for service provides otherwise.
The consumer’s past payment record shows a delinquent payment practice of two consecutive arrears or more than two nonconsecutive arrears in the past 12 months.
A consumer has more than one returned check in the past twelve months.
A consumer has had his service terminated for nonpayment or fraudulent use.
In any event, the deposit shall be refunded upon termination of the service, less any amounts the consumer may owe the Cooperative.
Such standard Commercial deposit shall be the two highest consecutive power bills at that premise. On accounts without billing history, the deposit will be based on two months estimated usage.
In lieu of a security deposit for Commercial accounts the Cooperative may accept one of the following:
- A surety bond
B. An irrevocable letter of credit
C. A certificate of deposit in a joint account for the consumer and the Cooperative
In lieu of a security deposit for agricultural irrigation accounts, the Cooperative may accept one of the following from any customer with an acceptable credit rating:
- An acceptable letter of credit from a previous power supplier.
B. An existing Aiken Electric account with good payment history in the customer's name.
C. An acceptable credit rating from the Cooperative's designated Credit Bureau.
If a corporation requests an agricultural irrigation account, the Cooperative may also accept a personal guaranty from a member with an acceptable credit rating in lieu of a security deposit.
The standard deposit will be required for 1) agricultural irrigation accounts for any customer with an unacceptable credit rating and 2) all other irrigation accounts.
Processing Fee - The processing fee is a $40.00 (effective 01/01/2010) charge and is non-refundable to help cover the cost of setting up new or additional accounts.
103 - Extension Policy - Overhead Facilities Top
Applications for overhead electric service facilities will be classified into one of the following defined classifications and service will be extended accordingly:
- Permanent Establishments
This classification includes permanent residences, schools, public buildings, churches, commercial and industrial establishments, any other establishments of a permanent nature, requiring electric service on a continuous basis. Single-phase electric service facilities will be extended to establishments of the classification in any location within the service area of the Cooperative upon request by the owner or occupant, without any requirement of contribution in aid of construction. Three phase service shall be extended to such establishments without any contribution in aid of construction of facilities extension deposit when such establishments are located near the Cooperative's existing three phase facilities. Three-phase service does require the recovery of investment per the applicable rate classification. Applicants for three-phase service may be required to execute a written contract in advance of extending such service.
- Construction Service
Temporary service for construction of buildings or other establishment which will receive permanent electric service from the Cooperative upon completion will be extended service under the same conditions as a permanent establishment as specified above.
- Other Temporary Service
Service will be extended to other temporary establishments upon receipt in advance of a contribution in aid of construction equal to the estimated labor for installation and retirement of the required facilities. With proper documentation the member may request reimbursement of the contribution in aid of construction if the service becomes permanent.
- Seasonal Establishments
Service shall be extended to permanent residential or commercial establishments used on a seasonal basis only under the same conditions as other permanent establishments, but the extension of such service shall obligate the consumer to keep connected continuously until the premises may be (1) permanently abandoned, (2) destroyed by fire or other casualty or (3) occupied by a successor applicant for service.
Consumers who have seasonal establishments disconnected and subsequently reconnected within a nine-month period (as a convenience to the member) shall be required to pay a $40.00 reconnection fee.
- Single Phase Wells
Single phase service to wells will require contribution in aid of construction in most cases where more than a standard service drop is required.
- Agricultural Irrigation Service
Service will be extended to permanent agricultural irrigation installations upon payment, in advance of construction, by the applicant/consumer of the full cost of the line extension and any needed upgrades to existing lines and facilities, or, at the applicant/consumer’s option, by entering into written agreement with the Cooperative, for a period of not less than 5-years, to pay an annual minimum bill, as provided in the rate schedule under which service will be provided. Where applicant/consumer elects to enter into an agreement with the Cooperative for the payment of an annual minimum bill, the consumer will be obligated to pay such minimum bill for a period of not less than five (5) years, regardless of whether the service remains connected. After five (5) years, the annual minimum bill will remain in effect, on a year-to-year basis, and the consumer will be required to pay the annual minimum bill for each year or portion of a year for which service is provided. Furthermore, any subsequent owner or operator of the irrigation installation shall be bound to the same terms as provided in this section.
104 – Extension Policy – Underground Services Top
The Cooperative will extend underground service, upon request, under the following conditions
- Underground Single and Three Phase Facilities
- The Cooperative may, solely at its option, perform a feasibility analysis to determine the extent to which a contribution in aid of construction may be required from an individual, owner, or developer to extend primary, secondary and / or service facilities. The results of this study, if performed, supersede any language within this section.
Examples of projects subject to feasibility analysis are Mini-Farm/Equestrian Community Developments and any other developments or subdivisions with large lots (i.e. greater than one acre average lot size) and areas of major topography variances. Also subject to feasibility analysis are individual applications for service not otherwise associated with developments or subdivisions requiring underground line extensions longer than normally encountered or under other unusual conditions.
- If during construction, due to rock or soil conditions, trenching work cannot be accomplished by use of standard trenching machines, any excess costs caused by such conditions may be charged by the Cooperative to the individual, owner or developer. Where there are other unusual conditions, such as high water table, which require installation procedures not normally used, excess cost of such procedures may be charged by the Cooperative to the individual, owner or developer.
- Individual Consumer - Underground Single Phase Primary and Services
Underground single phase primary extensions and secondary services will be provided to an individual consumer at no cost.
- New Developments - Underground Primary
At the request of an owner or developer the Cooperative will install underground distribution facilities for service in new developments (or new sections of existing developments) where there is no existing overhead primary service, upon the following terms and conditions:
- Underground single phase primary extensions and secondary service for consumers within a development will be provided at a minimum of $ 1500 per lot/unit for the development or section to be constructed, paid in advance by the project owner or developer. This payment is non-refundable.
- Any three phase requirements within a development will not require contribution in aid of construction. Three phase service does require the recovery of investment per the applicable rate classification.
- Where construction within a development is expected to be random or non-sequential in nature, or where the Cooperative believes initially that occupancy of substantial portions of the development is likely to be delayed for significant period beyond the initial request for service, completion of installation of underground facilities will be made only upon, and in accordance with, a written contractual agreement.
- Security or Other Outdoor Lighting
Underground service to security or other outdoor lighting will be provided without additional expense within the distance limits of good engineering practice from an existing transformer location. The member will be charged the estimated labor for additional construction required to locate a transformer within an acceptable distance from the requested light location.
- Conversion of Overhead Secondary and Service Facilities
At the request of an owner, the Cooperative will replace existing overhead secondary and service facilities with underground service, upon the following terms and conditions:
- Where there is no change in premise the member will be required to pay contribution in aid of construction equal to the labor estimate for the overhead to underground conversion.
- Where there is a change in premise the request is deemed a new service and handled per the extension policy for underground services. A change in premise requires the removal or destruction of the previous service location.
- Underground Extensions to Permanent Agricultural Irrigation Installations
Extensions to Permanent Agricultural Irrigation Installations shall be provided in accordance with section 103(F).
- Additional Conditions Applicable To All Underground Facility Installations
- The owner or developer will furnish, without cost to the Cooperative, necessary easements and rights-of-way. The owner or developer will be required to have the rights-of-way and all streets, alleys, sidewalks and driveway entrance graded to near final grade, and will have lot line established before construction of the electrical distribution system begins.
- The type of construction and the location of said facilities will be at the option of the Cooperative. Should the owner or developer desire changes in either location or type of construction, such installations will be made only upon the owner or developer agreeing to pay to the Cooperative the estimated additional labor cost incurred thereby.
105 -Standard Supply VoltagesTop
One system of alternating current, 60 hertz per second, is supplied throughout the Cooperative's system.
The voltage, number of phases, and type of metering which will be supplied depends upon the Cooperative's facilities available and upon the character, size and location of the load to be served. Therefore, the consumer shall consult the Cooperative before proceeding with the purchase or installation of wiring or equipment. To avoid misunderstanding, this information should be in writing.
The standard secondary voltages described below are nominal and are subject to a plus or minus 6% variation.
Single phase, 2 wire, 120 volts
Single phase, 3 wire, 120/240 volts
Three phase, 120-208 volts
Three phase, 120-240 volts
Three phase, 240-480 volts
Three phase, 277-480 volts
The standard primary voltages described below are nominal and are subject to a plus or minus 7% variation.
Single phase, 2 wire, 7200 volts or 14,400 volts
Three phase, 4 wire, 7200/12,470 volts or 14,400/24,940 volts
It will not be considered a violation when voltages outside of the prescribed limits are caused by any of the following:
A. Action of the elements
B. Service interruptions
C. Temporary separation of parts of the systems from the main system
D. Infrequent fluctuations not exceeding 5 minutes duration
E. Other causes beyond the control of the Cooperative
106 - Service Interruptions Top
The Cooperative does not guarantee continuous and uninterrupted electric service and will not be liable for loss or damage to any consumer's equipment caused by any failure to supply electricity or by any interruption or reversal of the supply of electricity if due to any cause beyond the reasonable control of the Cooperative.
The consumer shall notify the Cooperative promptly of any defect in service or of any trouble or irregularity in the electric supply.
Whenever service is interrupted for work on lines or equipment, such work shall be done, as far as practicable, at a time that will cause the least inconvenience to the consumer. The consumer to be affected by such interruptions shall, if practicable, be notified in advance.
107 - Standby Power Top
No electric power sold by the Cooperative shall be used as reserve or standby service, or in any way in conjunction with any other service of power without the Cooperative's prior written consent.
108 - Resale of Power Top
Consumers shall not directly resell electric energy for any purpose. Consumers shall not divert electric energy to other premises or use it for purposes other than those permitted by the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of the Cooperative, and by state or local laws, rules and codes.
109 - Office and Service Hours Top
The Cooperative maintains offices at Aiken, Edgefield, New Ellenton, and North. The offices are open for business between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except New Ellenton is closed from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Routine and regular service work is performed during the hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. No routine or regular service work will be performed on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. Service work for unusual conditions or circumstances may be arranged at other times upon request. Emergency service is performed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Service personnel may be reached by calling the Cooperative's nearest office during regular office hours, and during non-office hours by calling the Aiken numbers shown under the Cooperative's listing in telephone directories.
Telephone numbers as of April 1992 are:
New Ellenton: 803-652-2226
Edgefield: 803-637-3189 or 803-593-4457
110 - Prior Debts Top
The Cooperative shall not be required to furnish service to an applicant (1) who, at the time of such application, is indebted to the Cooperative under an undisputed bill for service previously furnished to applicant or furnished to any other member of applicant’s household or to applicant’s business, (2) who seeks service to a property or business owned or operated by a member of applicant’s household or by an affiliate of applicant, for which an undisputed indebtedness is owed to the Cooperative for service previously provided, or (3) who is not a new owner of the property or business for which service is sought, and the existing owner of the property or business is indebted to the Cooperative under an undisputed bill for service previously provided, until such indebtedness has been satisfied.
200 - SERVICE CONNECTIONS, MEMBER WIRING, MEMBER EQUIPMENT
201 - Service Connections Top
The Cooperative will furnish and install only one service drop to a metered point. The consumer must furnish a point of attachment for the Cooperative's service facilities which will meet the National Electric Safety Code, all applicable state and county statues and ordinances and the Cooperative's requirements.
The point of attachment furnished by the consumer must be located at a point where the Cooperative facilities can be constructed at reasonable cost, and in accordance with sound engineering practices.
The Cooperative's responsibility for installation and/or maintenance of service facilities shall not extend beyond the point of attachment to the consumer's building, central distribution point, or the electric power consumption measuring device.
A consumer may have any number of service connections under one membership. Consumer can make a request verbally for additional service.
When it is necessary to relocate the existing facilities of the Cooperative and the relocated Cooperative facilities are not convenient to the existing service facilities of the consumer, the Cooperative will pay for relocation of the consumer service facilities.
All service facilities and equipment constructed and installed by the Cooperative shall remain the sole property of the Cooperative and shall not become part of the property or premises to which said facilities are attached or on which said facilities are constructed.
202 - Temporary Service Poles Top
Temporary poles for attachment of service wires and metering equipment shall be furnished by consumers, who have new buildings under construction or who are reconstructing a building.
The temporary service pole shall be constructed in accordance with the National Electric Safety Code and applicable Cooperative specifications.
In addition to the normal meter socket, the temporary service pole shall have a current protected service panel and necessary convenience outlets for use by the consumer.
The temporary service pole shall not be used by the consumer to service the building after the building has been occupied or the construction of the building has progressed to such a stage that the temporary service can be made permanent on the constructed building.
203 - General Wiring Requirements Top
Each consumer shall cause all premises receiving electric service pursuant to his membership to become and remain wired in accordance with specifications and requirements of the Cooperative, the National Electric Safety Code and any requirements of local government agencies having jurisdiction over the premises. All service entrance cables shall be exposed and in plain sight from the service head to the meter socket. Where this is not possible or desirable, enclosed service in rigid conduit will be permitted.
In no event shall the responsibility of the Cooperative extend beyond the point at which its service wires are attached to the meter loop provided for measuring electricity used on such premises.
204 - Member Equipment Top
- Electric Motors
The Cooperative should always be consulted on motor installations. The maximum permissible size depends upon the consumer's location on the distribution system and the capacity of the circuit.
It is the characteristic of most electric motors to draw a heavy momentary current when starting, resulting in many cases in variation in the voltage supplied to other members who receive service from the same circuits or transformers. It is, therefore, necessary that the Cooperative limit the amount of starting current which may be drawn by a motor.
All motors should be provided with devices that will protect the motor against overload or short circuit. All three phase motors shall have overload devices to insure proper protection for the motor. Motors that cannot be safely subjected to full voltage at starting should be provided with applicable protection devices. Where Code allows, all three phase motors should be installed with a device to insure that on the failure of the supply voltage the motor will be disconnected from the line.
The direction of phase rotation and the continuity of all three-phase current are guarded with great care, but the Cooperative cannot guarantee against accidental or temporary change of phase or single-phasing (loss-of-phase) conditions.
- Electric Generators
Where auxiliary or breakdown service is installed by the consumer to provide emergency power, parallel operation of the consumer's generating equipment with the Cooperative's system will not be allowed. Double throw switch must be used to prevent possible injury to the Cooperative workmen by making it impossible for power to be fed back into the main line from the emergency generator.
- Electric Welders and Miscellaneous Devices
Consumers desiring to operate electric welders or other devices with high inrush or fluctuating currents must supply the Cooperative with information regarding the electrical characteristics of the equipment. Service will not be allowed to equipment which adversely affects the Cooperative's equipment of the service to other members.
The Cooperative must be consulted before the purchase of installation of equipment.
- Consumer Responsibility
All such required protection equipment shall be installed at the cost of the consumer.
205 - Power Factor Corrections Top
The maintenance of high power factor is of primary importance in the economic operation and maintenance of the distribution system. Under loaded motors contribute largely to the creation of low power factor unfavorable to both the Cooperative and the consumer.
Where the overall power factor of the consumer's load is less than 85% lagging, the Cooperative may require the consumer to install at his own expense, equipment to correct the power factor. The Cooperative reserves the right to measure the power factor at any time.
206 - Multi-Phase Service Top
When multi-phase service is furnished, the consumer will at all times maintain a reasonable balance of load between the phase.
207 - Security Light Service Top
- At the request of the member, the Cooperative will install dusk to dawn lighting upon the terms and conditions outlined in the appropriate rate schedule.
2.Members desiring to relocate security lights will not be charged for the relocation if the same pole and light can be used for such relocation.
300 - RATE SCHEDULES Top
This schedule is applicable to all single-phase uses. Buildings or facilities incidental to farm or residential use may be billed from a single meter or from individual meters at the option of the consumer. However, each meter shall be considered a service connection and a monthly bill be rendered for it.
In multi-family residential buildings or facilities, each family unit must be individually metered, unless the rental charge includes the cost of utilities.
This schedule is available to any member located where supply lines are available for three-phase service requiring 50 KVA or less of installed transformer capacity.
This schedule is available to any tax supported school which is a member of the Cooperative where supply lines are available for three phase service requiring 750 KVA or less of installed transformer capacity.
This schedule is available to members located on or near the Cooperative's three phase lines for loads requiring in excess of 750 KVA of installed transformer capacity.
This schedule is available to Industrial consumers located on or near transmission lines of Central Electric Power Cooperative for connected loads in excess of 750 KVA of installed transformer capacity.
The schedule is available to members located on or near the Cooperative's three phase lines for loads requiring 50 KVA to 750 KVA of installed transformer capacity.
This schedule is applicable to outdoor dusk to dawn lighting service for individual consumers.
This schedule is applicable only to municipalities.
Cooperative will continue to provide Good Cents credits to present participating residential consumers for a period ending June 30, 2015, or a period ending earlier if a participating residential consumer no longer qualifies for the program. This program is closed and not open to new participants.
Cooperative will continue to provide Good Cents credits to present participating residential consumers for a period ending June 30, 2015, or a period ending earlier if a participating residential consumer no longer qualifies for the program. This program is closed and not open to new participants.
The adjustment factor stated in this schedule is applicable to and is a part of the Cooperative's rate schedules in which reference is made to Schedule WPCA.
The term "required transformer capacity" used in connection with determining the minimum bill under a rate schedule shall be taken to mean the capacity which is required to carry the member's load rather than the capacity installed. The Cooperative may find it convenient or advisable to install larger transformers than actually required. Where two or more members are serviced from the same transformer, the minimum charge for each shall be based on the transformer capacity which would normally be needed for his individual requirements.
This schedule is available to any residential consumer of the Cooperative located on its lines; subject to the established rules and regulations of the Cooperative and ADVANCE PAY terms and conditions. This rate may be discontinued solely at the Cooperative’s option.
This schedule is applicable for all demand and energy furnished by the Cooperative to residential customers who operate an Eligible Generation Source as defined herein. Service provided hereunder is on a first-come, first-served basis as a pilot program conducted jointly by the Cooperative and its power supplier, Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc, (“Central”), subject to the General Conditions set forth herein, and further subject modification or discontinuation at the Cooperative’s discretion. Services purchased hereunder shall be metered and billed separately by single-customer load.
This schedule is available to any consumer of the Cooperative located on its lines for single-phase service for small permanent agricultural irrigation service, including power for motors; subject to the established rules and regulations of the Cooperative.
This schedule is available to consumers located on or near the Cooperative's distribution lines for all irrigation uses requiring up to 750 kVA of three-phase installed transformer capacity, subject to the established Service Rules and Regulations of the Cooperative.
400 - METERING
401 - Electric Meters Top
All meter sockets shall be installed on an exterior wall as nearly as possible at eye level, and in no case more than six feet above finished grade level.
The consumer shall furnish and install suitable wiring within the meter enclosure or meter socket to permit the Cooperative to install the meter without any additional materials.
For large single-phase installations of over 200 amperes and for all three-phase installations, the Cooperative will specify the type of meter equipment required before the installation of same.
402 - Meter Reading Top
Meter readings are downloaded through the TWACS system daily.
403 - Incorrect Reading of Meter (See Operations Policy No. 811) Top
Corrections shall be made whenever meters are incorrectly read. The correct reading shall be ascertained whenever possible and the bills will be recalculated as nearly as possible to reflect the correct usage.
404 - Failure of Meter to Register Correctly (See Operations Policy No. 811) Top
If a meter fails to register correctly, the consumer will be billed on an estimated consumption which will be based on the previous use of the consumer. Consideration will be given to consumption of months immediately preceding, consumption in similar periods of other years, comparative uses and sizes of connected loads, and other relevant facts.
If a meter is tested and found to have over-registered or under-registered by more than 2%, an adjustment will be made in the bill retroactively to the date the over or under registration began if such a date can be determined, but not normally to exceed three months.
405 - Meter Tests Top
The Cooperative will, upon request, test the accuracy of a consumer's meter. If the meter, upon testing, is found to be more than 2% (plus or minus) in error, the member will be billed $40.00 (effective 01/01/2010). Every effort is exerted to maintain a high standard of accuracy by routine meter testing, spot meter testing, and by testing meters prior to reinstallation.
406 – Automated Meter Reading Top
Advances in technology allow the Cooperative the opportunity to read meters through the TWACS system from a signal sent to the substation via primary and secondary lines. Member understands that this is necessary, convenient, or appropriate to accomplish the purpose for which the Cooperative is organized.
407 - Meter Tampering Charge Top
In the event Aiken Electric determines there is evidence that fraudulent, unauthorized use of electricity, or meter tampering has occurred, a Meter Tampering charge of $250.00 (effective 09/01/2008) plus reconnect fees and any unmetered electricity usage must be paid before service will be reconnected.
408 – Non-Standard Meter Reading Fee Top
Any member may elect to have their standard meter removed and replaced with a non-standard meter. To make this election, the account holder or the account holder’s properly designated representative must properly complete and submit to the Cooperative the Election to Use Non-Standard Meter Form. A monthly fee will be charged for each meter where the member has elected to have the non-standard meter installed. The monthly fee will include a trip charge of $35 and an administrative fee of $25.
If a member with multiple accounts elects to have its standard meter removed and replaced with a non-standard meter for more than one account, a separate Non-Standard Meter Form must be properly completed for each respective account and submitted to the Cooperative.
The Cooperative may designate a different type of meter as its standard meter from time to time. The Cooperative’s standard meter is an advanced solid state meter with two way communication.
500 - BILLING
501 - Billing Period and Payment of Bills Top
Bills are due and payable upon receipt of the bill by the consumer and shall be considered past due if payment is not made by the 20th day following the billing date. If bill has not been paid member will receive notification using the primary number on file. To stop receiving automated delinquent calls members may enlist a phone number on the opt out list. Members may opt in by informing AEC. Payment of electric bills may be made at any of the approved paying stations.
The Cooperative will accept partial payments only as a convenience to the member. Acceptance of the partial payment does not relieve the member from complying with any of the rules and regulations.
502- Adjustment of Bills (See Operations Policy No. 811) Top
If it is determined that a bill has been prepared incorrectly or based on incorrect information, the bill shall be adjusted.
- For incorrect meter reading, see 403.
- For erroneous meter registration, see 404.
- For shorts and grounds in consumer's wiring or equipment: any KWH usage above normal (as determined by the Cooperative) shall be billed at the average wholesale power cost for a period not to exceed three months. Adjustments shall not be made after a short or ground is discovered and correction can be made.
503 - Collecting, Disconnect for Failure to Pay, and Reconnection Fee Top
For accounts that do not have disconnect collars, the Field Representatives will go to the location and inform member that they can make payment via telephone by Visa, Mastercard, or E-check (if applicable, for members that we can not accept a check – this is not an option) to avoid disconnection. If the customer has cash, the Field Representative will inform member that cash payment will need to be made at an AEC office and/or a pay station. The Field Representative can accept the cash payment under extreme circumstances. A $35.00 fee will be charged if the payment is collected in field or if a decision is made by the Field Representative to give customer same day additional time.
Members whose service has been disconnected for failure to pay the bill when due shall be required to pay $60.00 reconnection fee prior to reconnection. This fee shall be applicable for reconnection made during normal working hours. Reconnection requested and made after 4 p.m. shall be made during such hours only upon the consumer agreeing to pay a reconnection fee of $100.00. If a member has a collar at their location and their account has been disconnected, past due amount plus reconnect fee must be paid to be reconnected. Member can pay by Visa, Mastercard or E-check (if profile is set up). If member is unable to make payment by these options, member can take payment and reconnect fee to one of our pay stations. If member is unable to take the payment to a pay station, they may be reconnected with the commitment to have the payment in the office prior to 9:00 am the next business morning. This option can be used 1 time in a 12 month period (the 12 months begins again at the date of occurrence). Member must understand that the entire payment plus the $100 reconnect fee will be required the next business morning. On non-collared accounts, the reconnect without payment is not necessary since payment can be collected under extreme circumstances. The dispatchers will inform the members to pay by the methods listed above to avoid the need to collect on the non-collared accounts. No reconnects will be made when the safety of employees is jeopardized. A $30.00 (effective 09/01/2008) service charge will be made for all checks not honored by the bank and returned to the Cooperative.
Member agrees to pay all cost of collection including attorney fees, collection fees, and contingent fees to collection agencies of 26%, such contingency fee to be added and collected by the collection agency immediately upon your default and our referral of your account to said collection agency.
504 - Other Reasons for Disconnection Top
Service will be disconnected immediately and without notice for the following reasons:
- Discovery of meter tamperingB. Diversion of electric currentC. Use of power for unlawful reasonsD. Discovery of a condition determined by the Cooperative to be hazardous.
Electric service will be reconnected in the above cases under the following conditions:
- Correction of infraction
- Payment of any unmetered current, if applicable
- Payment of any damage of Cooperative equipment
- Payment of all applicable fees
- Member must agree to comply with reasonable requirements to protect Cooperative against further infractions.
Service may be disconnected, but only after notice and reasonable time to correct infractions has been allowed for the following reasons:
- For violation of and/or noncompliance with any applicable state or other local laws, regulations and codes pertaining to electric service.B. For noncompliance with Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of the Cooperative.
Electric service disconnected for above reasons will be reconnected upon correction of infractions under same conditions as if consumer had requested disconnection.
505 - Extension of Credit Top
To qualify for a deferred payment arrangement a member must have no more than two non-consecutive arrears, no cut-offs and no returned checks in the past 12 months. A members’ account that does not meet the criteria below must have a $500 deposit.
A deferred payment arrangement must be completed with the Cooperative. Appropriate personnel in each office will be responsible for monitoring arrangements and ordering disconnects on non- compliant accounts. Not more than two deferred payment agreements may be offered to any consumer during any twelve-month period. Deferred Payment Agreements must be adhered to and will be strictly enforced. Failure to meet agreement conditions will mean immediate termination of service. Any consumer who fails to abide by the payment agreement shall not be allowed to execute another agreement until 12 months of satisfactory payment record has been established.
The Cooperative may deviate from its policy on cutoffs for delinquent bills only in accordance with the following standards.
When it is determined that extension of credit for a fixed time, or arrangement for installment payments of the bill will not unduly impair the Cooperative's ability to effectuate final collection on the bill; or
When the involved bill is a final bill covering service to a farm, home or other residential account and the main building thereof has been destroyed by fire not caused by acts of arson on the part of the consumer or his family; or
When to disconnect service might post immediate danger to the consumer or other persons due to illness or when the household is immediately and directly affected by a death.
No check will be accepted that is postdated or for the purpose of holding until a future date. Personal checks will be accepted for payment, however no two party checks will be accepted. Checks written over the amount of the bill will be applied to future charges as change or cash back is not given on personal checks.
Checks received on delinquent accounts without signature will not exempt account from cut-off if scheduled. The Cooperative reserves the right not to accept payment in the form of a check or credit card if the history of an individual’s account reflects two or more returned items within a six month period or if the last item returned indicated Account Closed.
In the event of a Returned Payment:
- A $30.00 service charge will be assessed for each time a payment is returned.
- Returned items received for payment of membership and/or deposits that are returned by the bank will mean immediate termination of service of the affected account.
- Returned items by the bank that were received as payment for reconnection of an account cut-off on delinquent will subject said account to immediate termination of service.
- Returned items by the bank due to insufficient funds and the member’s account history reflects two or more returned items within the previous six month period will subject the account to immediate termination of service.
- Returned items by the bank that were received on a member’s account on which a payment arrangement had been made will subject the account to immediate termination.
- Returned items by the bank indicating Account Closed will subject the account to disconnection immediately.
- Returned items given for other reasons that are returned by the bank will be handled in the following manner:
- A preprinted notice will be sent requesting immediate payment for the item, plus a $30.00 service charge for the returned item.
- (b) After five days, if no attempt has been made to clear account, service will be
600 - EASEMENTS, RIGHT OF ACCESS AND COOPERATIVE PROPERTY
601 - Member to Grant Easements to CooperativeTop
Each consumer shall grant to the Cooperative easement or right-of-way over, on, and under such lands owned by the consumer, and in accordance with such reasonable terms and conditions as the Cooperative shall require for the furnishing of electric service to him or other consumers or for the construction, operation, maintenance or relocation of electric, telecommunications, television, voice or data transmission and distribution or similar facilities. In certain cases the Cooperative may request written easement documents and the Member shall execute and so deliver to the Cooperative such documents.
The Cooperative, it successors or assigns, shall have the right of ingress and egress to and from said right-of-way over and/or across consumer's property and the further right from time to time to inspect said electric lines, install guy wires and anchors extending beyond the limits of the right-of-way strip when determined necessary, to perform necessary maintenance and repairs, make alterations and additions thereto, trim, cut, or remove trees, underbrush, and other obstructions from said right-of-way, apply herbicide and to trim or remove and to keep trimmed or remove dead, diseased, weak or leaning trees or limbs outside the right-of-way strip which, in the opinion of the Cooperative, might interfere with or fall upon the electric or communication facilities within the right-of-way strip. The Cooperative shall have the right to remove at any time any of its facilities installed upon the property of the Consumer.
The Consumer, his or its successor, heirs, or assigns is fully to use said right-of-way with the exception that no building or structure shall be erected thereon, no planting of trees, nor shall the Consumer interfere in any way with the Cooperative’s full use of and access to this right-of-way.
602 - Right of Access Top
Cooperative's designated employees and other authorized personnel shall have right of access to consumer's premises for the purpose of reading meters, testing, repairing, removing, maintaining or exchanging any or all equipment and facilities which are the property of the Cooperative.
700 - MISCELLANEOUS
701 - Scheduled Outages Top
Although the greater part of the Cooperative's line maintenance and repair work is done with lines energized, there exist requirements for outages due to some work on lines. Such work shall be done, as far as possible, at a time which will cause the least inconvenience to the consumers. The consumers to be affected by such interruptions shall, if practicable, be notified in advance.
702 - Line and Facilities Relocation Top
In the event the existing location of the Cooperative's poles and/or lines interfere with the use of the property on which they are located, the Cooperative may, upon request, reasonably relocate such facilities upon the property owner agreeing to and paying the labor estimate for construction. The property owner must provide and/or acquire any necessary easements for right-of-way.
When Engineering Code Requirements, RUS Work Plan Schedules Safety Code considerations, or RUS standards require relocation of distribution facilities, the relocation will be at the Cooperative’s expense.
Any code infraction created by the actions of a member or other party shall be corrected by the Cooperative and the estimated labor cost will be billed to the responsible party.
703 - Notice of Service Disconnection Top
The consumer shall give a minimum of three days' notice prior to disconnection, unless written contract specified otherwise.
704 - No Prejudice of Rights Top
The failure by the Cooperative to enforce any of the terms of these Rules and Regulations shall not be deemed as a waiver of the Cooperative's right to do so.
800 - WITHDRAWAL OF MEMBERSHIP
801 - General Condition for Member Withdrawal Top
A member may voluntarily withdraw in good standing form membership upon compliance with the generally applicable conditions set forth in the following:
- Payment of any and all amounts due the Cooperative, and cessation of any noncompliance with his membership obligations, all as of the effective date of withdrawal; and either
- Removal to other premises not furnished service by the Cooperative; or
- Ceasing to use any central station electric service whatever at any of the premises to which such service has been furnished by the Cooperative pursuant to his membership.
Upon such withdrawal, the member shall be entitled to a refund of his membership fee and of any service security deposit then held by the Cooperative.