|(a) Disconnection policy. If an electric utility chooses
to disconnect a customer, it must follow the procedures below, or
modify them in ways that are more generous to the customer in terms
of the cause for disconnection, the timing of the disconnection notice,
and the period between notice and disconnection. Each electric utility
is encouraged to develop specific policies for disconnection that
treat its customers with dignity and respect its customers' or members'
circumstances and payment history, and to implement those policies
in ways that are consistent and non-discriminatory. Disconnection
is an option allowed by the commission, not a requirement placed upon
the utility by the commission.
(b) Disconnection with notice. Electric utility service
may be disconnected after proper notice for any of these reasons:
(1) failure to pay a bill for electric utility service
or make deferred payment arrangements by the date of disconnection;
(2) failure to comply with the terms of a deferred
(3) violation of the electric utility's rules on using
service in a manner which interferes with the service of others or
the operation of nonstandard equipment, if a reasonable attempt has
been made to notify the customer and the customer is provided with
a reasonable opportunity to remedy the situation;
(4) failure to pay a deposit as required by §25.24
of this title (relating to Credit Requirements and Deposits); or
(5) failure of the guarantor to pay the amount guaranteed,
when the electric utility has a written agreement, signed by the guarantor,
that allows for disconnection of the guarantor's service.
(c) Disconnection without prior notice. Electric utility
service may be disconnected without prior notice for any of the following
(1) where a known dangerous condition exists for as
long as the condition exists. Where reasonable, given the nature of
the hazardous condition, the electric utility shall post a notice
of disconnection and the reason for the disconnection at the place
of common entry or upon the front door of each affected residential
unit as soon as possible after service has been disconnected;
(2) where service is connected without authority by
a person who has not made application for service;
(3) where service was reconnected without authority
after termination for nonpayment; or
(4) where there has been tampering with the electric
utility company's equipment or evidence of theft of service.
(d) Disconnection prohibited. Electric utility service
may not be disconnected for any of the following reasons:
(1) delinquency in payment for electric utility service
by a previous occupant of the premises;
(2) failure to pay for merchandise, or charges for
non-electric utility service, including but not limited to insurance
policies or home security systems, provided by the electric utility;
(3) failure to pay for a different type or class of
electric utility service unless charges for such service were included
on that account's bill at the time service was initiated;
(4) failure to pay charges arising from an underbilling,
except theft of service, more than six months prior to the current
(5) failure to pay disputed charges, except for the
required average billing payment, until a determination as to the
accuracy of the charges has been made by the electric utility or the
commission and the customer has been notified of this determination;
(6) failure to pay charges arising from an underbilling
due to any faulty metering, unless the meter has been tampered with
or unless such underbilling charges are due under §25.126 of
this title (relating to Adjustments Due to Non-Compliant Meters and
Meter Tampering in Areas Where Customer Choice Has Been Introduced);
(7) failure to pay an estimated bill other than a bill
rendered pursuant to an approved meter-reading plan, unless the electric
utility is unable to read the meter due to circumstances beyond its
(e) Disconnection on holidays or weekends. Unless a
dangerous condition exists or the customer requests disconnection,
service shall not be disconnected on holidays or weekends, or the
day immediately preceding a holiday or weekend, unless utility personnel
are available on those days to take payments and reconnect service.
(f) Disconnection due to electric utility abandonment.
No electric utility may abandon a customer or a certified service
area without written notice to its customers and all similar neighboring
utilities, and approval from the commission.
(g) Disconnection of ill and disabled. No electric
utility may disconnect service at a permanent, individually metered
dwelling unit of a delinquent customer when that customer establishes
that disconnection of service will cause some person residing at that
residence to become seriously ill or more seriously ill.
(1) Each time a customer seeks to avoid disconnection
of service under this subsection, the customer must accomplish all
of the following by the stated date of disconnection:
(A) have the person's attending physician (for purposes
of this subsection, the term "physician" shall mean any public health
official, including medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, nurse
practitioners, registered nurses, and any other similar public health
official) call or contact the electric utility by the stated date
(B) have the person's attending physician submit a
written statement to the electric utility; and
(C) enter into a deferred payment plan.
(2) The prohibition against service termination provided
by this subsection shall last 63 days from the issuance of the electric
utility bill or a shorter period agreed upon by the electric utility
and the customer or physician.
(h) Disconnection of energy assistance clients. No
electric utility may terminate service to a delinquent residential
customer for a billing period in which the electric utility receives
a pledge, letter of intent, purchase order, or other notification
that the energy assistance provider is forwarding sufficient payment
to continue service.
(i) Disconnection during extreme weather. An electric
utility cannot disconnect a customer anywhere in its service territory
on a day when:
(1) the previous day's highest temperature did not
exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature is predicted to
remain at or below that level for the next 24 hours, according to
the nearest National Weather Service (NWS) reports; or
(2) the NWS issues a heat advisory for any county in
the electric utility's service territory, or when such advisory has
been issued on any one of the preceding two calendar days.
(j) Disconnection of master-metered apartments. When
a bill for electric utility services is delinquent for a master-metered
(1) The electric utility shall send a notice to the
customer as required in subsection (k) of this section. At the time
such notice is issued, the electric utility shall also inform the
customer that notice of possible disconnection will be provided to
the tenants of the apartment complex in six days if payment is not
made before that time.
(2) At least six days after providing notice to the
customer and at least four days before disconnecting, the electric
utility shall post a minimum of five notices in conspicuous areas
in the corridors or other public places of the apartment complex.
Language in the notice shall be in large type and shall read: "Notice
to residents of (name and address of apartment complex): Electric
utility service to this apartment complex is scheduled for disconnection
on (date), because (reason for disconnection)."
(k) Disconnection notices. Any disconnection notice
issued by an electric utility to a customer must:
(1) not be issued before the first day after the bill
is due, to enable the utility to determine whether the payment was
received by the due date. Payment of the delinquent bill at the electric
utility's authorized payment agency is considered payment to the electric
(2) be a separate mailing or hand delivered with a
stated date of disconnection with the words "disconnection notice"
or similar language prominently displayed.
(3) have a disconnection date that is not a holiday
or weekend day, not less than ten days after the notice is issued.
(4) be in English and in Spanish.
(5) include a statement notifying the customer that
if they need assistance paying their bill by the due date, or are
ill and unable to pay their bill, they may be able to make some alternate
payment arrangement, establish deferred payment plan, or possibly
secure payment assistance. The notice shall also advise the customer
to contact the electric utility for more information.
(l) Electric service disconnection of a non-submetered
master metered multifamily property.
(1) In this subsection, "non-submetered master metered
multifamily property" means an apartment, a leased or owner-occupied
condominium, or one or more buildings containing at least 10 dwellings
that receive electric utility service that is master metered but not
(2) An electric utility in an area where customer choice
has not been introduced shall send a written notice of service disconnection
to a municipality before disconnecting service to a non-submetered
master metered multifamily property for nonpayment if:
(A) the property is located in the municipality; and
(B) the municipality establishes an authorized representative
to receive the notice as described by paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(3) No later than January 1st of every year, a municipality
wishing to receive notice of disconnection of electric service to
a non-submetered master metered multifamily property shall provide
the commission with the contact information for the municipality's
authorized representative referenced by paragraph (2) of this subsection
by submitting that person's name, title, direct mailing address, telephone
number, and email address in a P.U.C. Project Number to be established
annually for that purpose. The email address provided by the municipality
may be for a general mailbox accessible by the authorized representative
established for the purpose of receiving such notices.
(4) After January 1st, but no later than January 15th
of every year, the commission shall post on its public website the
contact information received from every municipality pursuant to paragraph
(3) of this subsection. The contact information posted by the commission
shall remain in effect during the subsequent 12-month period of February
1 through January 31 for the purpose of the written notice of disconnection
required by paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(5) The electric utility shall email the written notice
required by this subsection to the municipality's authorized representative
not later than the 10th day before the date electric service is scheduled
for disconnection. Additional notice may be provided by third-party
commercial carrier delivery or certified mail.
(6) The customer safeguards provided by this subsection
are in addition to safeguards provided by other law or agency rules.
(7) This subsection does not prohibit a municipality
or the commission from adopting customer safeguards that exceed the
safeguards provided by this chapter.