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RULE §24.157Refusal of Service

(a) Grounds for refusal to serve. A utility may decline to serve a service applicant for the following reasons:

  (1) the service applicant is not in compliance with state or municipal regulations applicable to the type of service requested;

  (2) the service applicant is not in compliance with the rules and regulations of the utility governing the type of service requested which are in its approved tariff on file with the commission;

  (3) the service applicant is indebted to any utility for the same type of service as that requested. However, in the event the indebtedness of the service applicant is in dispute, the service applicant shall be served upon complying with the deposit requirements in §24.159 of this title (relating to the Service Applicant and Customer Deposit) and upon a demonstration that the service applicant has complied with all of the provisions of §24.165(l) of this title (relating to Billing);

  (4) the service applicant's primary point of use is outside the certificated area;

  (5) standby fees authorized under §24.165(p) of this title have not been paid for the specific property or lot on which service is being requested; or

  (6) the utility is prohibited from providing service under Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes, Local Government Code, §212.012 or §232.029.

(b) Service Applicant's recourse. In the event the utility refuses to serve a service applicant under the provisions of these sections, the utility shall inform the service applicant in writing of the basis of its refusal and that the service applicant may file a complaint with the commission thereon.

(c) Insufficient grounds for refusal to serve. The following shall not constitute sufficient cause for refusal of service to a present customer or service applicant:

  (1) delinquency in payment for service by a previous occupant of the premises to be served;

  (2) violation of the utility's rules pertaining to operation of nonstandard equipment or unauthorized attachments which interferes with the service of others, unless the customer has first been notified and been afforded reasonable opportunity to comply with said rules;

  (3) failure to pay a bill of another customer as guarantor thereof, unless the guarantee was made in writing to the utility as a condition precedent to service;

  (4) failure to pay the bill of another customer at the same address except where a change of customer identity is made to avoid or evade payment of a utility bill;

  (5) failure to pay for the restoration of a tap removed by the utility at its option or removed as the result of tampering or delinquency in payment by a previous customer;

  (6) the service applicant or customer chooses to use a type of backflow prevention assembly approved under 30 TAC §290.44(h) (relating to Water Distribution) even if the assembly is not the one preferred by the utility; or

  (7) failure to comply with regulations or rules for anything other than the type of utility service specifically requested including failure to comply with septic tank regulations or sewer hook-up requirements.

Source Note: The provisions of this §24.157 adopted to be effective October 17, 2018, 43 TexReg 6826

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