Billing and Collection Policies
I. Billing and Meter Reading
Member bills for electricity shall be prepared and mailed, or otherwise delivered, on a monthly basis.
All meters, except those not readily accessible, shall be read by the Cooperative each month. Readings shall be estimated for those that are not read, but Cooperative personnel shall make periodic readings of such meters. Adjustments in billings will be made where necessary as indicated by these periodic readings.
II. Failure to Receive a Bill
The failure of any member to receive his/her bill for any month or months shall not relieve such member from the obligation of paying such bills allegedly not received.
III. Failure to Prepare a Bill
Notwithstanding Section I listed above, failure by the Cooperative to prepare and forward a bill for any month, or months, for any member shall not relieve such member of the obligation of paying any sums for which he/she was subject to being billed.
IV. Non-Payment of Bills
Any member failing to pay his/her bill within twenty (20) days following the mailing of such bill will be sent a notice of disconnection. Such notice will be specific in nature, indicating the Cooperative’s intentions to disconnect service for non-payment. A specific date of disconnect will be given and in all cases such notice of discontinuance will be at least five (5) days in advance of the actual termination of service. Service shall not be reconnected without full payment of the delinquent bill, the final billing, the applicable service charges provided for in Section V (a) below and any additional deposit that the cooperative deems justified. Payment is due and must be received at the Cooperative office by close of business on the due date indicated on the bill card. Any payment not received when due will be charged a 5% late fee.
V. Service Charge
All service charges are non-refundable.
(a) Any member who requests a re-connection after having been disconnected for non-payment shall be required to pay a service charge in the amount of not less than $60.00, provided such re-connection is or can be made during regular working hours. The service charge for re-connection during all other hours shall be $80.00. These charges are in lieu of those provided for in Section V (d) below. Cooperative personnel do not accept payments on personal visits.
An account shall be considered delinquent when payment has not been received in the Cooperative’s office within the time limit prescribed in Section IV above.
(1) Any check that is returned by a depository bank and that is marked "Non-Sufficient Funds" (N.S.F.) or "Account Closed" will not be re-deposited nor will a notice be sent informing this member of said returned check. The amount of the returned check will be debited to the member’s account who received credit for said check. A service charge of $25.00 will be made to the member from whom a "N.S.F." or "Account Closed" check is received.
(2) Service will be discontinued without notice if payment in the full amount of a returned "N.S.F." check and the applicable service charge provided for in Paragraph (b) (1) above is not received at the Cooperative’s office within three (3) working days after the receipt of the returned check from the depository bank. For returned checks marked "Account Closed", service will be discontinued immediately without notice and the applicable $25.00 service charge will apply along with the appropriate re-connection charges if service is resumed.
(3) Service shall not be reconnected without full payment of the amount of the returned check, applicable service charges, any other billings and any additional deposit that the Cooperative deems justified.
(c) A service charge in the amount of $50.00 will be made for trouble calls whenever the source of the trouble is found in the member’s wiring or other electrical equipment.
(d) A service (or connect) charge in the amount of $20.00 will be made for all connections, including new connects and relocations, but excluding reconnects and meter exchanges, that are or can be made during regular working hours. The charge for connection during all other hours shall be $60.00. This charge will be in addition to any other charge(s) that may be applicable. Reconnects will be subject to the provisions of Section V (a).
(e) A service charge in the amount of $10.00 will be made for any new security light installation. This charge shall be in addition to any other charge(s) that may be applicable.
(f) New members locating on Old River, on the unprotected side of the Mississippi River levee or in the Atchafalaya Floodway Basin shall pay a one time connect charge of $25.00 for each new connect. This charge will be made in lieu of the connect charge as stated in Section V (d). This charge will not apply to consumers who are re-connected after disconnection due to high water and return to the same service point. If a new service has to be constructed, a non-refundable contribution of $35.00 or more will be charged. For a member who has more than one service, the charge(s) provided for herein shall apply to each service.
Any member requesting temporary service elsewhere, pending subsidence of high water and return to a location inside the levee, will be charged for the up and down cost of such temporary service, but in no case less than $60.00 ($100.00 if a transformer has to be installed). A service (or connect) charge will also be made for any such temporary connection as provided for in Section V (d) above.
VI. Membership Fees and Deposits
(a) General Provisions
Membership fees and deposits shall be paid by all members in accordance with Section 4, Article 1 of the By-Laws of this Cooperative. Non-members may also be required to meet the provisions of said Section 4, Article 1 of the By-Laws.
Membership fees and deposits are to be recorded in the Cooperative’s records only under the name of the person in whose name the account is listed. Each deposit or membership fee shall be assigned to and associated with a particular account number. All deposits and membership fees shall be non-transferable as between members.
Deposits based on residential member credit classification as discussed in Section VI (d) will be refunded when the account is closed. All other deposits will be refunded upon the completion of 12 months of perfect credit history.
Refunding of membership fees and deposits shall be made only to the person under whose name is listed in the Cooperative’s records. Before any such refund is made, any debt due the Cooperative shall be applied against the deposit or membership fee.
(b) For all Services on Old River
Each new service on Old River, located on the floodway side of the levee, will require a $35.00 non-refundable contribution. A member who has made a contribution, but who relocates elsewhere and thereby requires a new service to be run, will be required to pay another $35.00 for such new service. A newcomer serviced through an existing vacant service will not be required to pay a contribution. In other words, the contribution goes with the service and not with the member. These provisions shall apply regardless of the type of premises to be served.
All services in the area covered by the above-written paragraph, or in other areas subject to water flooding, are, in the event of high water conditions, subject to disconnection at the sole discretion of this Cooperative.
(c) Additional Deposits
The Cooperative may require, at its discretion, an additional cash deposit for any account connected on its lines. The amount of the deposit will be in multiples of $5.00 and should generally be sufficient to cover an estimated three-months billing, but may be more or less if circumstances warrant a different charge.
(d) Minimum Required Deposits
The following is a schedule of minimum required deposits (including the Membership Fee) for the type of premises indicated.
(1) All deposits for Residential Premises whether owned or rented are based upon a member’s credit classification as identified by ONLINE Information Services. In addition to the $5.00 Membership Fee, the deposits for the credit classifications are as follows.
Low Risk No Deposit
Medium Risk $150.00
High Risk $300.00
(2) All Camps (regardless of type of premises or location) $ 50.00
(3) All Other Premises (other than commercial or industrial) $ 25.00
(4) All subsequent meters of non-commercial premises $ 5.00
for active members in good standing
VII. Changing of Meters
(a) A meter will be removed and replaced with another meter of the same type when requested by the member. A service charge in the amount of $10.00 shall be charged to the member who requested that the meter be replaced.
(b) The Cooperative may, at its discretion, change out any meter on its system without consulting the member served by such meter.
VIII. Checking of Meters
A meter will be removed and checked for accuracy when requested by the member. If the meter is found to be accurate within tolerance limits of plus or minus 2%, a service charge in the amount of $25.00 shall be charged to the member who requested the check, including the charge in Paragraph VII (a) above.
Should the meter not check within these tolerance limits, no service charge will be made and an approximate adjustment will be made in the billing for the period of inaccurate registration if such a period can be determined. Otherwise, the adjustment period will be mutually agreeable to the member and Cooperative. In no event, however, shall the adjustment period be more than six months.
IX. Periodic Disconnects
Any account that is disconnected by member request and is reconnected within one year from the date of disconnect will be charged a minimum billing for the period of disconnect.
No agent of the Cooperative has the power to amend, modify, alter or waive any of these Billing and Collection Policies or to bind the Cooperative by making any promises or representations that conflict with the provisions thereof.
Whenever there is a conflict between the provisions of these Billing and Collecting Policies and the specific provisions of any rate schedule, the provision of the rate schedule shall govern.