ALCORN COUNTY ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION

 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

Alcorn County Electric Power Association (“ACE”) has adopted the following Policies and Procedures as of June 9, 2016, which as of such date of adoption, shall become a part of all current and future contracts for receiving electric service from ACE, and shall apply to all service received from ACE, whether the service is based upon contract, agreement, signed application or otherwise.

I.  CUSTOMER APPLICATION FOR NEW SERVICE OR TRANSFER

A.  Request for Service

Persons wishing to establish new accounts, or to transfer an existing account to a new location shall furnish to ACE the following:

For Residential Accounts:

1.  A properly completed Application for Membership;

2.  A 911 Registration form;

3.  Two (2) forms of identification, including at least one State or other government-issued photo identification card. Both forms of identification must be Federal Form I-9 compliant;

4.  A deposit as set forth herein; and

5.  A properly executed Lease Agreement, if the customer is renting the premises for which service is requested.

For Commercial Accounts (in addition to items 1-4 above):

6.  Copy of business organization documents (Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Formation, etc.);

7.  Federal Tax Identification Number (if applicable);

8.  Completed Load Survey Form provided by Alcorn County Electric Power Association and any associated drawings; and

9.  Commercial Customers requiring 3 phase service with demand of 50 kW or less will be required to sign a minimum bill contract. Commercial Customers requiring single phase or 3 phase service with electric load requirements that exceed 50 kW will be required to sign an Industrial Power Contract.

If an applicant for residential or commercial service, or a member of the applicant’s household or a business with which the applicant was associated has a past due and unpaid bill or other indebtedness to ACE, payment arrangements must be made before the account can be activated.

An engineering assessment shall be conducted on each location for which new service is requested. For each new service the following provisions and requirements will normally apply:

1.  The premises to be served must be in a condition which indicates continued use of electric facilities, if constructed.

2.  The premises must be reasonably accessible by an adequate all weather type road.

3.  The Landowner will be required to execute a right-of-way easement in favor of ACE. Prior to construction, the Customer shall clear said right-of-way of all trees, underbrush, etc., in accordance with the Association’s specifications. In the event the Applicant does not wish to clear said right-of-way, then subject to the Association’s approval, the applicant shall make a payment to the Association equal to the cost of clearing said right-of-way, or the cost of clearing said right-of-way may be added to the aid-to-construction agreement.

B.  Aid to Construction

1.  For Residential Accounts:

Customers shall be required to pay part of the cost of extending service to a new location as aid-to-construction in the following circumstances:

a.  For locations that require power lines longer than 500 feet, the customer will be required to pay an aid-to-construction charge for the portion of the power lines which is longer than 500 feet.

b.  For manufactured housing that requires power lines, the customer will be required to pay as an aid-to-construction charge an amount equal to the cost of providing the entire power line and associated equipment with the exception of the service wire only running from the last pole to the manufactured housing unit. If a manufactured home meets standards set by the Association, then such aid-to-construction charge may be waived. Consult ACE Engineering Department for details.

c.  For underground primary cable, the customer will be required to pay as aid-to-construction, the cost difference between overhead and underground primary costs for the first 500 feet, and then the full cost for any distance over 500 feet.

d.  For underground secondary cable, the customer will be required to pay as aid-to-construction, the cost difference between the overhead and underground cost.

All aid-to-construction charges are subject to review and adjustment by ACE as necessary. Aid-to-construction can be either paid up-front by the customer or may be paid in installments over a maximum term of twenty-four (24) months, but in no event may such installment payments be less than $25.00 per month. If however, the aid-to-construction payment is determined to be more than $100.00 per month, then the Association may extend the 24 month period up to a maximum of 36 months. The monthly aid-to-construction charge may be subject to reduction if additional members are added to the line during the term of the agreement. The revised monthly aid-to-construction charge will be determined by the Association and will be based on the pro-rata amount of line required to serve the original applicant and subsequent applicants.

2.  For Commercial Accounts:

Commercial Members shall be required to pay part of the cost of extending service to a new location as aid-to-construction in the following circumstances:

a.  For commercial customers that require single phase primary overhead power lines longer than 500 feet, the customer will be required to pay an aid-to-construction charge for the portion of the power lines which is longer than 500 feet.

b.  For single phase underground primary cable, the commercial customer will be required to pay as aid-to-construction, the cost difference between overhead and underground primary costs for the first 500 feet, and then the full cost for any distance over 500 feet.

c.  For commercial customers with loads of 15 kVA or less as determined by Alcorn County Electric Power Association, that request 3 phase service, the customer will make an advance payment in aid-to-construction to the Association. This payment will be equal to the difference in cost to the Association of providing single phase service and the cost of providing 3 phase service for the first 500 feet, plus the full cost of providing 3 phase service for any distance over 500 feet.

d.  For commercial customers that require 3 phase primary overhead power installation with three phase electric loads of greater than 15 kVA but less than 500 kVA, as determined by Alcorn County Electric Power Association, the customer will be required to pay an aid-to-construction charge for the portion of power lines which is longer than 500 feet.

e.  For commercial customers that require 3 phase underground primary installation with three phase electric loads greater than 15 kVA but less than of 500 kVA, as determined by Alcorn County Electric Power Association, the customer will pay the difference between overhead and underground for distances up to 500 feet. When the distance exceeds 500 feet, the customer will be required to pay the total costs for the underground primary installation as calculated by ACE. In addition customer must install the concrete pad, provide the trench, provide the conduit and other required accessories between riser power pole and pad mount transformer in accordance with ACE’s “Installation Standards for Electric Service.”

f.  For commercial customers that require 3 phase overhead or underground primary installation with three phase electric loads greater than 500 kVA, the engineering department will determine any costs based on the distance of the power lines required, and the calculated total load.

g.  For commercial accounts that require underground services, the customer shall provide, install and own all secondary wire, conduit, etc., in accordance with Alcorn County Electric Power Association’s current “Installation Standards for Electric Service.”

All new services, whether residential or commercial, must be wired according to Alcorn County Electric Power Association’s current “Installation Standards for Electric Service.”

 C.  Deposit

1.  For Residential Accounts:

Whether a deposit will be required prior to the establishment of residential electric service is based on a customer’s risk rating from the Online Utility Exchange through Experion, which risk rating is calculated based on the customer’s credit score and other factors. The deposit amount will be based on the customer’s risk rating as follows:

Residential Deposit OUE Risk Rating (%) Rating
$0 0-12% Best
$200.00 12.1-30% Good
2 times the average bill at the location. 30.1% and above Fair/Poor

In no event will the deposit required exceed two (2) times the average monthly bill for the service location. For service at a new location without a service history, the deposit will be $200.00. If the customer has prior bad debt with ACE or has filed bankruptcy in the last seven years, the maximum deposit will be required.

A suitable guarantee, letter of credit or other security deemed acceptable by ACE may be accepted in lieu of a deposit. A co-signer may be used to meet the deposit requirement, provided that the co-signer is a customer in good standing with ACE and meets the credit qualification for a deposit waiver. Co-signers must sign a Guarantor’s Agreement. ACE will perform no more than two co-signer credit checks at no cost to customer, after which customer will be assessed a $30.00 up-front fee for any subsequent co-signer credit check.

For domestic violence victims, and other residential hardships, Alcorn County EPA’s standard deposit will apply. However, as an alternative, customers that qualify as domestic violence victims or residential hardships may be offered the pre-pay program or the option of paying the deposit through installment payments to be paid in full within 65 days.

2.  For Commercial Accounts:

ACE will require a minimum security deposit for each commercial and industrial customer as a guarantee that the final electric bill, if left unpaid, will be satisfied. The amount of the security deposit will be equal to two (2) times the highest month’s bill and shall be provided in the form of cash, an irrevocable letter of credit or a surety bond. In no event will the deposit required exceed two (2) times the highest monthly bill for the service location.

3.  In General:

No more than one (1) time in any twelve (12) month period, upon written request by the customer or at the discretion of ACE, the adequacy of the deposit may be re-evaluated based on the customer’s most recent electricity usage.

After the deposit is paid in full, interest will accrue on a deposit held longer than twelve months at the interest rate ACE earns on its passbook savings accounts and the interest will be calculated and applied as a credit to the account annually (usually in January). The deposit balance plus any accrued interest will be credited to the customer’s unpaid bills upon termination of electric service or upon return of the deposit to the customer. No more than one (1) time in any twelve (12) month period, a customer may request calculation of his deposit balance, including earned interest.

Customers that have enrolled in the pre-pay program will not be required to provide a deposit [See prepay policy for additional information.]

 

 II.  BILLING AND PAYMENT PROCEDURES

Bills will be rendered monthly and shall be based on a 28-32 day meter reading cycle. Bills shall have a sixteen (16) day net due date, and shall be paid within sixteen (16) days from the date of the bill. Failure to receive a bill will not release a customer from its payment obligations. Should bills not be paid by the due date specified on the bill, late fees shall be added and service may be discontinued as set out in the “Delinquencies and Termination of Service” section herein.

In cases of meter failure, fire or other event rendering meter readings unavailable, estimates may be used in the billing process. Customer charges on initial bills and final bills shall be prorated based on a thirty (30) day month. No bill will be generated for an account with less than five (5) days between the initial reading date and the normal reading date, but the amount owed for such period shall be added to the next regular monthly bill.

Payments will be received by ACE by any of the following methods:

  1. In office during business hours (cash, check, credit card, debit card);
  2. Drive-through during business hours (cash, check, credit card, debit card);
  3. Night deposit box after hours (cash, check);
  4. Phone – 24 hours per day;
  5. Online through ACE website with credit card, debit card or bank ACH;
  6. Automatic bank draft;
  7. Mail (return envelope supplied by ACE);
  8. Online banking transaction through customer’s bank;
  9. LIHEAP (Low-Income Housing and Energy Assistance Program) – Vouchers will be accepted and a credit will be applied to the customer’s account upon acceptance of the voucher. Payment will then be the responsibility of the grant writer; and
  10. PaySite Payment Kiosk – 24 hours per day.

 

III.  DELINQUENCIES AND TERMINATION OF SERVICE

A.  Delinquent Payments

If full payment is not received by 8:00 a.m. on the next business day following the due date on the bill, the account shall be considered delinquent, and a late notice shall be mailed to the customer providing notice of the delinquency. The late notice shall provide that if full payment is not made within ten (10) days from the date of the late notice, disconnection procedures will commence. Such late notice shall also advise the customer of the procedure for contesting the accuracy of the bill.

Bills that are paid after the due date shown on the original billing statement shall be subject to an additional late fee of five percent (5%) of the amount of the bill, plus a $3.00 processing fee. If a bill is over $500.00, then the five percent (5%) late fee shall be calculated only upon the first $500.00, and a late fee of one percent (1%) shall apply to the remaining amount over $500.00.

If the account has an Enhanced Security Deposit, then TVA and appropriate ACE personnel shall be notified of the delinquency.

In the event that any residential or commercial account of a member becomes delinquent, then in order to collect on such delinquent account, ACE may apply the delinquency and termination of service procedures set forth in this Section to any other residential or commercial account held in the name of the delinquent member or delinquent member’s spouse. By way of example, if a member’s commercial account becomes delinquent, ACE may treat the member’s residential account as delinquent and may apply the delinquency and termination of service procedures to the member’s residential account in order to secure payment of the member’s delinquent commercial account.

B.  Extension Procedure

A customer may request an extension of up to seven (7) days past the ten (10) day delinquency period, within which to make full payment. A non-refundable $30.00 fee will be incurred on the account, which is due and payable with the delinquent bill. A customer may request one (1) extension per month, provided that the customer has not been disconnected at any time during the last twelve (12) months. If a bill is not fully paid by the end of the extension period, the customer may be disconnected without further notice.

C.  Termination of Service; Procedure

ACE may discontinue electrical service for the violation of any of these Policies and Procedures or any violation of the Schedule of Rates and Charges. ACE may also discontinue electrical service to the Customer for the theft of services or the appearance of theft devices on the customer’s premises, for safety reasons, or to be compliant with any state, city or county regulations that require disconnection for safety reasons. All electrical services will be discontinued to customers with past due accounts except as provided herein. The termination of service by ACE does not release the customer from the obligation to pay all amounts due to ACE, including the payment of minimum bills as specified in contracts.

1.  Disconnection

If full payment on an account is not received within the ten (10) day delinquency period set forth in Section III.A. above, and if no extension has been requested on the account, a red door tag, or disconnect notice, will be hung at the customer’s residence, and an additional collection fee of $30.00 will be incurred on the customer’s account which shall be due and payable with the delinquent bill. If the account is not paid in full within two (2) days after the hanging of the disconnect notice, service shall be disconnected without further notice, and an additional disconnection fee of $30.00 will be incurred on the customer’s account. If a customer has been disconnected at any time during the last twelve (12) months, ACE will not leave a disconnect notice, and the account may be disconnected at any time after the ten (10) day delinquency period has expired.

ACE may disconnect service by utilizing a collection officer or by remote meter disconnection devices. If an account has been in a disconnected status for over five (5) days, the collector will check to ensure that no meter tampering has occurred and ACE will final out the account.

2.  Extreme Weather Postponement

ACE evaluates weather conditions in Alcorn County from the National Weather Service (“NWS”) through www.weather.gov. In the event that the NWS issues extreme weather warnings for either excessive heat or excessive cold, then ACE will temporarily postpone the disconnection of service of residential customers scheduled for such disconnection due to non-payment, for the duration of such extreme weather warnings. Where disconnection is postponed due to an extreme weather condition, the postponement will not extend beyond the extreme weather condition as so forecast by the NWS.

3.  Medical Hardship Postponement

If a customer or member of the customer’s household has a medical condition such that discontinuation of electric service would create a life-threatening situation, the customer may request a temporary postponement of disconnection by submitting to ACE a Certificate of Medical Emergency form, which may be obtained from ACE’s office at 1909 S. Tate Street, Corinth, Mississippi. Upon ACE’s receipt of a properly completed Certificate of Medical Emergency form, disconnection of service will be postponed for up to thirty (30) days from the original scheduled disconnection date to allow customer time to make payment or alternative shelter arrangements. The Certificate of Medical Emergency form must be completed by a medical doctor licensed to practice in the State of Mississippi or any adjoining state, and must certify that the discontinuance of electric service would create a life-threatening medical situation for the customer or other permanent resident of the customer’s household. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that the form has been submitted to and approved by ACE. A life threatening medical condition does not relieve a customer of the obligation to pay for electric service, including any late fees incurred or other applicable charges. ACE will grant this postponement of termination no more than two (2) times in a twelve month period. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late fees, is not received by the end of the 30 day medical hardship postponement period, electric service will be disconnected without further notice, unless a separate, additional thirty (30) day postponement is requested and granted by ACE to commence immediately after the original thirty (30) day period expires.

D.  Restoration of Service

If service has been disconnected, payment in full (including all late fee charges and reconnection fees) will be required before service is restored. An additional deposit amount may also be required. Upon full payment on an account previously disconnected for non-payment, service will be reconnected during normal business hours and a reconnection fee of $30.00 will be assessed against such account. After-hours reconnections will be made from 5:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays, in which event an after-hours reconnection fee of $75.00 will be assessed against such account.

E.  Returned Checks

If a check is returned for payment of a deposit or membership fee, the collector will attempt to collect the amount on-site or will disconnect service without notice. If a check is returned for payment of a bill, a disconnect notice will be left at the residence of the account holder or the commercial location, and if unpaid, service may be disconnected the next business day. If a check is returned for extension fees or disconnect notice fees, the account may be disconnected immediately. A collection fee of $30.00 will be assessed against the account for all payments returned from the bank as non-sufficient funds.

F.  Uncollectible Accounts

If a customer’s account carries a past due balance for thirty (30) days, the deposit and membership shall be applied to the customer’s account, if they have not already been applied. Any excess deposit and membership amount remaining after payment of the bill in full shall be returned to the customer. If a deficiency remains on the account after application of the deposit and membership, the remaining balance will be turned over to a collection agency for collection, and thirty percent (30%) of the deficiency will be added to the outstanding balance in order to offset costs of collection.

 

IV.  REQUESTED TERMINATION OF ACCOUNT

The procedure for terminating an account at a customer’s request shall be as follows:

  1. The customer shall be directed to New Accounts.
  2. After verification of the customer’s identity, a service order will be initiated in order to schedule a disconnection date.
  3. The New Accounts Representative will obtain the customer’s forwarding mailing address and make the appropriate change to the customer’s account.
  4. A final order is printed and signed by the customer (if present in the office).
  5. The final order is sent to obtain a final meter reading on the account (AMI read may be used on “in and out” order) and to disconnect the meter.
  6. The final reading is recorded on the service order and signed and dated.
  7. The final order is transferred back to New Accounts, where the order will be processed in the CMB system.
  8. A final bill is calculated based on the final meter reading.
  9. Any deposit or membership on the account will be applied to any outstanding bills, penalties or other charges remaining on the account.
  10. If a credit remains on the account, a check will be sent to the customer’s forwarded mailing address.

 

V.  DECEASED MEMBERS

Upon the death of an account holder (if the account was not previously established as a joint membership), the surviving spouse may take over the account, including all memberships and/or deposits. The surviving spouse must provide a state or government issued photo identification, and shall re-sign the membership of the deceased spouse.

ACE will scan the obituaries from The Daily Corinthian or the master death file from the Social Security office in order to find deceased members on ACE’s member roll. Once a deceased member is found, a file is created for the deceased member, and an obituary letter is created, which will be forwarded to New Accounts to be held for thirty (30) days. If the family of the deceased member has taken no proactive action with respect to the account within such thirty (30) day period, the obituary letter will be mailed to the last address of the deceased member by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such obituary letter shall provide an additional thirty (30) days to settle the account. At the end of the thirty (30) day settlement period, if no account change has been made or no arrangements have been agreed upon by ACE with the family of the deceased member, then a door hanger will be prepared. The following Monday, the door hanger will be hung at the residence, giving the estate an additional seven (7) days (through the following Monday) to transfer the account. At the end of the seven (7) day period, a disconnection order will be made on Tuesday and the service shall be terminated. All memberships and deposits will be applied to the account. If the account is in probate, ACE will send either a statement of account due or a refund check to the Chancery Clerk’s office.

Any new member assuming an account after the death of a member shall abide by all ACE policies, rules and regulations, and shall execute any new account documents as requested by ACE.

 

VI.  INFORMATION TO CONSUMERS

A copy of these Policies and Procedures, together with a copy of the ACE Schedule of Rates and Charges, and By-Laws of the Association shall be kept open to inspection at the offices of ACE located at 1909 South Tate Street, Corinth, Mississippi 38834, and may be viewed on ACE’s website – www.ace-power.com. Information regarding rates, service practice policies, and guidelines to customers will also be provided via the website, www.ace-power.com, and through brochures and print media available in ACE’s office. A customer will also receive such information upon application for electrical service, and at any time upon request. All retail rate actions initiated by ACE will be communicated to customers via the website, www.ace-power.com, and/or through notifications published in The Daily Corinthian.

Upon request by the customer and upon reasonable notice, ACE will make available a customer’s monthly energy consumption data for the prior 12 month period.

If service is denied, the applicant has the right to request a written explanation of the reason(s) for denial of service. ACE will respond to such request within seven (7) days and will provide the reason(s) service is being refused, and what actions the customer must take in order to receive service.

These Residential Policies and Procedures may be revised or amended at any time by ACE’s Board of Directors.

All questions or complaints regarding these Policies and Procedures should be directed to ACE Power Association, by calling the ACE office at (662) 287-4402, or by visiting the ACE office at 1909 South Tate Street, Corinth, Mississippi.  In the event billing disputes or other service issues arise which cannot be resolved by the cooperative efforts of the customer and ACE, the dispute or issue may be resolved through TVA’s Complaint Resolution Process.  Information about TVA’s Complaint Resolution Process is available on ACE’s website, and from ACE upon request.