Cold Weather and Collection Policy
Western Cooperative Electric Association (WCE) adopted the following Cold Weather and Collection policy as of November 1, 2015.
This policy replaces any portions of present Cooperative billing standards pertaining to the Cold Weather and Collection Regulations.
- The Cold Weather period for Western runs from November 15 through March 15.
- Western Cooperative shall not disconnect a residential service during the Cold Weather period when the National Weather Service forecasts that the temperature will drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit within the following 24-hour period unless:
- It is at the member’s request;
- The service is abandoned;
- A dangerous condition, as determined by the Cooperative, exists on the member’s premises;
- The member violates any rule of WCE which adversely affects the safety of the member or other persons, or the physical integrity of WCE’s delivery system;
- The member causes or permits unauthorized interference with, or diversion, or use of utility service (meter bypass) situated or delivered on or about the member’s premises;
- The member misrepresents his or her identity for the purpose of obtaining or retaining utility service; or
- The member makes an insufficient funds payment as the initial payment under a payment plan and does not cure the insufficient payment during the 10-day period after a disconnection notice is sent to the member.
- If any condition listed under a, b, c, d, e, and/or f of this section occurs, the Cooperative may disconnect service immediately.
- This policy replaces any portions of present Western Cooperative Electric billing standards pertaining to collections of past due accounts of the Cooperative. This policy may be altered or changed with approval of the board of trustees.
- After the due date of the bill, as printed on the face of any individual member’s bill, a ten (10) day written notice will be sent to the member at the address of record, which expires thirty (30) days after the written notice date.
- After the due date noted on the delinquent notice, a phone call will be made to the primary phone number as listed on the account at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to disconnection.
- Not less than forty-eight (48) hours after the delinquent bill phone call, disconnection will occur.
- If a crew is dispatched, no personal contact will be attempted before the service disconnected. Crews are, however, authorized to accept non-cash payment to avoid disconnection.
- If an AMI meter with remote disconnect capability is in place, disconnection will occur remotely on the date of disconnection. Payment, or payment arrangements, will need to be made to reconnect the service. Members will need to notify the office when payment arrangements are needed, or payment has been made by any means.
- Applicable fees will be added to the delinquent bill amount.
- Reconnections will be made on the same day as payment is received, whenever possible. Reconnection will occur within one normal business day of the Cooperative. Reconnections may not be possible outside normal Cooperative business hours.
- For a member to qualify for payment arrangements, he/she must:
- Inform the utility of the member’s inability to pay the bill in full.
- Not be in a default on any other current payment arrangements, and
- Have paid a minimum of 50% of their monthly bill each month during the Cold Weather period, which runs from November 15th through March 15th.
- Payment arrangements are available up to a maximum of 4 months.
- In no event will any payment arrangement extend beyond the delinquent notice due date in October of any year.
- All payment arrangements require the member to pay 50% of outstanding charges upon inception of the arrangement.
- A member may only have one payment arrangement at any time.
- Exceptions to the policy can be made by management on a case-by-case basis.
Approved by Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc. Board of Trustees on September 17, 2015. Amended March 2017.