Security Deposit Policy
This policy is effective November 1, 2015. This policy replaces any portions of present Western Cooperative Electric’s (Western) billing standards pertaining to credit information and Western’s deposit regulations.
Western may request the member to provide reasonable credit information before service is made available.
No deposit shall be required by Western because of a member's race, sex, creed, national origin, marital status, age, number of dependents, source of income, or geographical area of residence.
Western shall maintain a record of all deposits received from members, with receipts available upon request. If the member's existing security deposit is to be adjusted or modified, the member's maximum security deposit requirement will be calculated in the same manner as an initial deposit.
Western may require at least one form of positive identification from residential members who have not previously had service with Western. Acceptable forms of positive identification include social security number (but not required), driver's license, other photo identification, or birth certificate. Western may request the names of each adult occupant residing at the location where residential service is being provided.
A credit reference letter from a utility company with no more than one late payment in the last twelve months, or a written contract of guaranty signed by a current member having their own credit established with no more than one late payment in the last twelve months will be accepted, in lieu of a security deposit.
Western may, at the time of application for service, require an initial deposit to guarantee payment of bills for utility service rendered if:
- Western establishes that the member has an unsatisfactory credit rating, based on internal bill payment history or payment history with another utility, or has an insufficient prior credit history upon which a credit rating may be based.
- The member has outstanding, with Western Cooperative Electric, an unpaid service account which accrued within the last five (5) years if the service agreement was signed, or three (3) years if service was provided after an oral agreement.
- The member has, in an unauthorized manner, interfered with, diverted or used unlawfully (such as meter bypass), the service of a utility within the last five (5) years.
- The member refuses to provide prior bill payment history, or does not give permission to Western to obtain credit history. In this case, the maximum deposit will be charged.
Western may, at any time after application for service of an existing member, upon five (5) days written notice to the members last known address, require a new or modified deposit to guarantee payment of bills for utility service rendered if:
- The member has three (3) late payments in the past twelve (12) months
- The member has tendered two (2) or more insufficient funds payments in the last twelve (12) months
- The member has filed for bankruptcy within the last 7 years
Residential deposits will be calculated as follows:
- The minimum deposit shall be no less than one hundred and fifty dollars ($150), but is subject to be calculated on average utilities at the member’s location. The deposit amount will be based on the higher of either the risk rating (minimum, moderate, or maximum) done by Online Utility Exchange or the member's current or past payment record with Western Cooperative Electric. If the current credit check is obtained from Online Utility Exchange, or any other Company that performs current credit checks, the amount will be as below:
- Minimum Rating – No Deposit
- Moderate Rating – Two (2) months average bill
- Maximum Rating – Four (4) months average bill
- If the member has one (1) or less late payments, no deposit will be required.
- If the member has two (2) late payments in the past twelve (12) months, the deposit will be two (2) months average bill.
- If the member has three (3) or more late payments, the deposit will be four (4) months average.
- The average bill is calculated based on the location usage over the past twelve (12) months. If usage is not available, the minimum deposit will be applied.
- All deposit payment plans require 50% of deposit prior to connection, followed by 25% increments on each of next two bills.
- If the member defaults on the initial payment of the deposit plan, upon written notice to the member at the member’s last known address, the deposit plan is void and service may be disconnected. The member will be required to pay the full deposit amount, as it may be recalculated following the default before service can be reconnected.
- Upon termination of service, Western will apply the deposit amount plus interest to any unpaid utility bill, or transfer the deposit to the member’s new active account.
- Deposits will be credited with interest to the utility bill if a member has paid ten (10) of the last twelve (12) bills on time, provided original member service contract and all payment plans are fulfilled.
- Simple interest on deposits will be calculated at a rate not less than that provided by K.S.A. 12-822 and amendments. Interest on deposits will be credited to member’s accounts annually.
- When a prepay plan is available for a location, a member may opt to use prepay in lieu of a deposit.
For non-residential applicants, Western may require the name of the person(s) responsible for payment of the account and at least one form of positive identification, as well as the name of the business, type of business, and taxpayer identification number as issued by the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration. Person(s) listed as responsible for payment assumes responsibility for the duration of service.
- A non-residential applicant may provide a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit with an automatic renewable clause in lieu of a cash security deposit.
- The minimum deposit shall be no less than $50.00. If history is available, the deposit amount will be based on the two largest bills in the last 12 months. If no history is available the deposit amount will be based on two months projected bills. Service may be terminated for non-payment of deposit following written notification.
- No deposit will be refunded until original contract is fulfilled.
- Deposits under the amount of $2,000.00 will be credited with interest to the utility bill if a member has paid ten (10) of the last twelve (12) bills on time, provided original contract is fulfilled. Deposits of $2,000.00 and greater will be retained for the duration of service.
- Amounts of non-residential deposits may be reviewed and amount adjusted, at the request of the member, or at the discretion of the Cooperative, or new deposit established based on payment record.
- Interest on deposits will be credited to member’s accounts annually.
Upon termination of service, Western will apply the deposit amount plus interest to any unpaid utility bill.
Exceptions to the policy can be made by management on a case-by-case basis.