Your Rights As A Member of Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative
Serving areas in Schleicher, Concho, Crockett, Edwards, Irion, Menard, Pecos, Reagan, Sutton, Upton, Tom Green and Val Verde Counties.
I. RATE AND SERVICE INFORMATION:
You may, either by phone or by personal visit to the Cooperative's business office located at 101 East Gillis, Eldorado, Texas, request copies of any portion of the cooperative's rate and service tariffs and rules. A nominal reproduction charge may be made for each copy and postage may be added if the copies are mailed.
II. METERING TESTING:
As provided by the tariff's of Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative, you may request a test of your electric meter if you believe that the meter is not accurately reflecting your actual electric consumption. This test will be made at no charge to you provided that the meter has not been tested during the previous four (4) years. In the event that you request a test more often than four years and the meter is not defective, you may be required to pay a charge which reflects the cost to test the meter, but this charge shall be no more than $15.00 for a residential customer.
III. OUTSTANDING BILLS:
The tariff's of Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative provides that the due date of the bill for utility service shall not be less than sixteen (16) days after the date of issuance.
IV. TERMINATION OF SERVICE:
Your electric service may be discontinued after proper notice for the following reasons:
A. Failure to pay an outstanding bill within twenty-six (26) days of issuance.
B. Failure to pay a delinquent account or meet the terms of a deferred payment plan.
C. Violation of the cooperative's rules for the use of service in such a manner which interferes with the service of others or the operation of non-standard equipment, provided that the cooperative will make a reasonable attempt to notify you of the problem and allow you to remedy the situation.
D. Failure to comply with the cooperative's deposit and guarantee requirements.
The Cooperative will either mail or personally deliver a written notice of termination at least ten (10) days prior to the date of disconnection. Unless a dangerous condition exists, service shall not be disconnected on a day, or a day immediately preceding a day, when personnel are not available to the public for the purpose of making collections and reconnecting service.
If you are seriously ill, or will become more seriously ill as a result of termination of service, you may have your physician call or contact the cooperative within sixteen (16) days of the issuance of the bill concerning your condition. The Physician must provide a confirmation letter to the cooperative with twenty-six (26) days of the issuance of the bill and the cooperative will then refrain from termination of service for sixty-three (63) days from the issuance of the bill, unless a lesser period is agreed upon. If you make a request to avoid termination under this provision, you must enter into a deferred payment arrangement. The cooperative may also disconnect service at once and without notice where a dangerous condition exists and such disconnection shall remain in effect so long as the condition exists. Disconnection without notice may also be made when a service is connected without authority by a person who has not made application for service or who has reconnected service without authority following termination of service for nonpayment. In instances of tampering with the cooperative's meter or equipment, by bypassing same, or other instances of diversion, service may be terminated immediately.
V. SERVICE AND BILLING DISPUTES:
If you disagree with the cooperative regarding any aspect of the cooperative's service, you may request a supervisory review. If you make such a request, you have five (5) days to participate in the review or make arrangements for such review to take place before the cooperative may terminate service if the dispute is one in which the issues may result in such termination, provided that notice has been given under standard disconnection procedures. If the billing dispute is not resolved by such review, you may appeal to the Board of Directors of Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. Regular board meetings are normally held the first Tuesday of each month throughout the year. Arrangements should be made with the management to be placed on the agenda prior to the regular monthly board meeting, During the pendency of such appeal or other resolution of a dispute, you may avoid termination of service by paying the average of your monthly bill for the past twelve (12) months as determined by the cooperative. In the event the dispute is not resolved within sixty (60) days, you must keep all subsequent bills current.
VI. ALTERNATE PAYMENT PLANS:
As a member of the cooperative, you have a right to request alternate payment plans.
DEFERRED PAYMENT PLAN: If you have not been delinquent in paying your bill more than two (2) times in the last twelve (12) months and are unable to pay any or all of your bill, you are qualified for deferred payment plan. Such plan requires that you keep all bills current and pay monthly an amount not to exceed one-third of the outstanding amount. This payment plan will be signed in duplicate, one (1) copy for you and one (1) for Cooperative records, and if you do not fulfill the terms of the agreement, your service may be terminated under standard termination procedures. Such breech of the agreement voids your right to a deferred payment plan or renegotiation to avoid termination. The cooperative is not required to offer this arrangement if you have had service less than three (3) months.
VII. SERVICE RECONNECTION:
If your service is interrupted for any of the reasons listed under Section IV from above, you may re-establish service when all outstanding and delinquent bills are paid and when a deposit or other evidence of payment guarantee is provided to the cooperative.
VIII. COOPERATIVE OFFICE AND BUSINESS HOURS:
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Friday 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
|Address:||P.O. Box 677||Eldorado, Texas 76936|
|Telephone||(325) 853-2544||Office Hours|
|(325) 853-2546||24 Hour Number|
|(800) 643-3980||Toll Free (24 Hours)|
Collect calls will be accepted for repair service and billing inquiries.
IX. METER READING:
If you would like information regarding the proper method for reading your electric meter, the cooperative will provide, on request, a pamphlet with all instructions.
X. DEPOSIT POLICY:
You will not be required to pay a deposit for residential service unless you have been delinquent in paying your bill for electric service on more then one occasion in the last twelve (12) months or unless the cooperative has terminated your service for nonpayment. The deposit is limited to one-sixth of your estimated annual electric bill. Deposits accrue interest at a rate to be determined by Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative's Board of Directors. If the deposit is retained for more than one (1) year, the cooperative may make a direct payment of the accrued interest to you. If actual usage is three (3) times the estimated usage and current usage exceeds $150.00 and 150% of the security held, a new deposit may be calculated and required.
In lieu of a cash deposit, a credit check and/or references may be substituted. However, if a deposit is collected, this amount will be returned after twelve (12) consecutive residential billings or twenty-four (24) commercial billings providing your service has not been desconnected for non-payment or if you have not been delinquent more than two (2) times. After this period of time, the cooperative will automatically refund the deposit plus accrued interest either as cash or credit to your account, providing your account is current.
All applicants for permanent residential service who are 65 years of age or older, will be considered as having established credit if such applicant does not have an outstanding account balance with the Cooperative or another utility for the same utility service which accrued within the last two (2) years. No cash deposit shall be required of such applicant under these conditions.
XI. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:
Information concerning financial assistance is available from the cooperative upon request. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs at 1-877-399-8939 (this number only valid from land-based phones), (512) 475-1099; the Public Utility Commission of Texas (512) 936-7120 or toll free 1-888-782-8477; 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Tx 78711, or Tom Green Community Action Council, P.O. Box 694, San Angelo, Tx 76902 (325) 653-1680.
Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc provides that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or disability shall be excluded from particpation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization's programs or activities.
The person responsible for coordinating this organization's non-discrimination compliance efforts is the General Manager. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. at 101 East Gillis, P.O. Box 677, Eldorado, Texas 76936; or call (325) 853-2544. Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination. Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent possible.
Consumer's with physical disabilities and those who care for such consumers are encouraged to identify themselves to the cooperative so that special action can be taken to inform these persons of their rights where necessary and appropriate to the person's circumstances. The telephone number is (325)853-2544 or toll free at 1-800-643-3980.