Electricity is an everyday part of our lives. It is often taken for granted, but it serves so many vital functions that it should be viewed as a necessity like food and clothing. Most people do not view it as such, because electricity is one of the few commodities that you are allowed to consume before you pay.
Your electric bill reflects our cost of doing business. We have financial commitments to meet and collection on amounts due is very important. Collection on accounts due insures that everybody is paying for their share of the system and the margins are not eroded. The following describes the credit and collection procedures for your cooperative.
APPLICATION - To receive electric service from Vigilante Electric Cooperative, you must complete and sign a membership application.
SECURITY DEPOSITS - The security deposit will be equal to two times the average of the previous 12 months usage, with a minimum of $150.00. Past credit history may be used in the security deposit calculation.
After the completion of 12 months of payment history without penalty, the deposit will be credited to the membership. At termination of membership, any security deposit will be credited to the outstanding balance with any remainder refunded.
In the event a penalty is applied after the deposit has been credited, a new security deposit may be charged.
For those services that have been disconnected for non-payment, the security deposit will be credited toward the past due balance. Prior to reconnection, a new security deposit will be charged.
Security deposits on memberships with more than five meters will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Past credit history may be used in the evaluation.
Arrangements for security deposits must be made prior to establishing service.
PAST DUE CONSUMER ACCOUNTS - Consumer accounts are billed a few days after the meters are read. Bills are mailed around the 10th of each month, and are due 20 days after being mailed. The day after the bill is due is the first day it is past due.
DISCONNECTS FOR NON-PAYMENT - We dislike disconnecting a service! Disconnections are inconvenient and expensive for you and for your cooperative!
Accounts will be disconnected for the following reasons:
1. Payment arrangements were not honored.
2. Returned checks that are not made good.
3. Non-payment of delinquent accounts - Accounts that are past due for 30 days are considered delinquent.
If a cooperative employee arrives at your residence or business to disconnect for non-payment, payment in full, plus a $70 collection fee, must be collected to continue service.
The cooperative reserves the right to reconnect an account only during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If the consumer insists that the service be reconnected after working hours, an additional $100 reconnect fee will be assessed and paid before reconnection.
DISCONNECT / RECONNECT FEES - Accounts disconnected and reconnected, either at the request of the member or for non-payment of a delinquent amount, will be required to pay a $70 disconnect fee, a $70 reconnect fee, or both.
Irrigation services that are disconnected for unpaid balances will be assessed a $150 service charge per pump. These charges and all unpaid balances must be paid before services are reconnected.
INTEREST CHARGE ON DELINQUENT CONSUMER ACCOUNTS - The cooperative will charge an interest charge of 18% per annum (1.5% per month) on all consumer accounts that are delinquent (past due for 30 days or more).
RETURNED CHECKS - Any customer that pays an amount owed to the cooperative by check or direct payment that is subsequently returned to the cooperative from the bank for any reason will be charged a processing fee of $15.
UNCOLLECTIBLE ACCOUNTS - For members that leave the cooperative with an amount still owed to the cooperative, the deposit will be applied to the amount owed. The remaining amount will be turned over to an agency for collection.
All amounts not collected from any member or non-member will be posted to the bad debt ledger. When a general retirement of capital credits is made, any capital credits due a member with a bad debt will be applied first to the bad debt until paid in full, and second, any remaining amount will be paid to the member.
If a person who has an outstanding debt from prior service returns to the cooperative, that person must pay the entire amount of his or her outstanding debt plus a deposit before he or she can receive service.