R22-7     DISCONNECTION; BILLING PROCEDURE.

(a)  Any payment to the provider shall be applied first to the rent owed and then to charges for utility service, unless otherwise designated by the tenant.

(b)  No charge for connection or disconnection or late fee or deposit paid by the provider to the supplier shall be allowed, and no provider may terminate a lease for nonpayment of electric service.

(c)  No provider may disconnect or request the supplier to disconnect electric service for the tenant's nonpayment of a bill.

(d)  Bills shall be rendered at least monthly.

(e)  The date after which a bill for electric utility service is due (the past due date) shall be disclosed on the bill and shall not be less than twenty-five (25) days after the bill is mailed or otherwise delivered to the tenant.

(f)  A provider shall not bill for or attempt to collect for excess usage resulting from a meter malfunction or other electrical condition in appliances such as water heaters, HVAC systems, or ranges furnished by the provider to the tenant, when the malfunction is not known to the tenant or when the malfunction has been reported to the provider.

(g)  Every provider shall provide to each tenant at the time the lease agreement is signed, and shall maintain in its business office, in public view, near the place where payments are received, the following:

(1)           A copy of the rates, rules and regulations of the provider applicable to the premises served from that office, with respect to electric utility service;

(2)           A copy of these rules and regulations (Chapter 22);

(3)           A statement advising tenants that they should first contact the provider's office with any questions they may have regarding bills or complaints about service, and that in cases of dispute, they may contact the Commission either by calling the Public Staff - North Carolina Utilities Commission, Consumer Services Division, at (866) 380-9816 (in-state calls only) or (919) 733-9277 or by appearing in person or writing the Public Staff - North Carolina Utilities Commission, Consumer Services Division, 4326 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4326.

(h)  Each provider shall adopt a means of informing its tenants initially and on an annual basis as to the provider's method of allocating bills to the individual tenants and its administrative fee, returned check charge, and late fee, if any.  A copy of the supplier's current schedule of charges shall also be included in these disclosures.

(i)  Every provider shall promptly notify the Commission in writing of any change in the information required in Rule R22-4(a), except for changes in the rates and charges of the supplier (Rule R22-4(a)(8)).

(j)  If a provider anticipates that it will not pay a supplier's bill on time, or if the provider receives notice from the supplier of pending disconnection, whichever comes first, the provider must within 24 hours provide written notice to the Commission and all of the provider's affected tenants of the anticipated nonpayment or disconnection notice.  A provider may not abandon or cease providing electric service to its tenants without advance permission from the Commission.

 

(NCUC Docket No. ER-100, Sub 0, 08/17/11; NCUC Docket No. ER-100, Sub 0, 04/19/2012; NCUC Docket No. ER-100, Sub 0, 03/31/14; NCUC Docket Nos. ER-100, Sub 0, ER-100, Sub 2, 07/20/2015 & 07/23/2015.)