GMU Electric Service Rules

 

ELECTRIC SERVICE RULES

FOR

GREENFIELD MUNICIPAL UTILITIES

GREENFIELD, IOWA 50849

 

EFFECTIVE DATE - April 5, 1996
Revised – March 12, 2002
Revised – March 15, 2011
Revised – June 11, 2015

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
   
DIVISION ONE -- STATEMENTS OF OPERATION
1.1 Purpose 1
1.2 Applicability 1
1.3 Definitions 1-2
   
DIVISION TWO -- SERVICE CHARACTERISTICS
2.1 Service Characteristics 2
2.2 Engineering Practice 2-3
2.3 Special Conditions of Service 3-4
2.4 Class of Service for Application of Rates 4
2.5 Meter Installation 4-5
   
DIVISION THREE -- CUSTOMER RELATIONS
3.1 Application for Service 5
3.2 Customer Deposits 6
3.3 Billing Information 6-9
3.5 Customer Obligations 9
3.6 Customer Complaints 9-10
   
ATTACHMENTS  
List of Attachments 11

 


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DIVISION ONE -- STATEMENTS OF OPERATION


SECTION 1.1  PURPOSE

These service rules have been adopted by the Board of Trustees of Green¬field Municipal Utilities. The rules are subject to change from time to time to ensure safe and efficient service in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.


SECTION 1.2  APPLICABILITY

These service rules are intended to broadly govern operation of the municipal electric utility. Where a rule cannot be reasonably applied to a specific situation, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to act in an adjudicative capacity to resolve such conflicts.

Rates and charges are not included in these service rules. References to rates or charges and certain other terms and conditions of service "adopted by the Board of Trustees" refer to applicable resolutions adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Certain aspects of municipal utility operations are regulated by the Utilities Division of the Iowa Department of Commerce. Unless a statute specifically provides for regulation of municipally owned utilities, regulatory authority is limited to those statutes referenced in section 476.1B of the Code of Iowa.


SECTION 1.3  DEFINITIONS

Unless another meaning is specifically indicated, when used in these rules:

a.  "Board of Trustees" means the governing board established under Chapter 388, Code of Iowa.

b.  "Complaint" means a statement or question by anyone, whether a utility customer or not, alleging a wrong, grievance, injury, dissatis¬faction, illegal action or procedure, dangerous condition or action, or utility obligation. The utility may require that complaints be in writ¬ing.

c.  "Customer" is the account holder or any person, firm, association, or corporation, any agency of the federal, state or local government, or legal entity di¬rectly benefiting from electric service from the electric utility. In the case of a residence, customer also means other adult persons occupying the residence, which means they are receiving benefit from the electric service.

d.   "Delinquent or delinquency" means an account for which a service bill or service payment has not been paid in full on or before the last date for timely payment.

e.   "Demand" means the quantity of electrical power needed by the customer at a given point in time.

f.   "Maximum Demand" means the greatest demand required by a customer during a specific length of time.

 

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SECTION 1.3  DEFINITIONS (Continued)

g. "Meter" a device that measures and registers the use of electricity.

h.   "Timely Payment" is a payment on a customer's account made on or before the date shown on a current bill for service, or on a form which records an agreement between the customer and a utility for a series of partial payments to settle a delinquent account, as payment charge to the current bill or future collection efforts.

i.  "Utility" means Greenfield Municipal Utilities.


DIVISION TWO -- SERVICE CHARACTERISTICS


SECTION 2.1 SERVICE CHARACTERISTICS (General Statement)

The utility shall make available, throughout its service area, electric service of a character determined by the utility to meet the needs of its customers. The standard service available to meet this obligation is 120/240(nominal voltage), 60 Hz alternating current, single phase, 200 amperes or less, supplied via overhead or underground conductor, whichever the utility determines will best serve the location. In supplying this service, the utility shall construct, own and maintain all facilities up to, but not including, the point at which the service wire is attached to the premises. In all standard service extensions, the utility shall furnish, own and maintain the meter socket and meter. The customer shall be required to furnish, own and maintain a 5/8" by 8' ground rod and #6 ground wire to the meter socket.

Other service connections, including three phase service and service at primary voltages, are available at the option of the utility and may require a contribution in aid of construction or an advance for construction costs. Extension policies, including charges and other terms and conditions, shall be established by the Board of Trustees. Where a customer contribution in aid of construction or an advance for construction costs is required, the Board of Trustees may waive such requirements in whole or in part upon a determination that the waiver is in the public interest.  Such waiver, when entered in the minutes of the Board of Trustees, shall not be considered a discriminatory practice.


SECTION 2.2 ENGINEERING PRACTICE

Facilities of the utility shall be constructed, installed, maintained and operated in accordance with accepted good engineering practice in the electric industry to assure, as far as reasonably possible, continuity of service and safety of people and property. However, the utility shall not be held liable in actions arising from interruptions or fluctuations in service.

The utility shall use and shall require compliance with applicable provisions of the publications listed below as standards of accepted good practice and with applicable provisions of the City Code of Greenfield.

a.    Iowa Electrical Safety Code, as defined in 199 IAC, Chapter 25. 
(The Iowa Electric Safety Code incorporates, by reference, the
National Electric Safety Code, ANSI C2, and makes modifications
to that code.)


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SECTION 2.2 ENGINEERING PRACTICE (Continued)

b.    National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA No. 70.

c.    American Standard Code for Electricity Metering, ANSI C12.

d. U.S.A. Standard Requirements for Instrument Transformers, ANSI C57.13.

e.    American National Standard Requirements for Electrical Analog
Indicating Instruments, ANSI C39.1.

f.    American Standard Requirements for Direct-Acting Electrical
Recording Instruments (Switchboard and Portable Types), ANSI C39.2.

g.    American National Standard Voltage Ratings for Electrical Power
Systems and Equipment (60 Hz), ANSI C84.1.

h.    Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems, ANSI C114.1.

References to publications listed above shall be deemed to be to the latest edition or revision accepted by the Utilities Division of the Iowa Department of Commerce as a standard of good practice.  [See 199 IAC 20.5(2)].


SECTION 2.3  SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

Except for facilities defined in section 2.1 of these rules or in extension policies adopted by the Board of Trustees as a responsibility of the utility, the customer shall be responsible for all wiring and electrical equipment on his or her premises.  The installation and maintenance of customer facilities shall be consistent with standards imposed by section 2.2. of these rules, the special conditions of this section, and any other applicable laws or regulations.

The customer's facilities shall be subject to inspection by the utility during normal working hours. No inspection or approval of a customer's compliance with this section by the utility or other agent of the munic¬ipal government shall be construed to impose any duty or liability on the utility, but shall be considered solely for the purpose of ensuring protection of the utility's property and continuity of service to cus¬tomers of the utility.


2.3(1)  Requirements for Electric Motors 

All installations of power loads on the utility's system shall conform to the safety rules as set forth in the Iowa Electrical Safety Code.

Customers are required to provide suitable protective devices so that motors and equipment will be protected from damage and from improper or dangerous operation in case of overload, loss of voltage, low voltage, single phasing of poly-phase motors, or the re-establishment of normal service after any of the above. The utility is not responsible for motor damage caused by any of the above conditions.

The utility reserves the right to limit the number and size of motors installed on single-phase extensions.  The customer or customer's electrician shall contact the utility regarding requirements for motor starting equipment, wiring and other motor specifications.


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2.3(2)  Corrective Equipment

Customer electrical equipment shall be installed and used in such a manner as not to adversely affect voltage regulation or impair the utility's service to other customers. When such equipment creates fluctuating voltage or power factor conditions, or any other disturbances in service detrimental to the service of other customers or to the utility's use of its own equipment, the customer shall be required to install and maintain, at his or her own expense, suitable corrective equipment to eliminate the detrimental effects.


2.3(2)  Standby Generators

No other source of supply of electricity shall be introduced or used by a customer in conjunction with electric service supplied by the municipal utility, without prior written approval of the municipal utility.  At a minimum, standby facilities will be approved only if a single changeover switch that provides a visible opening and is padlocked in the open position, or a relay of adequate capacity, is installed so that municipal utility lines cannot become energized by a standby power source under any condition.


2.3(4)  Energy Conservation Standards

As a condition of electric service for space heating or cooling, the owner or builder of any structure, completed after April 1, 1984, and intended primarily for human occupancy, must certify to the utility that the building conforms to the energy conservation requirements of the State Building Code [680 IAC 16.800(3) as amended by 16.800(4)]. If compliance is being certified to another state or local agency, a copy of the certification form may be provided to the utility.  If no other certification is being made, the utility will provide a form.


SECTION 2.4  CLASS OF SERVICE FOR APPLICATION OF RATES

Service classification shall be based upon the type of service supplied and on similarities in customer load and demand characteristics. Service classifications shall be defined as part of the rate schedules adopted by the Board of Trustees. In addition, the utility reserves the right to supply large power service in accordance with the provisions of a written contract. As nearly as practicable, rate schedules adopted by the utility shall reflect relative differences in the costs of providing various quantities of service to each customer class. 


SECTION 2.5  METER INSTALLATION

The utility shall install, own, and maintain a meter of a type appropriate to the nature of the service, for each service extension.  Meters shall not be required, however, where consumption can be readily computed without metering or where the service is of a temporary nature and the cost of meter installation would be unreasonable. A meter seal shall be placed on all meters such that the seal must be broken to gain entry. 

 

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2.5(1)  Individual Metering

Individual metering shall be required on multi-occupancy premises in which units are separately rented or owned, except that the utility may provide single meters for electricity used: in central heating, cooling, water heating or ventilation systems; where individual metering is impractical; where a facility is designated for elderly or handicapped persons and utility costs constitute part of the operating cost and are not apportioned to individual tenants; or where sub-metering or resale of service was permitted prior to l966.


2.5(2)  Special Metering Installations

The utility reserves the right, at its option, to require or place special meters or instruments on the premises of a customer for the purpose of special tests of all or part of the customer's load.


2.5(3)  Meter Register

Where it is necessary to apply a multiplier to the meter readings, the multiplier shall be marked on the face of the meter register or stenciled in weather resistant paint upon the front cover of the meter. Wherever practicable, customers shall have continuous visual access to meter registers.


2.5(4)  Meter Testing

All meters and associated devices shall be inspected, tested, adjusted, and certified to be within an allowable tolerance of error, in accordance with commonly accepted engineering practice.


2.5(5)  Meter Location

All meters shall be located on the outside of a building being served, on a side of the building chosen by the utility, the General Manager may locate elsewhere, for a rural setting, ct type metering, suspected stealing or if deemed in the best interest of the utility. The meter shall be mounted on the building at a height of 60" from the location where the meter reader stands to the center of the meter.


2.5(6)  Customer Maintenance of the Meter

The customer shall maintain an easy access to the meter for the utility by keeping it free of all obstructions. The customer shall also maintain the meter so as to keep it in compliance with 2.5(5), if relocation is necessary to keep it in compliance, it may be at the customers expense.

 

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DIVISION THREE -- CUSTOMER RELATIONS

SECTION 3.1 APPLICATION FOR SERVICE
Application for service shall be filed at the utility's business office. At the time of application, the applicant shall be given an opportunity to designate a person or agency to receive a copy of any notice to disconnect service due to the applicant's nonpayment of a bill. As soon as practicable after the approval of the application, the utility shall supply service to the applicant in accordance with these rules and at a rate established by the utility for the applicant's appropriate class of service.

SECTION 3.2 CUSTOMER DEPOSITS
Customer deposits are not required. However, all first time customers shall be charged a non-refundable payment set by the Board of Trustees.

SECTION 3.3  BILLING INFORMATION
Customers shall be billed on a monthly basis according to the appro¬priate rate schedule for metered service received during the billing period. In addition, the bill will include charges for applicable fuel and purchased power adjustments as well as special extension and service costs applicable to the billing period. 

 3.3(1) Billing Form
The following information shall be included on the billing form or made available to the customer at the utility's business office:
a. The actual or estimated meter readings at the beginning and end of the billing period.
b. The date of the meter readings.
c. The number and kind of units metered.
d. Reference to the applicable rate schedule.
e. The account balance brought forward and amount of each net charge, and total amount currently due. In the case of prepayment meters, the amount of money collected shall be shown.
f. The last date for timely payment shall be clearly shown and shall be not less than twenty days after the bill is rendered.
g. A distinct marking to identify an estimated bill or meter reading.
h. A distinct marking to identify a minimum bill.
i. Any conversions from meter reading units to billing units or any other calculations to determine billing units from recording or other devices or any other factors such as sliding scale or automatic adjustments used in determining the bill.

 

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3.3(2) When Payable -- Late Payment Penalty
A bill shall be due and payable when rendered and shall be considered delinquent after twenty days from the time it is rendered.  A bill shall be considered rendered by the utility when deposited in the U.S. mail with postage prepaid or when delivered by the utility to the last known address of the party responsible for payment.  Bill payments received by the utility on or after the delinquent date shall be for the gross amount stated on the bill which shall include a late payment penalty (set by the Board of Trustees) per month of the last due amount. Fai¬lure to receive a properly rendered bill shall not entitle the customer to relief from penalties for late payment.

3.3(2) When Payable -- Late Payment Penalty (Continued)

Each account shall be granted one complete forgiveness of a late payment penalty in each calendar year. The customer shall be informed of the use of the automatic forgiveness by phone or in person, by posting to the next bill, or by separate mailing.
The date of delinquency for all residential customers and for other customers, whose consumption is less than three thousand kWh per month, shall be changeable for cause in writing.

 3.3(3) Partial Payments
When a partial payment is made prior to the delinquent date and without designation as to the service being paid, the payment shall be credited in the order as follows: penalty amount, miscellaneous charges, sales tax, electric charges, water charges and sewer charges. (Modified 06/11/2015)

3.3(4)  Where Payable
Bills shall be paid by mail, by direct deposit through a designated financial institution, by deposit in a designated receptacle, or in person at the utility's business office.

3.3(5) Level Payment Plan (Removed 03/15/11)


3.3(6)  Reasonable Agreement to Pay

A residential customer who has been disconnected or is about to be disconnected due to inability to pay in full may be offered the opportunity to enter into a reasonable agreement to pay in accordance with applicable rules of the Utilities Division of the Iowa Department of Commerce.


3.3(7)  Minimum Bill
The minimum bill provided for in the rate schedule for each class of service will apply to any billing period during which the service remains connected.

 

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3.3(8)  Temporary Disconnections
The utility may, upon reasonable notice by a customer, make temporary disconnections for the customer's convenience.

3.3(9)  Service Calls
The customer shall be billed for the cost of services not the respon¬sibility of the utility, as follows:
 a. For a service call where the trouble is found to be on the customer's equipment, the customer shall be billed in accordance with terms and conditions established by the Board of Trustees.  
b. For a service call requesting the relocation of facilities belonging to the utility, the customer shall be billed for the direct cost of labor and replacement of materials.  An advance deposit equal to the total estimated cost may be required where the estimate exceeds one hundred dollars.

c.  For a service call requesting temporary relocation of electric lines or other utility facilities to accommodate movement of buildings or large equipment, the person responsible for the move shall be billed for the direct cost of labor and materials.  The utility shall be given notice of the move at least two business days in advance and shall be consulted regarding the route of the move.  An advance deposit or cash bond may be required to cover estimated costs.


3.3(10) Customer Requested Meter Tests
The utility will periodically inspect and test meters in accordance with accepted engineering practice.  In addition to regular testing, the customer may request a meter test, providing that such tests need not be made more frequently than once each eighteen (18) months. The customer or the customer's representative may be present when the meter is tested and the results shall be reported to the customer within a reasonable time.   If the meter is within the allowable tolerance, the customer shall be billed for the cost of the test in an amount established by the Board of Trustees.
3.3(9)  Adjustment of Bill for Meter Error
Whenever a meter is found to have an average error exceeding the allowable tolerance by more than 2.0 percent, or in the case of a demand meter, by more than 1.5 percent, the utility shall adjust a current customer's bill or issue a refund or back bill to a past customer.  The amount of the adjustment shall be calculated on the basis of metering accuracy of one hundred percent.   The adjustment period shall extend from the date the error began.  If that date cannot be determined, it shall be assumed the error has existed for the shortest time calculated as five years from the date the error was discovered, one half the time since the meter was installed, or one half the time since the last previous meter test.  When the adjustment is due to meter "creep" it shall be assumed that creeping affected meter registration 25 percent of the adjustment period.  The adjustment period for slow meters shall not exceed six months without the approval of the Board of Trustees.  When a meter is found not to register, the utility shall issue an estimated bill.

 


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3.3(9)  Adjustment of Bill for Meter Error (continued)

An adjustment, refund or back-billing shall be made for any overcharge or undercharge resulting from incorrect reading of the meter, incorrect application of the rate schedule, incorrect meter connection or other similar reason.
This section shall not be construed to require a cash refund to a current customer nor a refund or back-billing to a previous customer in an amount less than two dollars. The utility further reserves the right to forego back-billing procedures, which it determines, is not cost effective.

3.3(12)  Adjustment of Bill for Accidental Wastage of Electricity

When a customer provides reasonable evidence to the utility that an accidental ground has existed on the customer's equipment, the utility shall estimate the normal usage for each billing period during which the ground is reasonably believed to have existed, not to exceed two months.  The bill for each such period shall be recomputed, treating the amount of above-normal energy consumption as "lost energy".  Lost energy shall be billed at the lowest rate on the customer's rate schedule and the total difference will be credited to the customer's account.


3.3(13) Returned Checks
A service charge in an amount established by the Board of Trustees shall be assessed to any customer whose check is returned unpaid by the bank on which it was drawn.  The service charge shall be in addition to the late payment penalty if the check is not made good and the service fee not paid prior to the delinquent date of the bill. If two or more checks are dishonored within six-month period, the utility may require future payments to be by cash, cashiers check, or postal money order.

SECTION 3.4  DISCONNECTION OR DENIAL OF SERVICE

The utility reserves the right to disconnect or deny service in accordance with applicable rules of the Utilities Division of the Iowa Department of Commerce. Once the service has been disconnected for nonpayment, payments must be paid by cash or money order.  A reconnection fee in an amount established by the Board of Trustees shall be applicable when service has been disconnected pursuant to this section. (Modified 06/11/2015)


SECTION 3.5  CUSTOMER OBLIGATIONS
Acceptance of service shall obligate a customer to the conditions imposed by these rules and applicable rules of the Utilities Division of the Iowa Department of Commerce. Customers should note that other sections of these service rules prescribe standards of engineering practice and establish special conditions for the installation of certain motors and other equipment, common to industry and agriculture.

 

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3.5(1) Wiring and Electrical Equipment

Except for the meter socket and meter and other facilities defined in utility extension policies as a responsibility of the utility, the customer shall be responsible for all wiring and electrical equipment on his or her premises. The installation and maintenance of customer facilities shall be consistent with standards imposed by these service rules and any other applicable laws or regulations. Location of the meter loop and meter socket shall be at the discretion of the utility, consistent with the customer's reasonable convenience.


3.5(2) Damage to Utility Facilities  The customer shall not use the equipment or structures of the utility for reasons other than those incident to normal service nor create a condition likely to interfere with the functions of such equipment and structures, without written consent of the utility.  The customer shall be held responsible for his or her actions, which cause damage to, or loss of equipment or structures located on property occupied by the customer. 

No inspection or approval of a customer's compliance with this section by the utility or other agent of the municipal government shall be construed to impose any duty or liability on the utility but shall be considered solely for the purpose of ensuring protection of the utility's property and for ensuring continuity of service to customers of the utility.


3.5(3)  Customer Premises
The customer and owner shall grant the utility, without charge, right of way over and on the premises on which equipment and structures of the utility are located.  Access to the equipment and structures shall be granted to the utility at reasonable times for installation, inspection, testing, repair, and other functions necessary for the maintenance of satisfactory service.  
3.5(4)  Notice by Customer to Terminate Service
A customer shall give the utility not less than three business days notice prior to final termination of service.  Disconnection of service under this section shall be during the regular business hours of the utility.

SECTION 3.6  CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS
Customers may be asked to submit complaints in writing, specifying the nature of the complaint and the relief sought.  Complaints concerning the charges, practices, facilities or service of the utility shall be investigated promptly and thoroughly. A customer may appeal the find¬ings of the investigation and shall be given reasonable opportunity for a full hearing of the matter before the Board of Trustees or hearing officer(s) appointed by the Board of Trustees.

 

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 LIST OF ATTACHMENTS:
A.    Resolution Adopting Service Rules
B.    Service Charges (other than rates)
C.    Copy of Current Rates
D.    Application For Service
E.    Storm Restoration Policy
F. Extension Policy

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