Low Income Customers
Information for Low Income Customers
“Low Income Customer” means a residential customer who has qualified under the income criteria of Section 6 of the Energy Assistance Act of 1989. Qualification is effective for purposes of this definition when the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) administrator notifies the customer's utility of the customer's low income status. Unless water and sewer utilities begin participation in a low income assistance program with the LIHEAP agencies, it shall be the individual customer's responsibility to notify and provide proof to the water and/or sewer utility of the customer's low income status under the income criteria of Section 6 of the Energy Assistance Act of 1989.
- Late Payment Fee Waiver for Low Income Customers
- Waiver: A low income customer shall not be assessed late payment fees while he or she is qualified as a low income customer
- New Qualification: When a customer is qualified as a low income customer, the utility shall not be obliged to waive late fees that were assessed prior to qualification.
- Expiration of Qualification: If a customer is not re-qualified as a low income customer, then the utility may begin assessing late fees on past due amounts. However, late fees shall not be assessed retroactively on bills issued during the time period when the customer was qualified as a low income customer.
- Deposits for Low Income Customers
A low income customer or applicant may be required to pay a deposit if the following conditions exist
- The utility has proof that the applicant or customer benefitted from
- The applicant was previously disconnected for non-payment of bill amounts owing to the utility for the same class and type of service.
- Deferred Payment Arrangements for Low Income Customers
Intent: To enable low income customer to better retain essential utility services, a low income customer shall be eligible for all provisions described in Section 280.120 from April 1 to November 30. In addition, a low income customer shall be entitled to the altered provisions described in this section.
- Down Payment
- In order to initiate a DPA, a utility may require a maximum down payment of 20% towards the past due amounts for utility service.
- By agreement with the customer, the utility may include current billing amounts with the past due amount as the total balance from which the 20% down payment may be calculated
- Length of DPA Term:
- The amount of time offered to a low income customer for the completion of a DPA shall be set by the utility at 6 to 12 billing cycles.
- At its discretion, the utility may set the term for a period longer than 12 months
- Reinstatement Fee Waiver: A utility shall not assess a reinstatement fee for any reinstatement of a DPA by a low income customer.
- Amended DPA:
- A utility shall offer an amended DPA to a low income customer who is in default on a first DPA if the customer has made at least two consecutive full payments under the first DPA and the customer has not been in default on the first DPA for more than 90 days.
- The amended DPA shall be for the same term or longer than the term of the first DPA
- As a condition of entering the amended DPA, the utility may require the customer to participate in the payment option described in section 280.80.