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CUSTOMER SERVICE PRACTICE STANDARDS

    We currently serve over 8,400 customers with electrical service within the City of Cullman.
      For convenience to our customers, we also provide the billing services for the City of Cullman Water, Wastewater and Sanitation Departments. This procedure allows our customers to receive numerous services on one monthly bill.
     For questions concerning Water and Wastewater call: 775-7210, for Sanitation please call 737-7560.


SECURITY DEPOSITS:

     A security deposit will be required prior to the establishment of residential electric service and is based on a customer’s credit score (not average bills). Should the customer refuse to furnish Cullman Power Board (CPB) with the needed information to use the credit score system, the security deposit required: ($400) (due to the credit risk).  In normal situations the security deposit amount will be based on the customer’s credit rating as follows:
Good $75, Fair  $200, Poor $300
Management has discretionary authority to determine the amount of “security deposit” needed: for example, when there is questionable customer information that would pose as a risk for CPB’s receivables or other considerations.

     For general power customers (GSA - Commercial), a deposit amount based on historical business use should be in the area of (near or below) twice the highest estimated bill required for the rate classification.  CPB’s intention is to not exceed TVA’s recommendation of twice the highest bill; therefore, periodically from time to time deposit amounts may be adjusted based on payment history (risk) and other historical factors.  CPB realizes how quickly circumstances can change with customer’s payment schedules and usage.

     A suitable guarantee, Bank letter of credit or other security deemed acceptable by CPB may be accepted in lieu of a deposit for commercial customers only.

     Upon rare occasions, only residential customers with specific hardships, as determined by CPB, may negotiate installment payments, but the deposit must be paid in full within 60 days from the date electric service commences.

     Interest will accrue on active deposits held longer than twelve months at the interest rate CPB earns on its passbook savings accounts (updated annually).  Interest will be applied (credit) to customer’s active account at end of December each year and will show on January’s billing statement for customer’s review.  Customers may inquire or request information concerning their deposits and the interest paid through the CPB office at any time.

     The deposit balance will be credited to the customer’s final or unpaid bills upon termination of electric service or upon return of the deposit to the customer. When and if CPB offers a pre-pay program, customers will not be required to provide a security deposit.  (Reference:  (RR) Rules and Regulations #2)


BILLING:

     Billing statements will be rendered monthly and shall be due not less than 15 days from the billing date for residential class customers; all other classes may be due not less than 10 days.  Bills that are paid after the due date on the billing statement provided shall be subject to an additional charge of not more than 5% (forfeited discount).  The forfeited discount charge is only applied to any portion of the bill paid after the net payment period. Failure to receive a bill will not release a customer from its payment obligations. Should the due date fall on a weekend or holiday, the next business day following the due date will be held as a day of grace for payment to be received.

      Customer’s payments must be received in CPB’s office on the due date and posted in order to avoid being charged forfeited discounts.   (CPB does not recognize the mailing envelope postmark).  Electronic payments should be presented and posted on or before the due date.

      Should bills not be paid by the due date specified on the bill, service may be discontinued as set out in the “Termination of Service” section herein.

      Customers desiring to receive electronic bill presentation and electronic termination notices must enroll in CPB’s electronic notice program by completing the application form and consenting to its terms and conditions. (Reference:  (RR) Rules and Regulations #9)


TERMINATION OF SERVICE:

    CPB may discontinue electrical service for the violation of any of the Schedule of Rules and Regulations or of the Schedule of Rates and Charges. CPB also may discontinue electrical service to the Customer for the theft of services or the appearance of theft devices on the customer’s premise, for safety reasons or to be compliant with any state, city or county regulations that require disconnection for safety reasons. Any and all electrical services will be discontinued to customers with past due accounts except as provided in this rule. Payment in full (including forfeited discount charges and additional collections charges.) will be required before service is restored. An additional deposit amount may also be required. The termination of service by CPB for any reason stated in this rule does not release the customer from the obligation for any amounts due to CPB, including the payment of minimum bills as specified in contracts.

      If payment is not received within ten (10) days after the due date on the bill, CPB may discontinue service beginning on the eleventh (11th) day after:

  • providing a separate written notice (also referred to as a 2nd Notice or Late Notice) by USPS mail (U.S. Postal System) to the customer’s mailing address on file informing the customer of the electric service disconnection and the available right and remedies to dispute the bill with the CPB, or
  • receiving a yellow door hanger at customer’s service location which states the customer’s rights and remedies.

     On the date that electric service is disconnected, a “red” door hanger will also be left on the premise that includes information to contact Customer Service and rights and remedies. No further notice will be provided before electrical service is disconnected. Collection charges are added to customer’s account for each of the above procedures.

     CPB evaluates local weather conditions during the cold and hot seasons before disconnecting service to the customer. Various local sources include both Huntsville and Birmingham television service areas. TVA also provides CPB with weather conditions for CPB’s area. Technology provides CPB with many sources of reports on weather conditions ranging from extreme freeze warnings to excessive heat warnings.

     In the event the forecasted high temperature is expected to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or above and or is expected to be 32 degrees or below (F) on that day, CPB will put forth efforts to postpone the disconnection of service of residential customers scheduled for such disconnection due to non-payment. Consideration shall be given to length of time weather conditions are expected to continue. Where disconnection is postponed due to extreme weather condition, the postponement will not extend beyond the extreme weather condition time period as forecasted to exist.

     Should the electrical service be disconnected at a residence that has a medical hardship unknown to CPB, the customer should immediately be instructed to call 911 or go to an emergency facility until this situation can be resolved.

     CPB encourages customers to have battery backup units or systems if they have a medical need that requires medical equipment that will not operate without electricity. If this is not possible, CPB will consider other Medical Hardship recommendations. Should customers contact us about a medical hardship, we may give them a medical form to be returned with proper information concerning the medical condition.

     Upon CPB’s approval of the CPB’s 20-day Medical Ceritification for Postponement of Electric Termination of Service form submitted and signed by the customer, disconnection of service will be postponed for 20 days from the original scheduled “disconnection date” to allow customer time to make payment or alternative shelter or living arrangements for the person/patient named on the medical form. The medical certification form is not only completed by the customer but also a section must be completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in the state of Alabama certifying that the disconnection of service would create a life-threatening medical situation for the customer or other permanent resident of the customer’s household.

     It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that the form has been

  • properly signed by the customer whose name appears on the account with picture identification; signed by the patient with picture identification; and also properly signed by physician or nurse practitioner
  • delivered to the CPB (preferably hand delivered) and
  • approved by CPB.

     CPB reserves the right to verify or follow up the medical needs with the physician’s office. A life threatening medical condition does not relieve a customer of the obligation to pay for electric service, including any additional late charges incurred or other applicable charges. CPB will only grant this event of postponement for termination one (1) time in a twelve month period per account (per household) to limit potential abuse and the frequency of this application. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late charges, is not received by the end of the 20 day postponement period, electric service will be disconnected without further notice. (Reference: (RR) Rules and Regulations #10)

Yellow Door Hanger

Red Door Hanger

If a yellow door hanger has been left on your door, this means a representative from our collections department has been there. A collection charge has been added to the delinquent account.

If a red door hanger has been left on your door, this means your service has been disconnected for non-payment. An additional  disconnect charge has been charged to the account. Plus, if service is restored, a  reconnect charge will also be added to the account.


INFORMATION OF CUSTOMERS:

CUSTOMER'S ENERGY USE DATA:

     Upon request by the customer, CPB will make available a customer’s energy consumption data for the prior 12 months’ period. The schedule of Rules and Regulations is a part of all contracts for receiving electric service from CPB and applies to all service received from CPB, whether the service is based upon contract, agreement, signed application, or otherwise.

     A copy of this Schedule of Rules and Regulations together with a copy of the CPB Schedule of Rates and Charges, approved in a meeting of The Utilities Board City of Cullman, and shall be kept open to inspection at the offices of CPB located at 106 2nd Ave NE, Cullman, AL 35055.

      Furthermore, CPB will provide information regarding rates, service practice policies, and guidelines to customers via the website – www.cullmanpowerboard.com and information including brochures and print media will also be available in the CPN office.

     A customer will also receive such information upon application for electrical service, and at any time upon request. New customers are given an informational packet when they acquire new service. Customer packet contains in-depth information about their service and collections procedures; also includes information about other services available. Packet also includes website access to rates, payment actions and variety of forms and much more information to keep the customer informed.

     All retail rate actions initiated by CPB will be communicated to the public via the website – www.cullmanpowerboard.com and/or through bill inserts when needed and/or notes or messages on bills or upon request. (Reference: (RR) Rules and Regulations #26)


ELECTRICAL FEES AND CHARGES:


Disconnect Charge $25 
Reconnect Charge $50 
After Hours Turn On $100
Collection Charge $25
Connect Charge
     (Included in first bill)
$25
Meter Test Charge $25
Return Check Charge $30
Late Notice Charge $1

 
HELPFUL HINTS:

   When You Move Away From Our Service Area.
Always call 256-734-2343 for "Turn off" when you move and provide us with your new forwarding address. This enables us to mail your final bill or a refund of your deposit, if applicable.
   Whose Name?
If the account is in your name, even though you don't live there, we still look to the account holder for responsibility of payment. The account name should always be the same as the tenant or owner of the property.
   When Do I Get My Final Bill?
When you receive you final bill, it will have printed on the front "Final Bill at this Location". Depending on when you move or have your service disconnected, you could possibly receive two more bills. The final bill could be for only a few days.
   I Didn't Get a Bill.
Sometimes, unexplainable things just happens to the mail. Once we mail your bill, obviously, we cannot be responsible for you actually receiving it. If you have not received your utility bill and you know it is close to your due date, please call or come by our office and we will be able give you the account balance. This will prevent you from going past your due date and save you from paying the five percent penalty and other collection costs.
 When You Read Your Electric Meter.
Click HERE for help reading your electric meter.

 

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