GA - GAC
Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 515-3-2 RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC AND GAS UTILITY SERVICE DISCONNECTIONS

Rule 515-3-2-.01 Reasons for Disconnection

No residential electric utility service may be disconnected except for the following reasons:

(a) upon consumer request;
(b) when service to the customer constitutes an immediate hazard to persons or property;
(c) by order of the Georgia Public Service Commission, any Court, or any other authorized public agency;
(d) violation of applicable utility rules and regulations approved by and filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission;
(e) a bill for past service is not paid within at least 45 days after the date of the bill, provided that said bill is not for service to a previous occupant of the premises served, is not for the purchase of merchandise or applicances and is not for service rendered at a different metering point if such bill is unpaid for less than 45 days.

Rule 515-3-2-.02 Limitations on Disconnection

In the case of proposed electric utility disconnection for residential service, no utility service may be disconnected unless:

(a) the utility has delivered, or caused to be delivered, to the service address, or to the address of any party who to the knowledge of the utility has undertaken responsibility to pay the bill, written notice of the proposed disconnection at least five (5) days prior to the date of disconnection. Such notice shall include:
1. the earliest date for the proposed disconnection;
2. the amount due and the reason for the proposed disconnection;
3. a telephone number which the afflected customer may call for information about the proposed disconnection;
4. the procedure for preventing disconnection of service, including one wherein there may exist a medical emergency as hereinafter described; and
5. information concerning any programs known to the utility which might assist the customer in paying a past-due bill;
(b) The utility makes a good-faith effort to make personal contact by the use of a telephone, certified mail, certification of mailing or other method designed to reasonably notify the affected customer at least two (2) days prior to the proposed disconnection date if personal contact has not been made previously;
(c) The date of the proposed disconnection is a business day, when a representative of the utility is available to receive payment from the customer; and
(d) The overdue bill is not for consumption for three or more months as the result of previously estimated bills, unless the consumer has been given an amount of time in which to pay the bill equal to the amount of time in which the bill was estimated.

Rule 515-3-2-.03 Disconnection During Illness

Service shall not be discontinued for nonpayment of a bill to a residential customer who has a serious illness which would be aggravated by said discontinuation, provided that the customer notifies the company of this condition in writing, or orally with written notice within ten (10) days thereafter, and within ten (10) days of giving such initial notice furnishes to the Company a written statement from a physician, county board of health, hospital, or clinic identifying the illness, its expected duration, and certifying that the illness would be aggravated by such discontinuance. In such event, the proposed disconnection shall be held in abeyance for the shorter of either the length of the illness or one month from the date of such initial notice, and the customer may renew the postponement period one additional time by repeating the aforementioned procedure. If there is a dispute regarding the existence of a serious illness, the case may be referred to the Commission for final determination.

Rule 515-3-2-.04 Seasonal Restrictions

(1) Other rules notwithstanding, a utility shall not discontinue service to a residential customer for an unpaid bill between November 15 and March 15 if:
(a) The customer agrees in writing to pay the past-due balance including customer charges in equal installments for a maximum duration beginning with the first billing period after March 15 and concluding prior to the following October 15, unless the customer fails to comply with such agreement;
(b) In addition, the customer agrees in writing to pay all bills by their due date for current service received after said agreement unless the customer fails to comply with such agreement;
(c) The forecasted local low temperature for a 24-hour period beginning at 8:00 A.M. on the date of the proposed disconnection is below 32° F.
(2) Other rules notwithstanding, an electric utility shall not discontinue service to a residential customer for an unpaid bill if:

Prior to 8:00 A.M. on the date of the scheduled disconnection, a National Weather Service Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning is in effect, or is forecasted to be in effect by the National Weather Service, for the county in which the meter scheduled for disconnection is located.

Rule 515-3-2-.05 Multi-family Dwellings

The utility shall provide written notice at least five (5) days prior to any proposed utility disconnection to tenants of multi-family dwellings where the landlord or lessor is responsible for payment for utility services. Such notice shall be personally served on at least one adult in each dwelling unit or posted conspicuously on said premises when personal service cannot be made. The utility shall accept payments from tenants as their portion of any past-due amounts and shall issue receipts to those tenants indicating that such payments shall be credited to the landlord's account.

Rule 515-3-2-.06 Right of the Customer

In the case of a disputed bill, the residential customer shall have the right, after all remedial measures with the utility have failed, to request in writing, or orally to be followed by a request in writing, the Georgia Public Service Commission to investigate the dispute before service may be terminated, provided that such a request must be made within 10 days after the date of the disputed bill. Any late charges assessed in the case of a disputed bill shall be refunded if it is determined that the customer does not owe the bill.