Termination of Service Due to Nonpayment of Bill
Procedures for Termination of Service to Residential Customers for Nonpayment of Bill
Including those with Special Needs
Bills for residential electric service are due and payable on the "date of the bill" and become past due 25 days after the "date of the bill."
If the bill is not paid, a second month's bill is rendered, showing a prior account balance. The bill may include a disconnect notice or the disconnect notice may be separately mailed giving a minimum of 10 days but up to approximately 30 days notice of disconnection. Copies of the disconnect notice are sent to any third party designated by the customer. The disconnect notice includes the requirements of the Commission's rule 103-352 as follows:
- The total amount owed.
- The date and amount of last payment.
- The amount required, and date by which the customer must make payment or an arrangement, to avoid disconnection of service.
- The availability of a deferred payment plan including contact information to request such a plan.
- A statement informing customers of the protections afforded to certain customers December through March who provide a medical certificate and certify inability to pay.
- A statement suggesting customers to contact assistance agencies.
- The availability of review by the Office of Regulatory Staff.
If payment is not received nor an arrangement made within approximately five days of the scheduled disconnection an additional disconnect notice is mailed to the customer in accordance with 103-352 b. A copy of the notice is also mailed to any third party. Additionally, an attempt is made to reach the customer by telephone.
For customers identified as "special needs" (i.e. those who have provided the Company a statement regarding the medical condition of a member of the household), an additional notice is provided when personal contact has not been made. Before a disconnect order is dispatched, a field representative attempts to contact the customer at the residence and in the absence of such contact, a door hanger, "urgent notice," is left, requesting contact from the customer to avoid disconnection of service.
For customers qualifying for the winter protection program provided for in 103-352 a. 3, disconnection of service is waived until expiration of the medical certificate during the months of December through March.
If there has been no response to the notices, an order is dispatched to disconnect service, and the field performer attempts to contact the customer. The field performer is authorized to defer disconnection if payment is offered or due to any observable conditions that indicate termination of service may be harmful to a member of the household.
If service is disconnected, the representative leaves a notice at the residence informing the customer of the disconnection and the requirements to have service restored.
Disconnections for nonpayment are only performed Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Customers whose service has been disconnected can contact Duke Energy Carolinas 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to arrange for reconnection of service.
Third Party Notification
Duke Energy Carolinas offers a third party notification program to its residential customers and notifies customers annually of this program via bill insert. The program is also mentioned on Duke Energy Carolinas' web site and other publications.
Severe Weather Suspension of Disconnection
Using weather service data from various weather zones across the Duke Energy Carolinas system, the Company automatically suspends disconnection of service to all residential customers under the following weather conditions:
- Winter - Disconnection is suspended any time the average temperature for the next 24 or 48 hours is forecasted to be 32 degrees or below.
- Summer- Disconnection is suspended any time the heat index is forecasted to be 105 or higher at any point during the next 24 or 48 hour period.