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Your Rights as a Customer

 

A. RATE AND SERVICE INFORMATION:

You may, either by phone or by personal visit to the Cooperative’s business office located at 386 Friendship Lane, request copies of any portion of the Cooperative’s rate and service tariffs and rules. A nominal reproduction charge will be made for each copy, and postage will be added if the copies are mailed.

 

B. METER TESTING:

You may request a test of your electric meter if you believe that the meter is not accurately reflecting your actual electric consumption. This test will be made at no charge to you, provided you have not previously requested a test during the previous four years. In the event that you request a test more often than four years and the meter is not defective, you will be required to pay a charge of not more than $35 for the test.

 

C. OUTSTANDING BILLS:

You have twenty-six (26) days from the date of the bill to pay an outstanding bill. The total of twenty-six (26) days consists of the sixteen (16) days from the date of issue to the due date and a ten (10) day past-due disconnect period. If the due date falls on a holiday or weekend, the due date for payment purposes shall be the next work day after the due date.  A timely payment made to the Cooperative or an agency of the Cooperative shall be classified as a payment received on time by the Cooperative. A bill for utility service is delinquent if not received at the utility or at the utility’s authorized payment agency by the due date.

 

D. TERMINATION OF SERVICE:

Your electric service may be discontinued after proper notice for the following reasons:

  • Failure to pay a delinquent bill.
  • Failure to pay a delinquent account or meet the terms of a deferred payment plan.
  • Violation of the Cooperative’s rules for the use of service in such a manner that interferes with the service of others or the operation of non-standard equipment, provided that the Cooperative will make every attempt to notify you of the problem and allow you to remedy the situation.
  • Failure to comply with the Cooperative’s deposit and guarantee requirements.

The Cooperative may also disconnect service at once and without notice where a dangerous condition exists and such disconnection shall remain in effect so long as the condition exists. Disconnection without notice may also be made when service is connected without authority by a person who has not made application for service or who has reconnected service without authority following termination of service for nonpayment.  In instances of tampering with the Cooperative’s meter or equipment, bypassing same, or other instances of diversion, service may be terminated immediately.

 

E. TERMINATION NOTICE:

Prior to disconnecting a customer for non-payment the Cooperative will either mail or personally deliver a written notice of termination at least ten (10) days prior to the date of disconnection. Unless a dangerous condition exists, or unless the customer requests disconnection, service shall not be disconnected on a day, or on a day immediately preceding a day, when personnel of the Cooperative are not available to the public for the purpose of making connections and reconnecting service. If mailed, the cut-off day will not fall on a holiday or weekend, but will fall on the next working day after the 10th day. The Cooperative will not issue late notices or disconnect notice to the customer earlier than the first day the bill becomes delinquent, so that a reasonable length of time is allowed to ascertain receipt of payment by mail or at the Cooperative’s authorized payment agency.  If you are seriously ill or will become more seriously ill as a result of termination of service you may have your physician call or contact the Cooperative within sixteen (16) days of the issuance of the bill concerning your condition. The physician must provide a confirmation letter to the Cooperative within twenty-six (26) days of the issuance of the bill and the Cooperative will then refrain from termination of service for sixty-three (63) days from the issuance of the bill unless a lesser period is agreed upon. If you make a request to avoid termination under this provision, you must enter into a deferred payment agreement.

 

F. SERVICE AND BILLING DISPUTES:

If you disagree with the Cooperative regarding any aspect of the Cooperative’s service you may request a supervisory review. If you make such a request, you have five (5) days to participate in the review before the Cooperative may terminate service if the dispute is one in which the issues may result in such termination, provided that notice has been given under standard disconnection procedures. The results of the supervisory review will be provided in writing to the customer within ten (10) days of the review, if requested. If the billing dispute is not resolved by such review, you have the right to file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Office of Customer Protection, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, (512) 936-7150 or in Texas (toll-free) 1-888-782-8477, Fax (512) 936-7003, e-mail: customer@puc.state.tx.us, internet address: www.puc.state.tx.us, TTY (512) 936-7136 and Relay Texas (toll-free) 1-800-735-2989. During the pendency of such appeal or other resolution of a dispute, but in no event more than 60 days, you may avoid termination of service by paying the average of your monthly bill for the past twelve (12) months as determined by the Cooperative.

 

G. PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS:

As a member of the Cooperative, you have a right to request payment arrangements, in which an outstanding bill will be paid after the due date of the outstanding bill but before the due date of the next bill.

LEVEL PAYMENT PLAN: A level payment plan may be entered into, which allows eligible residential customers to pay on a monthly basis a fixed billing rate of one twelfth of that customer’s estimated annual consumption at the appropriate customer class rates, with provisions for annual adjustments in February, based on actual usage. If you do not fulfill the terms of the agreement, your service may be terminated under standard termination procedures. Such breech of the agreement voids your right to a level payment plan or re-negotiation to avoid termination.

DEFERRED PAYMENT PLAN: If you have not been delinquent in paying your bill more than two (2) times in the last twelve (12) months and are unable to pay any or all of your bill, you are qualified for a deferred payment plan. Such plan requires that you keep all subsequent bills current and pay monthly an amount not to exceed one-third (1/3) of the outstanding amount. The deferred payment plan may be made by visiting the Cooperative’s business office or contacting the Cooperative by telephone. The deferred payment plan shall be signed by the customer and a copy of this signed agreement will be given to the customer. A late fee will be applied when the customer is late with a scheduled payment as per the deferred payment plan. If you do not fulfill the terms of the agreement, your service may be terminated under standard termination procedures. Such breech of the agreement voids your right to a deferred payment plan or re-negotiation to avoid termination. The Cooperative is not required to offer this arrangement if you have had service for less than three (3) months.

 

H. SERVICE RECONNECTION:

If your service is interrupted for any of the reasons listed under Sec. D of the information sheet, you may reestablish service when all outstanding and delinquent bills are paid and when a deposit or other evidence of payment guarantee is provided to the Cooperative.

 

I. COOPERATIVE OFFICES AND BUSINESS HOURS:

The Cooperative maintains four offices for the convenience of members to pay bills, report service interruptions and obtain information. During regular business hours, you may call your nearest office at the number shown below, or you may call the Cooperative's Headquarters office at 1-800-900-CTEC (2832). All offices are open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, except holidays.  The Cooperative’s Headquarters office is located at 386 Friendship Lane in Fredericksburg, Texas. The telephone number is (830) 997-2126. This number is for use in the Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Blanco, Real and Kimble Counties.  The Llano office is located at 1410 East State Hwy. 29 in Llano, Texas. The telephone number is (325) 247-4191. This number is for use in Llano and San Saba Counties.  The Kingsland office is located at 706 Cottonwood, Nobhill Subdivision in Kingsland, Texas and the telephone number is (325) 388-4542. After 5:00 P.M., Saturday, Sunday and holidays, dial (325) 247-4191. The Mason office is located at 983 N. U.S. Hwy. 87. The telephone number is (325) 347 6314. This number is for use in Mason, McCulloch, Menard and Kimble Counties.

If your power fails:

  • Check your fuses or circuit breakers to determine that the trouble is not in your own system.
  • Check with your neighbors to see if they have electricity.
  • Have your bill handy when you call the office so you can give your account number and/or meter number shown on your bill.
  • For power outages, Cooperative telephone numbers are answered twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. Report an outage or emergency to the following numbers:
    • Fredericksburg Area - 24 hours a day - (830) 997-2126 or 1-800-900-CTEC (2832)
    • Llano Area - 24 hours a day - (325) 247-4191
    • Mason Area - 24 hours a day - (325) 347-6314
    • Kingsland Area - between 8:00A.M.-5:00P.M. (325) 388-4542 after 5:00P.M. - (325) 247-4191
  • In all areas, with the exception of Fredericksburg, persons calling Long Distance to report an outage may call “COLLECT”.
  • If the outage is the responsibility of the Cooperative, there is no trip fee charged. If the outage is on customer’s side of meter, such as blown fuse or tripped breaker, etc., you will be billed for a trip fee.

 

J. DEPOSIT POLICY:

(a) Initial Deposit from Applicant Subject to these rules, a residential applicant shall not be required to pay a deposit:

  • if the residential applicant has been a customer of any utility for the same kind of service within the last two years and is not delinquent in payment of any such utility service account, and during the last 12 consecutive months of service did not have more than one occasion in which a bill for such utility service was paid after becoming delinquent and never had service disconnected for nonpayment; applicants are encouraged to obtain a letter of credit history from their previous utility, and utilities are encouraged to provide such information with final bills.
  • if the residential applicant demonstrates a satisfactory credit rating by appropriate means, including, but not limited to, the production of generally acceptable credit cards, letters of credit reference, the names of credit references which may be quickly and inexpensively contacted by the utility, or ownership of substantial equity; or
  • if the residential applicant furnishes in writing a satisfactory guarantee to secure payment of bills for the service required
    • unless otherwise agreed to by the guarantor, the guarantee shall be for the amount of deposit the utility would normally seek on the applicant’s account. The amount of guarantee shall be clearly indicated on any documents or letters of guarantee signed by the guarantor;
    • when the customer has paid bills for service for 12 consecutive residential billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of bills and without having more than two occasions in which a bill was delinquent, and when the customer is not delinquent in the payment of current bills, the utility shall void and return any documents or letters of guarantee placed with the utility to the guarantor.

(b) Initial Deposit from Applicant 65 or older

All applicants for permanent residential service who are 65 years of age or older will be considered as having established credit if such applicant does not have an outstanding account balance within the utility or another utility for the same utility service which accrued within the last two years. No cash deposit shall be required of such applicant under these conditions.

(c) Initial Deposit from Customer

An initial deposit may not be required from residential customers unless the customer has more than one occasion during the last 12 consecutive months of service in which a bill for utility service was paid after becoming delinquent or if the customer’s service was disconnected for nonpayment. Such deposit may be required to be made within 10 days after issuance of written termination notice and requested deposit. In lieu of initial deposit, the customer may elect to pay the current bill by the due date of the bill, provided the customer has not exercised this option in the previous 12 months. The customer may furnish in writing a satisfactory guarantee to secure payment of bills in lieu of cash deposit.

(d) Additional Deposit

If actual billings of a commercial customer are at least twice the amount of the estimated billings, and a suspension notice has been issued on a bill within the previous 12-month period, a new deposit may be required to be made within 10 days after issuance of written notice of termination and requested additional deposit. If actual billings of a residential customer are at least twice the amount of the estimated billings after two billing periods, and a suspension notice has been issued on a bill within the previous 12 month period, a new deposit may be required to be made within 15 days after issuance of written notice of termination and requested additional deposit. In lieu of additional deposit, the customer may elect to pay the current bill by the due date of the bill, provided the customer has not exercised this option in the previous 12 months.

(e) Amount of Deposit

The required deposit shall not exceed an amount equivalent to one-sixth of the estimated annual billing.

(f) Deposit Interest

Each utility which requires deposits to be made by its customers shall pay a minimum interest on such deposits at an annual rate approved by the Public Utility COmmission of Texas. If a refund of deposit is made within 30 days of receipt of deposit, no interest payment is required. If the utility retains the deposit more than 30 days, payment of interest shall be made retroactive to the date of deposit.

  • Payment of the interest to the customer shall be annually if requested by the customer, or at the time the deposit is returned or credited to the customer’s account.
  • The deposit shall cease to draw interest on the date it is returned or credited to the customer’s account.

(g) Refund of Deposit

  • If service is not connected, or after disconnection of service, the utility shall promptly and automatically refund the customer’s deposit plus accrued interest or the balance, if any, in excess of the unpaid bills for service furnished. A transfer of service from one premise to another within the service area of the utility shall not be deemed a disconnection within the meaning of these sections, and no additional deposit may be demanded unless permitted by these sections.
  • When the customer has paid bills for service for 12 consecutive residential billings or for 24 consecutive commercial or industrial billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of bill and without having more than two occasions in which a bill was delinquent, and when the customer is not delinquent in the payment of the current bills, the utility shall promptly and automatically refund the deposit plus accrued interest to the customer in the form of cash or credit to a customer’s bill, or void the guarantee. If the customer does not meet these refund criteria, the deposit and interest may be retained in accordance with subsections (b), (d), (e) and (f) of Deposit Policy.

 

K. FINANCIAL ASSITANCE:

The following governmental or social service agencies may be able to assist you if you are having trouble making your payment for electric service to the Cooperative:

GILLESPIE, KERR, & KENDALL COUNTIES:

  • Community Council of South Central Texas, Inc.
    • 160-B Guadalupe Plaza, Kerrville, TX 78028
    • (830) 896-2124
  • Fredericksburg Needs Council
    • (830) 997-9756
  • Saint Vincent De Paul Society-Fredericksburg
    • (830) 997-3392
  • Saint Vincent De Paul Society-Kerrville
    • (830) 896-6898
  • Kerr County Area Christian Ministry
    • (830) 257-4222
  • Salvation Army-Kerrville
    • (830) 257-3620
  • Hill Country Family Services-Kendall
    • (830) 249-8643

LLANO, MASON, & SAN SABA COUNTIES:

  • Hill Country Community Action Assn., Inc.
    • P.O. Box 846, San Saba, TX 76877
    • (325) 247-4662 Llano
    • (325) 372-5167 San Saba
  • New Horizon-Llano
    • (325) 247-4439
  • Salvation Army-Llano
    • (325) 247-4359
  • Salvation Army-Kingsland
    • (325) 388-6215
  • Share the Harvest-Kingsland
    • (325) 388-0620
  • Mason Senior Center
    • (325) 347-6242

KIMBLE & MENARD COUNTIES:

  • Concho Valley Community Action Agency
    • 1100 N Martin Luther King Dr. , San Angelo TX
    • (325) 653-1680

ALL COUNTIES:

  • Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs
    • Energy Assistance Section (877) 399-8939
    • P.O. Box 13941, Austin, TX 78711-3941
    • (877) 399-8939  or (512) 475-1099
  • Public Utility Commission of Texas
    • P.O. Box 13326, Austin, TX 78711-3326
    • 1-888-782-8477 (Toll Free)

 

L. NONDISCRIMINATION:

Your Cooperative provides electric service without discrimination as to member’s race, nationality, color, religion, sex, or marital status. Credit history shall be applied equally for a reasonable period of time to a spouse or former spouse who shared the service. Credit history maintained by one must be applied equally to the other without modification and without additional qualifications not required of the other.

 

M. SPECIAL SERVICES:

  • As a special service to the deaf, a teletypewriter is provided by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The telephone number for this teletypewriter is (512) 936-7147 TTY-FOR THE DEAF.
  • As a special service to someone on electrically operated life support equipment, the Cooperative maintains a list of; these members, allowing the Cooperative to notify these members of planned electric service interruptions. To have your name added to this list, write the Cooperative a letter at P.O. Box 553, Fredericksburg, TX 78624-0553 giving your name, address, telephone number, customer I.D. number, disability and a telephone number of a relative or friend the Cooperative can notify if we are unable to contact you by telephone. A letter from your physician describing your needs regarding the life support equipment would also be helpful.

 

Central Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. is the recipient of Federal financial assistance from the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provide that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion or disability shall be excluded from participation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization’s programs or activities.

The person responsible for coordinating this organization’s nondiscrimination compliance efforts is Robert A. Loth III, Chief Executive Officer. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with this organization; or the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250; or the Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Stop 1510, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington D.C. 20250-1500, or the Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Bldg, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington D.C. 20250-9410; or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.  Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination.  Confidentially will be maintained to the extent possible.

 

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