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Scottsboro Electric Power Board Customer Service Policies

Organization

The Scottsboro Electric Power Board (the Board) is a municipal corporation of the City of Scottsboro, Alabama, created by an act of the Alabama Legislature in 1940. This act specifies that the Board shall have complete authority and responsibility for the operation of the power system of Scottsboro. The act further stipulates that the Board is responsible for all details of construction, operation, maintenance and administrative control of all power matters.
Beginning in 1998 with the construction of a hybrid fiber coax network, Scottsboro Electric Power Board entered the business of telecommunications. We connected our first cable customer in December, 1998, our first internet customer in May, 1999 and our first telephone customer in August, 2008. Since that time we have tried to provide the same quality customer service in these areas as we have in power since 1940.
Through the years, the Board has established a splendid record of dedicated service to the people of Scottsboro and the surrounding areas. The employees, along with the Board, are charged with the responsibility of continuing this outstanding service. The Board and its employees work together as a team in the supplying of dependable service to our entire service area. The total cooperation of everyone is extremely important in carrying out this important function.

Objective

The Board’s job is service. Regardless of a particular job assignment, all employees are working toward one goal; supplying our customers with prompt, dependable service in a courteous manner. Many details become a part of employee efforts, but all are aimed at one objective: being an efficient service organization for the people of Scottsboro.
For this reason, a customer becomes the most important person in the world when employees are in contact with him. In person, by phone, by mail, our customers need to know that they are important to the Scottsboro Electric Power Board.
With this in mind then, employees should give:
  • A prompt response.
  • A friendly voice.
  • A helpful attitude.
  • A satisfactory transaction.
Courtesy and genuine concern will assist everyone with this important matter of customer relations. Above all other objectives, dependable service must be the major goal.

Schedule of Rates and Charges

Various fees, rates and charges are detailed in the Schedule of Rates and Charges, which may be amended as necessary from time to time. These rates are available online at www.scottsboropower.com.

Application for Service

Each prospective customer desiring electric service is required to sign the application for service. This form is available at the business office and is to be signed prior to establishment of service. Only in very unusual cases or special circumstances should service be connected without the customer appearing at our business office or faxing or emailing required documents for connection.
Applications for cable, internet and/or telephone services may be taken over the phone or in person. Except in the instance of a bulk account at the residence or business, the cable, internet and/or telephone service will be listed in the same name as the electric account.
If, for reasons of emergencies, illness, physical handicaps, or other justifiable circumstances the customer is unable to appear at our business office, special arrangements shall be made for someone to sign the application within 24 hours.
 Personal identification of the prospective customer will be required at the time of sign up. This evidence of identification must be government issued picture Id or a driver’s license and a social security card.
At the time of application for service, customer will be informed of SEPB website where all rules and regulations as well as rates are available. All rate actions will also be reflected at this area on the SEPB website. Customer whether residential or non residential may register for online bill presentation. With a secure log in and password account history is available to the customer on line at no charge. In the event customer does not have access to the Internet, SEPB will provide to the customer a 12 month history with appropriate identification by the customer.

Service Deposits

The customer’s credit is run on all residential power customers prior to the connection of any service. The deposit amount is based on the credit score of each customer which is obtained through Online Utility Exchange. See schedule of rates for amounts. All deposits and interest added will be refunded to the customer upon termination of the service and complete settlement of all billing. Each residential deposit shall be less than twice the average bill of the residential customer class. The entire deposit must be paid before connection. No installment payments of deposits will be allowed.
Interest will be paid annually or upon termination of service on all deposits comparable the annual rate of interest by the Distributor’s primary bank account. The deposit balance (including earned interest) as well as the adequacy of such deposit shall be subject to review by the Customer and Distributor.
At this time, there is no deposit required for cable, internet or telephone service. If there becomes a need for one in the future, this policy could be amended.
Non residential account deposits are approximately equal to twice the average monthly bill based on class. For customers with no prior billing history, the deposit will be estimated based on similar sized locations or projected energy usage. In lieu of cash deposit on non residential accounts, a surety bond, a letter of credit from the customer’s bank or a jointly held CD may be used.

Point of Delivery

The point of delivery is the exact location on a customer’s property where the Board agrees to deliver electric service. These points are always to be designated by a Board employee, with all wiring beyond this point owned and maintained by the customer. The Board furnishes one service per metering point.
Wherever possible, new electric service shall be established without the installation of additional poles. If additional poles are required, every effort will be made to locate the pole, or poles at a location agreeable to the customer and consistent with sound engineering requirements of the Board.
In situations where adequate, safe service can be supplied without additional poles, but if the customer insists on a convenience pole, the customer shall pay all costs involved in providing such pole or poles.
In commercial installation, there shall be only one service to a building. If other services are needed, the customer is required to follow all National Electric Code requirements for these services. The point of delivery for all services will be the secondary side of the transformer.
The telecommunications wire will follow the same path chosen for access as the electric wire. If there needs to be a variance, this variance needs supervisor approval. Scottsboro Electric Power Board is responsible for the wire up to the point of demarcation at the side of the customer’s home. After that point, the wire belongs the owner of the property and is also the owner’s responsibility.

 

Residential Three-Phase Service

Three-phase service for residential consumers is unnecessarily expensive and is discouraged by the Board. Residential consumers insisting upon three-phase service shall pay the additional cost involved in providing such service. Standard service for residential consumers should be 120/240-volt single-phase service.

Building Permits

An applicant for a new service within the city limits of the City of Scottsboro must present a building permit issued by the City Clerk and covering the location for which the applicant is seeking service.

Inspections

The City of Scottsboro operates an inspection department that includes building, electric wiring and plumbing inspections. Under the provisions of the local city ordinances, we are required to have a wiring inspection report prior to the connection of any electrical service. This is a matter of cooperation between the Board and local city government. The Scottsboro Electric Power Board assumes no responsibility for actions of the local inspectors who are direct employees of the City of Scottsboro.

Underground Distribution Policy

The Board will cooperate with all subdividers, builders, homeowners, and the general public toward the installation of underground distribution facilities where such installations are physically and economically feasible. All underground installations will be installed within the framework of the following regulations:
All engineering for underground facilities relating to location, materials used, voltage levels, and other technical detail shall be the total responsibility of the Board and its supervisory staff.

Developers

Subdividers desiring total underground distribution facilities for a subdivision under development shall meet the following requirements:
  1. A preliminary plat of the planned subdivision indicating the number of lots, all street locations, all dimensions, rights of way, easements, and other pertinent detail will be made available to the Board engineers. This plat shall be available to the Board prior to any final approval of the subdivision by the Scottsboro Planning Commission.
  2. The developer will post a cash payment as a non-refundable contribution in aid of construction. See attached Schedule of Rates and Charges for amounts. These case advances will be made as construction is required and prior to any installation.
  3. The developer will open the required trenches throughout the subdivision for installation of all primary, secondary and service lines. These trenches are to be the width, depth and other general specifications of the Board. These trenches must be inspected by the Board.
  4. The developer will supply all conduits for underground service/secondary cable and sweeping L’s below grade, and under transformer pads.
  5. The developer will back fill all trenches following the installation of the necessary cable, wire and accessories by the Board personnel. Such back filling shall meet the specifications of the Board.
  6. The developer will, in wiring the individual houses, cause the service entrance assembly to be installed so as to facilitate the installation by the Board of underground service wires. Basically, this calls for the proper meter base and the proper conduit from the meter base to a point, a minimum of twenty-four inches (24”), below the finished grade of the house at the service point designated by the Board.
The Board will install and maintain the required cable, transformers, accessories and other allied equipment in the trenches opened and back filled by the developer.

Builders

Builders developing single and individual lots for houses where overhead distribution is existing may obtain an underground service only in the following manner:
  1. The builder will open the required trench of the width, depth and other general specifications of the Board from the point on the existing distribution system to the service point on the house. Each of these points is to be specified by the Board.
  2. Following the installation of the necessary cable by the Board, the builder will back fill the open trench to the specifications required by the Board.

Existing Customers

Existing customers receiving service with an overhead service from overhead distribution facilities may obtain an underground service in the following manner:
  1. The customer is responsible for modifying the existing service entrance to facilitate the installation of the required underground cable.
  2. The customer will open the necessary trench to the width, depth and other specifications of the Board from the point of service on the existing overhead system to a point of service on the customer’s premises. The Board shall specify each of these two points. The customer must have trench inspected by Board.
  3. Following the installation of the necessary underground cable by the Board, the customer will back fill the open trench to the specifications of the Board.
  4. The customer shall provide all necessary conduit of appropriate size for this conversion. The city electrical inspector must inspect all modified or repaired service equipment. The Board will not re-hook these services without a letter of inspection from the electrical inspector.
A standard underground service is considered by the Board to be no more than two hundred fifty feet (250’) from the point of beginning to the point of connection to customer’s wiring. Payment will be required from the developer, builder or customer, as the case may be, for each foot installed over and beyond this standard length of 250 feet.

Commercial

Since requirements for commercial underground facilities vary considerably from situation to situation, these customers will be responsible for the total cost of underground services from the secondary side of the transformer. Much of the foregoing provisions for residential developments will serve as general guidelines for developing underground commercial facilities. No firm and final policy is intended herein for commercial service installation. Each such application will be reviewed as an individual detail with all decisions being based on sound economics.
  1. The contractor / developer will open the required trenches for the installation of the Board’s primary lines. Primary trenches shall be a minimum of 48” deep.
  2. The contractor/developer will provide all necessary conduit from the primary riser pole to the location of the pad-mount transformer plus any spare conduit the Board requires. Galvanized conduit is required on the primary riser poles to below grade. A galvanized sweeping L is required at the riser pool and under pad-mount transformers.
  3. The contractor/developer will build a concrete transformer pad according to the Board’s specifications. The transformer pad will be uniformly supported so as to prevent damage to the Board’s transformers and outages therewith. The Board will install and own a pad-mounted transformer and make up all final connections of primary and secondary cables.
  4. The contractor/developer will supply secondary cables of sufficient length to connect to the secondary side of the transformer.

Service Charges

Service charges will be collected from customers for the following services:
  • Service connection.
  • Transfer of service
  • Convert existing security light from Mercury Vapor to High-Pressure Sodium fixture or Metal Halide or LED>
  • Returned Check/ACH (when a check or bank draft received from a customer is returned to us due to insufficient funds).
  • Add or change an existing telecommunications service.
  • Service call charge if telecommunications call is deemed to be customer’s problem.
  • Collection (sending a collector to the customer’s premises to collect a delinquent bill).
  • Reconnection (reconnecting service after being disconnected due to a delinquent bill).
  • Customer shall pay the cost of any special installation necessary to meet his peculiar requirements for service at other than standard voltages, or for the supply of closer voltage regulation than required by standard practice.
NOTE: No reconnections are made after regular business hours.
Service charges for the following will be determined upon request using actual cost data.
  • Move service pole.
  • Move primary pole.
  • Move single-phase pad-mount transformer.
  • Move three-phase pad-mount transformer.
  • Move security light

Temporary Service

Temporary service for electric system customers shall be provided on the following basis:
  1. A building permit issued by the City of Scottsboro shall accompany all applications for temporary service to be used for construction purposes inside the corporate limits.
  2. The customer will post the normal deposit for the class of service required.
  3. The customer will pay a temporary service fee that is non-refundable and is applicable to either two or three wire single-phase service.
  4. The customer must erect his own temporary service pole which will consist of the proper weatherhead, service cable, meter base, ground wire and ground rod according to specifications of the Electrical Department of the City of Scottsboro. All customers desiring temporary service for construction purposes are required to utilize a three wire, 240 volt service, as this will normally be adequate for their requirements without additional connection or service from us. Any installation will be subject to inspection by the Board personnel prior to any connection of service conductors.
  5. Rate application will be determined by the actual purpose of the temporary service. Temporary service for construction purposes will be classed as commercial and remain so until the project is complete.
  6. Temporary service of any type provided for carnivals, traveling shows, circuses, etc. will be on an actual cost basis. This is to include all service installations, removals and construction involved. Temporary three-phase service would only be provided after a need was shown for special consideration. A special deposit equal to the estimated expense involved must be posted prior to any service connection.

Multiple-Occupancy Service

The number of separate units occupying the space shall determine rate applications for dwellings and/or commercial buildings. Single dwelling units will in all cases be billed on the standard residential rate.
Residential buildings occupied by more than a single family will be billed on the following schedule:
  • If only one electric service meter is installed, the standard commercial rate is applied to all electricity used in the dwelling.
  • If an electric service meter is installed for each unit, the standard residential rate is applied.
  • Bulk accounts for multiple dwellings(apartment complexes, hospitals, trailer parks,etc.) are available and will be determined on number of units and length of contract signed for cable tv services.
Commercial buildings with more than one occupant will be billed the standard commercial electric rate applied to all electricity consumed.
NOTE: In all cases, both residential and commercial, our recommendation is that a separate meter be provided for each occupant of a single building.

Mobile Home Park Service

Electric service to recognized mobile home parks will be provided on the following basis:
  1. Electric service will be a permanent nature subject to all inspection requirements and shall be billed on the appropriate commercial rate schedule.
  2. Trailers located in mobile home parks requiring individual electric service will be billed on the standard residential rate schedule and will be served in accordance with provisions for individual mobile home locations.

Single Mobile Home Service

Electric service will be supplied to single mobile homes on the following basis:
  1. All mobile homes located on the Board’s system and not located in a recognized mobile home park are required to have a builder’s permit issued by the City of Scottsboro.
  2. Electric service to single mobile homes requires a wiring inspection report from the City of Scottsboro Building Inspector.
  3. The customer shall provide a service pole as a point of attachment for the Board’s service wire. If customer desires underground service, all requirements for underground electric service for houses as listed in the “Underground Distribution Policy” must be followed.

Outdoor Lighting Service

Security lighting service is available to all Board customers in the following basis:
  1. The initial location of all lighting units is final during the first twelve months of service. Any relocation of security lights shall be at the customer’s expense.
  2. All customers desiring security light service shall execute an agreement indicating the service will be maintained for a minimum of twelve months.
 Customer Service Transfers
Customers may have service at two locations on one deposit for a period of two weeks (14 days). This is considered ample time to complete the normal detail of relocation. Customers desiring service at two locations beyond this period shall post an additional deposit to meet minimum service requirements.
Telecommunications customers desiring service at two locations may do so with the understanding that they will be billed for the number of days connected at both locations. There is no deposit required at this time therefore there is no limit on the length of time that they are allowed service at two locations.
No transfer of service or new service installations will be made after office hours, on weekends or holidays.
Customers will be billed applicable service charge.

Meter Tests

The Board will, at its own expense, make periodic tests and inspections of its meters in order to maintain a high standard of accuracy. The Board will make additional tests or inspections of its meters at the request of a customer. If a test made at customer’s request shows that the meter is accurate within two percent (2%) fast or slow, no adjustment will be made to the customer’s bill. If the test shows the meter to be inaccurate in excess of two percent (2%) fast or slow, an adjustment will be made to the customer’s bill for period not to exceed twelve (12) months prior to the date of such a test. The cost of making this test shall be borne by the Board.
Customers requesting a special meter test shall post a fee to cover a portion of the cost of the test. If the meter proves to be accurate, the fee is applied to the cost of the test. If the meter proves to be inaccurate, the fee shall be refunded to the customer. For all practical purposes, it will be assumed that a customer is entitled to one (1) meter test per year at no cost to the customer.
Board’s identified employees shall have access to Customer’s premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading meters, testing, repairing, removing, or exchanging any or all equipment belong to Board.

Billing

The minimum charge for any service established at the request of a customer will be equal to a full month’s minimum bill for the service or services in question. This minimum billing is necessary despite the fact that the service is not used.
Service discontinued following one full month of use will be billed on actual consumption or number of days used, whichever is greater.
Multi-occupant service locations with occupant changes during a billing period will be processed as follows: service of dual, triplicate, or otherwise non-standard nature for a period of ten days or more requires the application of the proper rate classification and/or minimum bill for the entire billing period.
The demand charges and the blocks in the energy charges set forth in the rate schedules are based on billing periods of approximately one month. In the case of the first billing of new accounts(temporary service, cotton gins, and other seasonal customers excepted) and final billings of all accounts (temporary service excepted) where the period covered by the billing involves fractions of a month, the demand charges and the blocks of the energy charges will be adjusted to a basis proportionate with the period of time during which service is extended.
Customer whether residential or non residential may register for online bill presentation. With a secure log in and password account history is available to the customer on line at no charge. In the event customer does not have access to the Internet, SEPB will provide to the customer a 12 month history with appropriate identification by the customer.
 Bills will be rendered monthly and are to be paid at the office of the Board by the due date as stated on the bill. Failure to receive bills will not release the customer from payment obligation. If bills are not paid, as above, the Board at any time thereafter will discontinue service. Bills paid on or before the penalty date of payment shall be payable at the net rate without any penalty by the due date which is a net payment period of 15 days. But thereafter the gross rates shall apply as provided in the Schedule of Rates and Charges. The gross amount penalty shall not exceed 5 percent. If the final date for payment of the bill falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, net payment will be allowed through the next business day.
The Board will accept net payments received by mail after the penalty day if the incoming envelope bears U.S. Post Office date of the final payment date or earlier.
Payments removed from the night depository at opening time (8:00 a.m.) following the penalty day will be allowed the net amount.

Discount Dates & Gross Payments (Penalties for late payment)

Bills will be rendered monthly and are to be paid at the office of the Board by the due date as stated on the bill. Failure to receive bills will not release the customer from payment obligation. If bills are not paid, as above, the Board at any time thereafter will discontinue service. Bills paid on or before the penalty date of payment shall be payable at the net rates. But thereafter the gross rates shall apply as provided in the Schedule of Rates and Charges. If the final date for payment of the bill falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, net payment will be allowed through the next business day.
The Board will accept net payments received by mail after the penalty day if the incoming envelope bears U.S. Post Office date of the final payment date or earlier.
Payments removed from the night depository at opening time (8:00 a.m.) following the penalty day will be allowed the net amount.

Collection & Cut-off Procedure

Customer becoming delinquent in paying their bills will be subject to the following procedures:
  1. Customer’s requests for additional time beyond normal cut-off date will be referred to the appropriate personnel for decision. No extension of time shall exceed ten days beyond the normal cut-off time except in cases hardship or documented medical necessity.
  2. If payment is not received by due date, SEPB may discontinue service 10 days after due date. SEPB will notify customer of pending disconnection due to delinquency by one of the following methods mail or email. The separate disconnect/late notice will include SEPB’s phone number for bill dispute and assistance. Any dispute concerning amount due will have the following remedy – bring all documentation concerning payment to the SEPB office for SEPB personnel to review to receive common understanding of amount due.
  3. Upon SEPB’s approval after medical necessity form – SEPB form M – has been submitted to SEPB, disconnection will be postponed for 30 days from original delinquency disconnection date. Medical necessity form may be obtained at Customer Service at the SEPB office. This is a form that must be completed by a physician licensed to practice in the State of Alabama certifying that the disconnection of electric service would create a life-threating medical situation for the customer or other permanent resident of the customer’s household. This form also must be notarized. A life threatening medical condition does not relieve a customer of the obligation to pay for electric service, including any late fees incurred or other applicable charges. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late fees, is not received by the end of the 30 day postponement period, SEPB has the right to disconnect all services including but not limited to electric service without further notice. The medical necessity form is only valid for 180 days. It is the customer’s responsibility to renew the form as necessary.
  4. No additional time shall be permitted any customer after the collector has gone into the field to collect. The only exception is when the collector determines there is justification for allowing additional time.
  5. Customers will pay a collection fee for causing a collector to be sent to their premises and creating additional unnecessary costs to the Board and its other customers.
  6. The Board will take into consideration the following weather condition factors if the account is only delinquent for the current month. If the low for that day of collection is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below or if the high for that day of collection is 97 degrees Fahrenheit or higher including the heat index for the zip code of 35768 per the prediction by The Weather Channel, then the Board shall opt to postpone collections.
  7. Meter tampering or cutting a seal will result in extra charges.
  8. Any unpaid amount for any/all services provided by the Board could cause any/all services to be disconnected.
  9. Board may refuse to connect or may discontinue service for the violation of any of its Rules and Regulations, or for violation of any of the provisions of the Schedule of Rates and Charges, or of the application of Customer or contract with Customer. Board may discontinue service to Customer for the theft of current or the appearance of current theft devices on the premises of Customer. The discontinuance of service by Board for any causes as stated in this rule does not release Customer from his obligation to Board for the payment of minimum bills as specified in application of Customer or contract with Customer.

Shortage of Electricity

In the event of an emergency or other condition causing a shortage in the amount of electricity for Board to meet the demand on its system, Board may, by an allocation method deemed by Board, fix the amount of electricity to be made available for use by Customer and/or may otherwise restrict the time during which Customer may make use of electricity and the uses which Customer may make of electricity. If such actions become necessary, Customer may request a variance because of unusual circumstances including matters adversely affecting the public health, safety and welfare. If Customer fails to comply with such allocation or restriction, Board may take such remedial actions as it deems appropriate under the circumstances including temporarily disconnecting electric service and charging additional amounts because of the excess use of electricity. The provisions of this Section entitled Shortage of Electricity of this Schedule of Rules and Regulations are applicable to any such allocation or restriction.

Voltage Fluctuations Caused by Customer/Additional Load/Resale

Electric service must not be used in such a manner as to cause unusual fluctuations or disturbances to Board’s system. Board may require Customer, at his own expense, to install suitable apparatus which will reasonably limit such fluctuations.
The service connection, transformers, meters and equipment supplied by Board for each Customer have definite capacity, and no addition to the equipment or load connected thereto will be allowed except by consent by Board. Failure to give notice of additions or changes in load, and to obtain Board’s consent for same, shall render Customer liable for any damage to any of Board’s lines or equipment caused by the additional or changed installation.
All purchased electric service (other than emergency or standby service) used on the premises of Customer shall be supplied exclusively by Board, and Customer shall not, directly or indirectly, sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of the electric service or any part thereof.

Equipment

All unreturned Board telecommunications equipment, will be charged to the customer’s account upon date of disconnection according to the prices reflected on Board unreturned equipment list.

Reconnection

A reconnection fee shall be collected prior to the reconnection of any service discontinued because of non-payment. Reconnection of service will be made during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) if possible. On the day of collection, reconnections will be made until 8:30pm with payment in the field to the technician in the form of a money order to include the reconnection fee and past due amounts. Disconnected customers shall pay all bills before service is restored.

Returned Checks

Customer’s checks returned by the bank will be processed in the following manner:
  1. The customer will be notified and asked to pick up the check within twenty-four (24) hours.
  2. Checks returned after normal penalty date will cause the penalty to be charged to the customer’s account.
  3. Checks returned after normal cut-off date will receive special attention in the following manner: Customer will be asked to pick up check with cash by 2:00 p.m. of that date (10:00 a.m. of the following day for first offenders).
  4. Service will be discontinued in those cases where proper collection is not possible. Normal reconnection fees will apply.
  5. If a customer has three checks returned to the Board as insufficient in a twelve month period, the customer will be notified that the Board will no longer accept checks from said customer as payment for bills. Customer must then pay by cash or money order.
NOTE: It is the policy of the Board that no cash is given back to a customer in a personal check transaction. The check must be for the exact amount of the bill or less.

Deceased Customer’s Deposits

Refunds or uses of customer’s deposits posted by persons now deceased may be accomplished in the following manner:
  • Executor of the estate with proper legal documents shall be able to transact business.
  • A widow may have electric service changed to her name by stating her wishes to have a change made and by signing an application for service as well as providing a copy of the death certificate. Our records will be corrected by issuing a name change order.
Electric service shall be discontinued for any customer using another persons deposit in an obvious effort to avoid posting a service deposit.

Use of Customer Mailing List

The Board feels a very definite responsibility to its customers in so far as the use of customer names, addresses and locations are concerned. For this reason, no use of the customer mailing list is permitted other than that for which data was obtained. This mailing list would only be use in the processing of matters having to do with providing service to the customer.