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Rules & Regulations – Electric

Lower Valley Energy, Inc. Rules and Regulations – Electric as filed with the Wyoming Public Service Commission with changes through August 29, 1995


































SECTION 1 – PURPOSE A. These Rules and Regulations apply to each and every consumer/member. They are a part of every contract for service made by the Cooperative, unless modified by special terms written therein, and govern all classes of service in concert with tariffs filed with the Wyoming Public Service Commission and other regulations adopted by governmental agencies having authority.
B. Lower Valley is a rural electric Cooperative enterprise that is owned by its consumer/members, whose purpose is to provide quality services to its consumer/members.
C. It is the intent and purpose of the service and extension policies to insure that all consumer/members of the Cooperative receive uniform and equitable consideration and treatment.
D. The consumer/member is defined as the person or persons, partnership, corporation or other entity that has the legal responsibility for payment of the bill for service. Return to Top

SECTION 2 – APPLICATION FOR SERVICE A. Membership and Service: Each prospective consumer-member requesting electric service shall sign the Cooperative’s Application for Membership, and supply the Cooperative with such credit references as may be requested. There is no membership fee.
B. Line extension contracts: When a new service or a service upgrade is requested the member may be required to sign a contract which will describe the type of service and guarantee an annual minimum charge for five (5) years, before the service is made available. For new services to be installed on property not owned by the person requesting service, the contract guarantee the annual minimum charge shall be signed by the property owner.
C. Special Agreements: In the event of large or special investments required to provide service, an agreement for a term longer than the normal five (5) years or special guarantee of revenue may be required.
D. Right to Reject: The Cooperative reserves the right to reject any application for service not available under its rate schedules, or which involves excessive cost, or which might affect the supplier of service to others, or for other good and sufficient reasons. Return to Top

SECTION 3 – CLASSIFICATION OF CONSUMER/MEMBERS A. Service shall be classified for the purpose of determining the applicable rate schedule in accordance with the nature of the consumer/member’s establishment.
B. A Residential Service shall be defined as service to a single private house, apartment, house trailer, flat or other living quarters occupied by a person or persons constituting a distinct household. It shall include any private garage adjacent to, connected with and used exclusively by the resident. The residential rate shall not apply to the following types of establishment, service to which shall be classified as commercial: types of establishment, service to which shall be classified as commercial: hotels, recognized rooming houses, clubs, orphanages, homes for the aged or indigent, tourist camps and cabins for transient guests, schools and churches, or where there are more than one distinct household being served through one meter.
C. A Farm Service shall be defined as service at one point of connection to a single farm house occupied by a person or persons constituting a distinct household, together with its adjacent farm buildings and barn equipment. A service to farm buildings and barn equipment or other farm related equipment shall also be considered a farm service. If two or more residences are located on the same farm each shall be served separately.

    1. If three phase service is required on the farm, it will be furnished in accordance with the applicable rate for three phase service. In such cases, all farm and home usage may be included in the three phase service, or if the consumer prefers, a separate service for single phase may be installed.

D. A Commercial Service shall be defined as service at a single point of connection, to any business enterprise (other than a farm), guest ranch, lodge, club, school, church, trailer court or any organization or institution. Service may be used for all purposes including lighting and power and will be furnished under the rate for Commercial Service.
E. Combination Residential and Commercial Service: A member having his residence and place of business on the same premises may receive service for both through a single meter which may be classified as residential if all three of the following conditions are met: (a) the floor area occupied by the business is less than fifty percent (50%) of the total area and (b) the estimated or metered electric consumption used by the business is less than fifty percent (50%) of the total kilowatt hours consumed each month and (c) if not more than one paid employee is employed in the business on the premises. All other combination residential- commercial services shall be classified as commercial. If the member prefers he may obtain residential service for his residence and provide a separate meter for his place of business.
F. Distinction between Farm and Commercial Service: Farm service shall include in addition to all other uses of energy on farms the use of energy for processing of materials produced on the farm served; for example: feed grinding or milk pasteurizing. On the other hand, if the materials are produced elsewhere as in the case of commercial feed grinding plants, commercial poultry hatcheries, creameries, etc., that service shall be classified as commercial.
G. Change from one Rate Schedule to Another: If a consumer’s operations are such that he may have a choice of two (2) or more rate schedules, he may have his choice of one of such schedules, provided that no consumer may be billed for a period of less than one year on any rate schedule.
H. Selection of Commercial Rate: In areas where the Cooperative sells natural gas, the criteria for selection of a commercial rate schedule will be strictly maintained. In all other areas, the Cooperative reserves the right to use additional judgment in rate selection to maintain electric load. Return to Top

SECTION 4 – DEPOSIT A. Requirement of Deposit: All new consumer/members, and existing consumer/members whose credit has become impaired shall make a cash deposit or other guarantee, satisfactory to the cooperative, prior to receiving service, as security for the payment of future and final bills. A new consumer may request their previous utility to complete and send to the Cooperative a “Credit Information Release Authorization” which may demonstrate credit worthiness of the new consumer.
B. Amount of Deposit: The deposit shall be determined by an average two (2) months consumption at the location to be connected. In a new service where previous history is not available the deposit is determined by averaging the projected usage.
C. The amount of the deposit for Irrigation and Large commercial Consumer/members will be determined on an individual basis and may be as much as, but not more than, the estimated billing for ninety (90) days service.
D. Prior Debts:

    1. Service will not be furnished to former consumer/members until all previously incurred indebtedness to the cooperative has been satisfied.
    2. The cooperative is not obligated to provide Service to an applicant if the applicant is attempting to obtain service for a former consumer/member who remains indebted to the cooperative.

E. Refund of Deposit: Deposits will be refunded based on the following criteria:

    3. When the “Credit Information Release Authorization” has been returned to the cooperative and approved by the credit manager, the deposit, plus interest, will be credited to the consumer’s account; or,
    4. After the bill has been paid by the due date for the previous twelve months, a check for the deposit, plus interest, will be mailed to the consumer; or,
    5. Upon termination of all service the deposit, plus interest, will be credited to the consumer’s final bill. If this results in a credit balance to the consumer, a check will be issued and mailed to the consumer.

F. Interest: Simple interest at market rate will be paid by the cooperative on the amount of the deposit during such times as service is taken, except that no interest will be paid on deposits where service is disconnected within six months from beginning of service. Return to Top

SECTION 5 – CONSUMER/MEMBERS WIRING AND EQUIPMENT A. Consumer/members Installation: The consumer/members service entrance equipment and wiring shall be installed in accordance with the current edition of the National Electrical Code or any state or governmental authority having jurisdiction and shall be subject to inspection and approval of agencies having jurisdiction.
B. The Cooperative may discontinue service or refuse to make connections to the Consumer/member whenever, in its judgement, such installation is not in compliance with these Rules and Regulations, cooperative standards, the National Electrical Code, The National Electric Safety Code, and other applicable local and state codes.

    1. The Cooperative reserves the right to approve or require protective or other equipment on large loads, or highly fluctuating loads that affect the quality of service to other consumer/members on the line.
    2. The Cooperative reserves the right to approve the location of the meter and service entrance to provide easy access by cooperative personnel for meter reading and maintenance.

C. Limit of Responsibility: The Cooperative will install and maintain its lines and equipment on its side of the point of delivery but shall not be required to install or maintain any lines, equipment or apparatus except meters and meter accessories, beyond this point. The point of delivery is where the energy delivered to the consumer/member is metered. Return to Top

SECTION 6 – CONSUMER/MEMBER’S RESPONSIBILITY A. Service will not be energized until local and state inspection requirements have been met.
B. Consumer/member’s Liability: The Consumer-Member shall be responsible for the maintenance and safety of wiring and equipment owned by the Consumer-Member. The Cooperative shall not in any way be liable for accident, or damages occurring to the consumer-member or to third parties because of contact with, or failure of, any portion of the consumer-member’s installation.
C. Changes in Consumer/member’s Wiring and Equipment: The Consumer/member is responsible for notifying the cooperative in writing before any change is made in the size or location of their service.
D. Protection by Consumer/member: It shall be the consumer/member’s responsibility to provide suitable protective equipment such as fuses, circuit breakers, and relay, to adequately protect his equipment. If three phase equipment is used, it shall be the consumer/member’s responsibility to protect against phase failure, or under or over voltage. The cooperative will take all reasonable precautions to prevent phase failure or abnormal voltage variation but cannot guarantee that such conditions may not occur.
E. Tampering: If the meters or other property belonging to the cooperative are tampered or interfered with, the consumer/member being supplied through such equipment shall pay the amount which the cooperative may estimate is due for service provided. The consumer/member shall be responsible for the cost of replacements and repairs and legal action if taken.
F. Breaking Meter Seals: Consumer/member shall not break, cut or otherwise open the seal attached to the metering device without prior approval from the cooperative in writing.
G. Excavations: Consumer/members, their agents, or contractors shall notify the cooperative at least 48 hours prior to beginning any excavation in the area of the underground electrical facilities. Such person(s) who fail to give required notice of intent to excavate shall be liable for all costs associated with repair or replacement of cooperative facilities destroyed or damaged as a result of excavation. The cooperative will provide location of its underground facilities upon request at no charge. Return to Top

SECTION 7 – ACCESS TO PREMISES A. Duly authorized representatives of the cooperative shall have the right to enter and leave from the premises of consumer/member at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading, testing, inspecting, repairing, replacing or removing its meters or other property.

SECTION 8 – CONTINUITY OF SERVICE AND RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE A. Without Notice: The cooperative reserve the right to discontinue the supply of electric service to any consumer/member without notice for any of the following reasons:

    1. For misrepresentation as to the use of electric service by the consumer/member.
    2. For any defects or hazardous conditions of consumer/members equipment or installation.
    3. For repairs or emergency operations.
    4. For unavoidable shortage or interruptions in the cooperative’s source of supply.

B. With Reasonable Notice: The cooperative reserve the right to discontinue service with reasonable notice as detailed in Section 242 of the Wyoming Public Service Commission Rules for the following reasons:

    1. For nonpayment of bill.
    2. If entry to its meter(s) is refused or if access is obstructed or hazardous.
    3. If these Rules and Regulations of the cooperative are violated.
    4. For maintenance of or to increase capacity of facilities. When practicable, public notice shall be given and every effort will be made to make such interruptions as short as possible.

C. The cooperative shall not be liable for damages resulting from such interruptions or failures of service. Return to Top

SECTION 9 – CHARGES FOR SPECIAL SERVICES A. Connect Charges: A connect charge will be made whenever the billing for an existing service is changed to a different consumer. The connect charge will be added to the new consumer’s first bill for that service.

    1. During Regular Working Hours: During regular working hours a charge of $35.00 shall be made for reconnecting the meter or for securing the reading and making the necessary changes in the billing record. There will be no additional charges for multiple meters at the same location. Requests must be received by the cooperative between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. on regular working days.
    2. After Working Hours: After regular working hours, or on Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, the connect charge shall be $60.00.

B. Insufficient Fund Checks: When checks are not paid by the bank because of insufficient funds in the account there will be a $10.00 handling charge added to the consumer’s electric bill. C. Collection of Delinquent Bills: When a crew is dispatched to reconnect a service after being disconnected for non payment or for collection of a delinquent bill, the consumer/member will be charged $35.00 during regular working hours or $60.00 after hours. Working hours are as defined in paragraph A of this Section. Return to Top

SECTION 10 – RESALE OF SERVICE A. All purchased electric service on the premises of the consumer/member shall be supplied exclusively by the cooperative, and the consumer/member shall not, directly or indirectly, sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of, the electric service, or any part thereof, without the consent of the cooperative. Return to Top

SECTION 11 – METERS A. Separate Meter for Each Service: The cooperative will furnish a single meter at the point of delivery. Any consumer/member desiring service at two or more meters will be billed separately for each meter.
B. Tests: The cooperative will, upon the request of a consumer/member, make without charge a test of the accuracy of the meter in use, provided that the meter has not been tested by the cooperative within the past year. If the meter has been tested by the cooperative within the past year. If the meter has been tested by the cooperative within the past year, the cooperative will retest the meter, but the cooperative reserves the right to make a minimum charge of $20.00 to cover the expense involved. If the meter is found to be in error plus or minus 2%, the bill will be adjusted. Any adjustments will not be for more than the previous six (6) months. Meters on residential services will be tested on a random basis each year. All other meters will be tested on a routine basis. Details of the meter test program are on file with the Wyoming Public Service Commission.
C. Non-Registration of Meter: When a meter fails to correctly register the amount of electricity consumed during any period, the cooperative shall make a charge for electricity used based on amounts used in previous periods or during corresponding periods in previous years. The cooperative will not make any such charge for a period longer than six months.
D. Temporary Service for Construction: The Cooperative will have available to consumer-members, temporary meter loops which may be used during construction of home or businesses to be served by the Cooperative. Such meter loops shall be constructed in accordance with the National Electrical Code, shall include a special 240 volt plug, and provide outlets for the operation of the consumer’s power tools. Lower Valley crews will install and remove a temporary meter loop at the request of the consumer-member. Prior to installation, the consumer-member will purchase the temporary meter loop from the Cooperative for $425.00. If construction is completed within one year, the Cooperative will purchase the temporary meter loop back for $305.00. Should construction take longer than one year, the Cooperative will consider a buy back of the temporary meter loop at a price to be determined. Regardless of the length of time used, repair or replacement of broken or missing parts will be deducted from the price the Cooperative pays to buy back the temporary meter loop. If the wiring of the meter loop has been altered by the consumer for his usage, it shall be corrected by the consumer before the meter loop is returned.
E. Types of Metering: Services 200 amperes and under 600 volts shall be self contained, meter and socket. Services over 200 amperes shall use current transformers. Current transformer (C.T.) to be located in one of the following arrangements:

    1. C.T. cabinet of a size and design approved by the cooperative prior to installation. Cabinet and necessary conduit furnished by the consumer/member.
    2. Pole Top switch furnished by the consumer/member.

F. The cooperative will furnish all current transformers, meters, meter bases and wiring between current transformers and meter bases. Meter bases will be made available at the cooperative office. Ganged meter bases for installation on condominiums, apartment buildings and other multiple service installations and pedestals for trailer parks will not be furnished by the cooperative. However, all consumer/member furnished meter bases shall comply with the cooperative’s meter base specifications and shall not be energized until approved by the cooperative. Such approval must include inspection by the cooperative prior to energization to insure compliance. The cooperative will install current transformers, meters and the wiring between. The consumer/member will furnish and install cabinets, pole top switches and all necessary conduit. The consumer/member will install C.T. cabinets, meter sockets, and required conduit.
G. Marking Multiple Meters: On buildings where multiple meters are located to provide service to individual apartments, offices or rooms, each meter socket shall be plainly and permanently marked by the owner to identify which apartment, office or room is served by each meter. Return to Top

SECTION 12 – BILLING AND METER READING A. Billing Period: Meters are read and the bill for KWH use or otherwise computed according to rate schedules and Rules and Regulations then in effect, and shall be due on the date determined by the cooperative.
B. Failure to Receive a Bill: Failure to receive bill will not entitle consumer/member to any discount or to the refund of any charge for non-payment within the time specified.
C. Meter Reading: Where practical, meters will be read by the cooperative employees. However, the consumer/member may be required to read his meter and send the reading to the cooperative office on a card provided by the cooperative by the date required.
D. If the Consumer/member fails to return the meter reading by the date specified, the reading will be estimated. Failure to return the meter reading for three consecutive months will alert the cooperative to read the meter and a charge of $20.00 will be made to the Consumer/member.
E. Levelized Billing Plan:

    1. Currently paid up residential or single phase commercial consumer/members that have received a bill for the previous twelve (12) months may elect to use the Monthly Levelized Billing Plan. The requirement to have received a bill for the previous twelve (12) months will be waived for new residential services qualified as Super Good Cents and for residential or commercial services who have received a valid estimate of annual consumption in the process of an energy audit.
    2. The plan requires the payment of a monthly bill, which is equal to the total of the preceding twelve (12) monthly bills divided by twelve (12) then rounded up to the next $5.00.
    3. At the end of twelve (12) months, the actual billing will be compared to the levelized billings. The difference, either positive or negative, will be added to the previous twelve monthly bills and a new levelized bill amount will be calculated. Consumer/Members on this plan will be notified by mail of the new levelized billing amount.
    4. The Consumer/member must remain on the levelized Billing Plan for a period of twelve (12) months.
    5. Should a Consumer/member on the levelized Billing Plan allow their account to become delinquent, levelized billing will be canceled and all bills issued will be for actual consumption.
    6. A Consumer/member terminating service while under Levelized Billing Plan will be required to pay for all electric service rendered to the date of termination.

F. Gift Certificates: Each year during October, November, and December, the Cooperative may sell Energy Gift Certificates to anyone, whether a Member of the Cooperative or not, in any amount with the following limitations:

    1. The purchase price of any gift certificate will be 5% less than the value of the gift certificate.
    2. Gift certificates may only be used to pay for future energy purchases, shall not be applied against a current or a delinquent bill, and may be used by residential rate consumers or single phase consumers billed under the C-1 rate schedule.
    3. There must be at least 30 days between the date the gift certificate is purchased and the date it is redeemed at the Cooperative for credit.
    4. Gift certificates may not be used toward an annual prepayment specified in the Cooperative’s residential rate schedules that already include a 5% discount.

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SECTION 13 – RIGHT-OF-WAY A. Cost and Charges: Service to consumer/members is subject to all terms and conditions included in easements, permits or right-of-ways required to provide service. The Consumer/member shall reimburse the cooperative for any and all special or rental charges that may be made for such rights required by the permit or agreement.
B. Procurement by Consumer/member: When a line extension must be constructed to provide service to a consumer/member, that consumer/member may be required to secure for the cooperative all necessary and convenient rights-of-way and to pay the costs involved.
C. Delays: Applications for service from an extension to be constructed where a right-of-way is not owned by the cooperative, will be accepted subject to delays incident to obtaining a satisfactory right-of-way.

SECTION 14 – CONNECTION & DISCONNECTIONS A. Electric utility service is to be connected and disconnected only by authority of a consumer/member who has signed a membership application and paid the applicable fees to the cooperative. Disconnects and reconnects must be authorized the consumer/member, by an attorney in fact, or authorized agent. With a joint membership, documents may be executed by either husband or wife. Any Consumer/member starting the use of service without first notifying the cooperative to read the meter will be held responsible for any amount due for service supplied from time of last reading of meter immediately preceding his occupancy, as shown on the records of the cooperative. The Consumer/member shall give written notice of intentions to move to another location and is liable for electric consumption until meter is read and disconnected. Landlords or managers of rental units shall sign a separate contract authorizing the cooperative to reconnect the service between renters. Return to Top

SECTION 15- LINE EXTENSIONS AND EXPANSIONS A. Terms and Conditions: The cooperative’s distribution system will be extended to supply new consumers or expanded to increase capacity for existing consumer/members depending on availability and capacity. Any extension or expansion will require a written application, agreement and possibly right-of -way easements prior to work commencing.

    1. a. “Basic Cost” is the cost of the primary distribution system, transformer and secondary facilities required to serve the customer. The meters and single meter bases used by the cooperative for billing purposes are provided at no cost to the customer. The calculation of the estimated basic cost is based upon the most recent previous work order costs for similar construction.
      b. “Cost Reduction” is a decrease of the Basic Cost if the Company uses lower-cost construction methods or allows the Customer to do some of the work. Cost reductions will be made if the Company plows the cable in, if the trench will be shared with natural gas, or if the Customer provides the trench. Trench provided by the Customer must meet the Company’s specifications for routing, depth and time schedules. Cost reductions relating to customer provided work or materials must be authorized by or pre-arranged with the Company prior to construction.
      c. “Allowance” is a credit to each Customer who has at least 4800 kwh per year of new or additional load. The Allowance will be the amount listed below or the total cost to provide service, whichever is less:

      1) less than 4800 kwh per year.
      (2) a load which will be in service less than five years.
      If an immediate Allowance is not granted, an amount equal to the original Basic Cost net of any Cost Reductions, or the original Allowance, whichever is less, will be refunded to the Customer after five years if the Customer demonstrates average annual electric consumption of at least 4800 kwh per year for each of the first five years after the line extension was built and the Customer applies for the refund before the line extension becomes six years old. This exception does not apply to a yard light installed by the Cooperative on an existing pole served from an existing transformer.
      d. “Exceptional Cost” is the cost of unusual construction such as any of the following:

      1. (1) trenching costs in excess of dirt trench
        (2) boring or jacking under roads or paved areas
        (3) pavement removal and replacement
        (4) restoration of Customer property in excess of the replacement of sod and general
        (5) landscaping
        (6) tree or brush removal
        (7) rights of way
        (8) permits
        (9) construction which is not for electric service
        (10) facilities longer, deeper, or larger than deemed appropriate by the Company
        (11) other unusual construction

  1. 1. For individual customers with projected electric consumption less than 72,000 kwh per year, the customer must pay the following costs to the cooperative:

    Basic Cost

    – Cost Reductions

    – Allowance

    + Exceptional Costs

    + share of previous extension

    = extension cost

    Individual Residential Customer $1,000 each
    1 duplex $ 800 per unit
    1 multiplex $ 600 per unit
    Individual Commercial Customer $1,300 each EXCEPTION: The Company will not grant an immediate Allowance if the Company, in its sole judgment, determines that the load is:

    2. For individual customers with projected electric consumption of 72,000 kwh per year or more, the same formula applies except the costs and allowance will be individually evaluated for each customer.
    3. When there is more than one consumer/member the payment shall be divided as described under “Share of Previous Extension” below. Payment of the amount shall be included in the agreement between the cooperative and the consumer/member and shall not entitle the consumer/member to the usage of any electricity or other services in return. Payment must be made as a lump sum prior to commencement of construction. Regardless of any payments made by the consumer/member, ownership of the line extension shall remain with the Cooperative.

    EXCEPTION: If the refund to an existing Customer is less than $100 each, the new Customer will not be required to pay that share and the existing Customer will not receive a refund.
    4. The agreement shall continue in force from the date service is made available by the cooperative for a period of five (5) years.
    5. Upon the request of the consumer/member, additional services and meters may be installed by the Cooperative to serve secondary or uninhabited buildings at the same location. However, no additional allowance will be provided unless, in the opinion of the Cooperative, the additional service is permanent and will result in at least 4,800 kwh per year additional load.
    6. If no bona fide load exists on a service within twelve (12) months of the date service is provided, the entire cost of construction not already paid by the consumer/member will be due and payable. Temporary construction power will be considered bona fide load if a building permit has been issued by the proper authority.
    7. When a base distribution system is provided for a land development project, the developer will be required to pay, prior to beginning construction the total estimated cost of the back bone primary system. There will be no refund of this payment to the Developer when service is installed to the individual. The Cooperative’s purpose for construction of base distribution systems is to have meters installed for the sale of electricity. Unless meters with bona fide load are installed on a land development project, producing sufficient revenue to cover operating and maintaining the base distribution system, within 5 years, the developer will agree to provide a monthly revenue payment to the Cooperative equal to five percent (5%) of the installed cost. Such payment to continue until revenue from meters installed equals that amount.

B. Obligation to Extend: The cooperative’s obligation to extend its distribution lines to supply new consumer/members will be dependent on the cooperative’s being able to secure construction funds from the Rural Electrification Administration or other sources.
C. Temporary Service: Furnishing of temporary service is contingent upon there being available capacity at the point of delivery. Monthly billing shall be in accordance with the terms of the applicable schedule. The minimum billing period is one month.
D. Where it is necessary for the cooperative in order to supply service for a temporary service, to extend lines, install transformers, make enlargement of any part of its system, or do other work, the consumer/member shall pay in advance the estimated cost of removal and credit for salvage value of material recovered will be made with the consumer/member initially or after termination of service at the option of the cooperative.

SECTION 16 – RELOCATION & REPLACEMENT A. The consumer/member is responsible for the estimated costs for relocating or replacing an existing line. Charges are based on the estimated cost of installation and removal (up & down cost), plus the cost of materials. Payment of estimated cost is necessary prior to work being done.

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