1. APPLICATION FOR SERVICE:
Each prospective customer desiring service will be required to complete and sign an Oxford Utilities (OU) standard form of application for service or contract before service is supplied. Prospective customers are required to provide current state/federal issued photo identification. A copy of a customer’s lease agreement, rent receipt or deed may also be required to establish residency.
Acceptable forms of I.D. are social security card, drivers’ license, voter registration card, passport, green card, Federal ITIN Card or other State issued I.D.
Applicants who have an old debt with OU will be required to pay all debts in full prior to receiving utilities.
The applicant agrees to pay for utility service as measured by the OU meter according to applicable rates. Rates, charges and fees are made available to all customers upon request, and are posted on the utility website.
The applicant agrees to permit authorized agents of OU free access to the premises of the consumer for the purpose of inspecting, reading, repairing or removing property of OU.
OU shall have the right, but shall not be obligated, to inspect any installation before water and electric service is introduced, or at any time thereafter and reserves the right to reject any wiring or appliances not in accordance OU’s standards. The inspection or failure to inspect or reject shall not be regarded as an insurance against defects in installation, wiring or appliances and shall not render OU liable or responsible for any loss or damage, resulting from defects in the installation, wiring or appliances, or from violation of the OU’s rules and regulations or from accidents which may occur upon consumer’s premises.
The applicant agrees that by submitting an application, he/she is subject to the OU Rules and Regulations, a copy of which is open for inspection at the offices of the OU, and that these Rules and Regulations are a part of that agreement. In the case of default of payment, applicant agrees to pay any legal interest due, together with any collection agency costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred to effort collection on this account and any subsequent location.
Change of Address and/or Transfer of Utility Service requests, shall be submitted in writing. When a customer maintains multiple accounts, OU reserves the right to transfer unpaid balances between customer accounts of the same name.
A deposit or suitable guarantee is required of all customers before utility service is supplied. Upon termination of service, deposits, including accrued interest, are applied to unpaid bills of customer. If any balance remains after such application is made, the balance shall be refunded to customer.
Electric accounts shall have a flat deposit amount that shall not exceed twice the monthly average bill for the overall residential class of OU customers. Residential customers may request, annually, to review the overall residential class average bill amount. See the current Rates and Fees.
Deposit amount shall be based on the usage history of the location for which the application for service is being made. The amount required shall be twice the average estimated monthly bill for the location. For new construction, a load analysis will be performed to estimate usage and deposit required. For accounts in which the estimated usage can’t be determined (insufficient data, change in use at service location, etc.) the electric and water deposit amounts shall be a minimum amount set forth in the Rates and Fees and may be adjusted once usage history is established. In no event shall the required deposit exceed twice the average estimated monthly bill for the commercial/industrial customer. Commercial/Industrial customers may request that OU review their deposit amount annually to insure that the deposit amount doesn’t exceed twice the average monthly bill. Commercial/Industrial customers will have the option of paying the deposit in cash (or check) or posting a Utility Surety Bond with OU. OU will be the custodian of all Utility Surety Bonds.
This deposit classification shall apply to customers wishing to connect utility service for a short time frame. See the current Rates and Fees for current Short Term Deposit amounts. The Short Term Deposit shall cover a term of no longer than 30 days. At the end of 30 days, the service will be removed and the deposit refunded to the account, unless the applicant requests that the deposit be transferred to another account or held by OU for a future deposit.
After the deposit is paid in full, interest will accrue annually on a deposit held longer than twelve months at the passbook interest rate earned by OU. Interest will be applied annually, prior to end of the OU fiscal year (June 30) to accounts that have been active longer than 12 months. The deposit balance plus any accrued interest will be credited to the customer’s unpaid bills upon termination of utility service or upon return of the deposit to the customer. The deposit balance and accrued interest is subject to review by all customers of OU upon request.
Customers transferring service, who have a poor payment history, will be required to pay the current deposit schedule before transferring their utility service to a new location.
Customers with residential hardships, as determined by OU, may negotiate installment payments. The deposit must be paid in full within 90 days from the date electric service commences.
3. POINT OF DELIVERY:
The point of delivery for electricity is the point, as designated by OU, on the customer’s premises where current is to be delivered to building or premises. All wiring and equipment beyond this point of delivery shall be provided and maintained by the customer.
4. CUSTOMER’S WIRING STANDARDS:
All of the customer’s wiring must conform to municipal requirements and accepted modern standards, including the requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code, the National Electric Code, and the City Electric Code.
OU shall have the right, but shall not be obligated, to inspect any installation before electricity is introduced, or at any later time, and reserves the right to reject any wiring of appliances not in accordance with OU standards, but such inspection or failure to inspect or reject shall not render OU liable or responsible for any loss or damage resulting from defects in the installation, wiring, or appliances, or from violation of OU’s rules, or from accidents which may occur upon customer’s premises.
6. UNDERGROUND SERVICE LINES:
Customers desiring underground service lines from OU’s overhead power service system must bear the expense thereof. Specifications and terms for such construction will be furnished by OU. See City of Oxford Ordinance 126.02 for underground utility requirements.
7. CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR OU’S PROPERTY:
All meters, service connections and other equipment furnished by OU shall be, and remain, the property of OU. Customer shall provide a space for and exercise proper care to protect the property of OU on its premises, and, in the event of loss or damage to OU’s property, arising from neglect of customer to care for the same, the cost of necessary repairs or replacements shall be paid by customer.
8. RIGHT OF ACCESS:
OU identified employee 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 belonging to OU.
Utility bills will be rendered monthly and shall be paid within fifteen (15) days from the date of bill for residential customers and ten (10) days from the date of the bill for commercial customers. Failure to receive a bill will not release Customer from payment obligation. If the bill is not paid on time, OU may at any time thereafter discontinue service. Bills that are paid after the “Due Date” on the billing statement provided shall be subject to an additional charge of 5%. OU will post all payments made the same day payments are received. Should the final date for payment of the bill fall on a weekend or holiday, the next business day following the final date will be held as a day for grace for delivery of payment. Customers will be provided monthly totals for electric and water consumption. Each monthly billing statement will provide customers with historical consumption comparisons to the prior month as well as to the billing month one year prior. Customers desiring to receive electronic bill presentation must enroll in OU’s electronic notice program by completing the applicable form and consenting to its terms and conditions. Should bills not be paid by the due date specified on the bill, service may be discontinued as set out in the “Disconnection for Non-Payment” section herein.
10. LATE NOTICE:
A late notice will be prepared on all OU service accounts that have not been paid by the due date on the bill. This notice will notify the customer of their disconnection date, which will be ten (10) days for residential customers and general power (commercial & industrial) customers following the late notice date. Prior to disconnection of service, OU may choose to place a “tag” on the customer’s door, in an effort to avoid disconnection. The door tag is placed as a courtesy to customers to serve as a final warning prior to disconnection of service. A twenty five dollar ($25.00) tag fee will be accessed to all accounts receiving door tags. OU reserves the right to disconnect utility service without placing a door tag, once the disconnection date has been reached.
11. DISCONNECTION FOR NON-PAYMENT:
The disconnection date on all accounts shall be ten (10) days following the date of the late notice. A late notice mailed to all customers with unpaid balances will notify customers of their disconnection date. Accounts requiring disconnection of service are subject to fees listed in the current Rates and Fees.
12. DISCONTINUANCE OF UTILITY SERVICE:
Customers who desire to discontinue utility service are required to sign a disconnect form stating the date they desire the service to be discontinued and must give at least one (1) business-day notice to that effect. Customers are required to sign a disconnect form or provide written notice by fax or email. OU will not process a service order of any kind over the telephone.
13. TERMINATION OF SERVICE:
OU may discontinue electrical or water service for the following violation of the Schedules of Rules and Regulations or of the Schedule of Rates, Charges and Fees. OU may also discontinue service to the Customer for; theft, or the appearance of devices on the customer’s premise, that enable theft of utilities, for safety or to be compliant with any State of Mississippi or City of Oxford regulations that require disconnection for safety reasons. Any and all electrical and water services will be discontinued to customers with past due accounts. Payment in full (including late fees or service charges) will be required before service is restored. An additional deposit amount may also be required. The termination of service by OU for any reason stated in this rule does not release the customer from the obligation for any amount due to OU, including the payment of minimum bills as specified in contracts.
If payment is not received by the due date, OU may discontinue service beginning 10 days after the due date. OU will provide a late notice by mail to inform the customer of the pending electric or the water service disconnection and the available rights and remedies to dispute the bill with OU. Contact information for OU is as follows; 300 McElroy Drive, Oxford, MS 38655, and the Customer Service telephone number, 662-232-2373. See Section 10 of the Schedule of Rules and Regulations Late Notice procedures.
OU evaluates weather conditions daily at www.wunderground.com for the Oxford, MS area. In the event the forecasted high temperature is expected to exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit (F); or the forecasted high is not expected to exceed 32 degrees (F), OU will postpone the disconnection of service of due to non-payment for that day. When disconnection is postponed due to an extreme weather condition, the postponement will not extend beyond the extreme weather condition.
Upon customer submission and OU’s approval of a “Medical Equipment Exemption” form, disconnection of service will be postponed for 30 days from the original due date to allow customer time to make payment or make alternative shelter arrangements. The “Medical Equipment Exemption” form must be completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in the State of Mississippi, certifying the disconnection of electric service would create a life-threatening medical situation for the customer or other permanent resident of the customer’s household. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that the form has been approved by OU. A life threatening medical condition does not relieve a customer of the obligation to pay for electric service, including any late fees or service charges incurred or other applicable charges. OU will only grant this postponement for termination two (2) times in a twelve month period. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late fees and service charges is not received by the end of the 30 day postponement period, electric service will be disconnected without further notice.
14. TEMPORARY SERVICE:
Customers requiring water and electric service for a period not exceeding sixty (60) days may be required by OU to pay all costs for connection and disconnection incidental to the supplying and removing of service. This rule applies to circuses, carnivals, fairs, temporary construction and other temporary Customers.
15. INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE:
OU will use reasonable diligence to provide a regular and uninterrupted supply of electricity and water but, in case the supply of electricity or water should be interrupted, OU shall not be liable for any damages resulting from this interruption.
16. VOLTAGE FLUCTUATION CAUSED BY CUSTOMER:
Electric service must not be used in such a manner as to cause unusual fluctuations or disturbances to OU’s system. OU may require each customer; at their own expense, to install suitable apparatus which will reasonably limit such fluctuations.
17. ADDITIONAL LOAD:
The service connection, transformers, meters and equipment supplied by OU for each customer have definite capacity, and no addition to the equipment or load connected thereto will be allowed except by consent of OU. Failure to give notice of additions or changes in load, and to obtain consent for the same, shall render the customer liable for damage to any of OU’s lines or equipment caused by the additional or changed installation.
18. STANDBY AND RESALE SERVICE:
All purchased electric service (other than emergency or standby service) used on the premises of each customer shall be supplied exclusively by OU, and the customer shall not directly or indirectly, sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of the electric service or any party thereof.
19. NOTICE OF TROUBLE:
Customer shall notify OU immediately should the service is unsatisfactory for any reason, or should there be any defects, trouble, or accidents affecting the supply of electricity or water. Such notices, if verbal, should be confirmed in writing.
20. NON-STANDARD SERVICE:
The customer shall pay the cost of any special installation necessary to meet his or her requirements for service other than on standard voltage, or for the supply or closer voltage regulation than required by standard practice. OU may, at its discretion, provide and install the additional facilities in lieu of payment of cost by the customer on a monthly rental basis.
21. METER TESTS:
OU will, at its own expense, make periodic tests and inspections of its meters in order to maintain a high standard of accuracy. OU will make additional tests or inspections of its meters at the request of the customer. If such tests show that the meter is accurate within 2%, slow or fast, no adjustment will be made in the customer’s bill and the testing charge of fifty dollars ($50.00) per meter shall be paid by the customer. In case the test shows meter to be in excess of 2% fast or slow, an adjustment shall be made in the customer’s bill, and the cost of the test shall be borne by OU.
22. FILING AND POSTING:
A copy of the SCHEDULE OF RULES AND REGULATIONS, together with a copy of OU’s SCHEDULE OF RATES, CHARGES and FEES shall be kept open to inspection at the office of OU.
23. INFORMATION TO CONSUMERS:
Upon request by the customer of record, OU will make available a customer’s electrical and/or water consumption data for the prior twelve (12) month period.
OU will provide information regarding rates, service practice policies, and guidelines to customers at our main office, located at 300 McElroy Drive, Oxford, MS, or via email upon request. A customer will also receive such information upon application for electrical service, and at any time upon request. All retail rate actions initiated by OU will be communicated to the public via the City of Oxford website (www.oxfordms.net) and through advertisements in The Oxford Eagle.
The Schedule of Rules and Regulations is a part of all contracts for electrical and water service from OU and applies to all services received from OU, whether the service is based upon contract, agreement, signed application, or otherwise. A copy of this Schedule of Rules and Regulations together with a copy of OU’s Schedule of Rates, Charges and Fees, which are approved by the governing authority of the City of Oxford, shall be kept open to inspection at the office of OU located at 300 McElroy Drive, Oxford, MS, and found on our website – www.oxfordms.net. Furthermore, OU will provide information regarding rates, service practice policies, and guidelines to customers via the website – www.oxfordms.net and information including brochures and will be available in our office. A customer will also receive such information upon application for electric and water services, and at any time upon request. All retail rates actions initiated by OU will be communicated to the public via our website (www.oxfordms.net) and through advertisement in the local newspaper.
These RULES AND REGULATIONS may be revised, amended, supplemented, or otherwise changed from time to time without specific notice to the customer. Such changes, when effective, shall be available at the OU office and shall have the same force as the present RULES AND REGULATIONS.
In case of conflict between any provision of any rate schedule and these RULES AND REGULATIONS, the rate schedule shall apply.
27. TAMPERING WITH METERS:
If OU finds that there is reasonable grounds for believing that any meter or meters intended to measure or register the quantity of water or electricity has been tampered with, as to alter the measured usage, or that any electric seal is broken, a minimum administrative fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) will be assessed the customer. The customer may be prosecuted in municipal court notwithstanding the administrative fee.
28. ESTIMATING BILLS:
OU will make every effort to read a customer’s meter. In the event that OU is unable to read or prevented from reading a customer’s meter, then OU may charge an estimated bill based on previous usage, an average or other reasonable basis; provided, however, that the estimated bill does not relieve the customer from financial responsibility during this period. After the meters are read, OU will notify the customer of any adjustment necessary.
29. CATASTROPHIC LEAK:
In the event of a catastrophic water leak on the customer’s property (beyond the point of delivery), the customer may request, in writing, an adjustment to water and/or sewer charges for the billing period (s) covering the leak. The written request must be accompanied by the documentation of the leak and the repairs, such as repair bills or a report from the professional contractor or plumber performing the repair. Upon receipt of the request and proper documentation, OU will promptly review the request, and if approved, adjust the customer’s water and/or sewage charges for the period covering the leak. The charges will be adjusted based on the prior twelve (12) months, or shorter period if a new customer. A maximum of 3 months billing adjustment is authorized. OU will not be obligated to make such adjustments if the customer has made more than one such request in a twelve (12) month period or where the customer has persisted in failing to maintain the customer’s water line and system in good repair and working order. Water and/or Sewer adjustments will be made using the most recent policy adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
30. METER MALFUNCTION:
In the event that an electric or water meter malfunctions and is inoperative, OU shall set a new meter at the residence or business. OU shall take meter readings covering a period of twenty four (24) hours for the purpose of estimating an electric or water bill. The prior history of seasonal usage shall be taken under consideration with the twenty four (24) hour reading to determine the bill. In the event that no consistent pattern is established, a second twenty four (24) hour reading shall be taken to determine a bill.
31. RESIDENTIAL SERVICE:
Residential customers of OU shall be limited to one (1) residential service per location. All other electric services at that location (garage, shop, barn, etc.) shall be on commercial rates as described by the GSA-General Power Schedule.
32. RESIDENTIAL LATE PAYMENT AGREEMENTS:
Residential customers are allowed to request a “late payment arrangement”. A late payment arrangement shall allow the customer seven (7) days beyond their scheduled disconnection date for non-payment. All residential customers shall be limited to two (2) late payment agreements over a 12 month period. New customers of OU are not allowed a payment arrangement for the first six (6) months of service. Customers that fail to comply with their payment arrangement, as agreed, shall forfeit future rights to such agreements.
33. DECEASED CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS:
In the event that a customer of OU becomes deceased, the account can remain active in the deceased customer’s name for a period not to exceed 90 days. The widow or widower of the deceased can apply for a name change on the account with no additional deposits required. The widow or widower must apply for the name change in person and provide appropriate personal identification. Children, grandchildren or other relatives are not allowed to assume the account of the deceased and will be required to apply for the utility service in their name for the account to remain active.
34. DISPUTED BILLS:
Any customer who questions the amount or correctness of charges on their bill should contact the Business Manager during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.). The OU Business Manager is authorized to review disputed bills and correct errors if any exist.
Dispute/Complaint Resolution Process: In the case of billing disputes or other service issues, the customer is expected to resolve the dispute by notifying and working with OU. If the dispute cannot be resolved, OU will provide the customer with information regarding the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Complaint Resolution Process. Customers can find out information about the TVA Complaint Resolution Process upon request or on the OU website, www.oxfordms.net.
35. SEWER AND/OR SANITATION ONLY ACCOUNTS:
Because OU cannot discontinue service or track when residents move in and out of locations without OU water or electric service, Sewer and/or Sanitation only accounts are required to be in the name of the homeowner/property owner. Accounts with Sewer and/or Sanitation service only, that are vacant, can apply for a bill credit for sanitation and sewer charges if they provide OU with a statement from another utility showing that the residence was not occupied during the billing period. Sanitation charges that go unpaid will be transferred to the Lafayette County Chancery Clerk and applied to the property owner’s taxes. Assessment of such charges shall be made pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated 21-19-2 (Miss. Code 1972), as may be amended from time to time