Bills are due when issued and are past due after 22 days. When payment has not been received by the time the next month’s bill is issued, the past due amount will be printed on the current bill.
A separate Notice of Termination is printed and mailed for any bill having a past due amount. The notice informs the customer that service may be turned off after 14 days unless the past due amount is paid. The notice also informs the customer of steps to take to avoid having service to a residence turned off. It is the residential customer’s responsibility to notify SMECO before the scheduled turn-off date if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- The customer or an occupant of the household is 65 or older, physically handicapped, mentally impaired, or dependent on electrically operated life-support equipment. Serious illness, handicap, or need for life-support equipment must be certified by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or certified nurse practitioner. A form for certification is provided with the notice and must be returned to SMECO before the scheduled service turn-off date. The customer or the certifying party may call to notify SMECO of the intent to provide certification (See Restrictions on Terminations)
- The customer cannot pay for service in accordance with SMECO’s billing practices (See Alternate Payment Plans)
- The amount shown on the bill as past due is the subject of a genuine dispute such as an error in computation or the failure of SMECO to show a payment or credit (See Dispute Procedures)
If the past due amount is not paid and the customer has not notified SMECO that one of the listed conditions applies, service may be disconnected on or after the date on the termination notice.
When a SMECO employee is sent to the customer’s home to turn off service for non-payment, the customer must pay the past due amount to avoid having service turned off; the customer will be billed an additional $28 collection fee. The SMECO employee is authorized to accept payment (check or credit card) at that time. SMECO does not accept cash payments at homes or businesses.
When service is disconnected, the customer must then pay all overdue bills and a reconnection fee to have service restored. In addition, the customer may be required to pay a deposit. Payment to reconnect service must be made during normal business hours.
A reconnection fee of $36 will be charged when service is reconnected during Co-op working hours. These hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). A fee of $133 will be charged when reconnection is made outside the Co-op’s regular working hours. SMECO is not obligated to reconnect service after regular business hours when service has been disconnected due to nonpayment.
All fees are subject to change.