Notice To Electric Utility Customers About Disconnection of Service During Weather Extremes

Saturday, 29 June 2024 08:27

Notice To Electric Utility Customers About Disconnection of Service During Weather Extremes Featured

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The Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Public Utility Division is reminding ratepayers about its rule regarding electric service disconnects as the National Weather Service forecasts temperatures at or more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the next 10 days.

In areas where morning or updated National Weather Service forecasts predict a heat index of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter during the next 24 hours (or an observed heat index reaches that point), the rule requires disconnect suspensions for impacted customers that particular day.

Beyond weather specific situations, the rule also sets out disconnect procedures utilities it regulates are required to follow year-round involving customers who fail to pay their bills. 

Utilities are required to delay disconnects for customers who can document situations where a loss of power would be life threatening or can demonstrate they have applied for financial aid through federal, state, local agencies to help them pay what the providers are owed.

However, those customers also must be willing to enter into deferred payment agreements with their providers pledging to pay what's owed, over time.

The rule (outside of the weather consideration) does not apply in cases where a disconnect involves customers who tamper with a utility's measuring equipment, wires, pipes, meters (or any other equipment), obtain service without a contract or otherwise provide false or misleading information to a utility in an attempt to prevent a disconnect from happening.

The commission regulates six companies that provide electric service to many Oklahomans: Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corp., Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., Empire District Electric Co. and Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Utility customers with questions regarding disconnection of service during weather extremes are encouraged to contact OCC Consumer Services at 405-521-2331 or utilize the online Public Utility Complaints Form.

The complete rule covering disconnects can be found in the Oklahoma Administrative Code at OAC:165:35-21-10(C)(2) Oklahoma Corporation Commission Delays to disconnection of residential service. Word search for "severe weather" or scroll down to page 44 of the PDF to view the specific rule.


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