DEFERRED PAYMENT AGREEMENT
DPA - If you have a financial problem that prevents you from paying your bills, we will work with
you to establish a deferred payment agreement. The agreement nust be fair and take account of your
financial circumstances. We may require you make a down payment based on your ability to pay.
After the down payment, you nay make payments over a period of time that you and we agree upon.
this agreement may be changed if you show that there are significant changes in your. financial
condition beyond your control.
The ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT has a responsibility to provide its customers with safe, reliable and
uninterrupted service. Since you may be entitled to certain protections from turn-offs, it is
important for us to have the information requested below. Please fill in the blanks, and fill in
the appropriate lines. Then sign and date this form, and return it with your electric.bill payment.
Thank you for helping us serve you better.
A Public Information Bulletin
of The Village Of Freeport
46 North Ocean Avenue
Telephone FReeport 8-4000
Dorothy Storm, Mayor
Meet With Mayor: 8:30am - 4:00pm, Every Fri.
Public Meetings: 8:00pm, 1st and 3rd Mondays of the Month
31 £ •^ m
eS •1=-1 s I
YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPOMSIBILrnES
AS A RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC CUSTOMER
As a Residential Electric Customer of the Village of Freeport your rights and responsibilities
result from New York State Public Service Conmission (PSC) rules and a new law, the Home &iergy
Fair Practices Act (HEFPA), which is called the "Consumer Bill of Rights."
COMPLAINTS, QUESTIONS, PROBLEMS AND APPEALS
Contact the Electric Billing Department as soon as possible if you have any complaints, questions,
or problems about your electric service. The address and telephone number of the Electric Billing
Office appear on your bill. Ojr Electric Billing Office is staffed by Representatives to help you.
Our office hours are 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. If the lines are :busy due to the volume of calls they
receive every day, please rail again.
Whether you write, visit, or phone our Customer Representatives will do their best to handle your
inquiry promptly and considerately. If you do not get a satisfactory answer, further assistance is'
available from the Office Supervisor.
If you still are not satisfied, you may appeal by writing to the Consumer Services Division, Public
Service Conrnission, at Three Biplre State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223, or call the PSC toll-free
HELPLINE at 1-600-342-3377, between the hours of 8:30 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. on business days. The
HELPLINE is staffed by a PSC consumer representatives who will investigate your complaint and
determine whether or not the utility has acted properly.
The PSC also has a special emergency HOTLINE for matters concerning the turn-on or turn-off of
residential electric service. The toll free HOTLINE number is 1-800-342-3355 and is staffed from
7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. every "business day.
If you call either the HELPLINE or the HOTLINE after their regular hours of operation, you will be
answered by a recording machine.' Be sure to give your area code with your telephone number and
your account number and a Staff Representative will return your rail the following business day.
While your appeal is being considered by the PSC, the Village cannot turn off your service for
your failure to pay the amount in question. All other billing amounts are payable when due.
The Village has a responsibility to supply electricity to custoners in a reliable manner, and you
have a responsibility to pay your electric bills promptly.
WHEN TO'PAY - The Village bills you for electricity after you use it on a nnnthly basis. Bills are
due and payable when received. A payment is considered overdue 20 days after you recieve the bill.
This is Ibout 23 days "after the bill'date printed on the bill. "
WHERE TO PAY - The most convenient way to pay is by mail, using the return envelope with your bill.
You may also pay in person at the Village Hall, 46 North Ocean Ave.
BALANCED BILLING - If you want to spread electricity charges evenly over a 12-month period, the
Balanced Billing Plan may help. This payment plan does not reduce your overall energy expenses, but
may help you manage your budget. For more information about the plan, contact the Billing Office.
BILLING ACCURACY - The Village reads every meter on a monthly basis. Under certain circumstances,
we may have to issue you an estimated bill. Your bill will clearly snow that it is an estimate.
Trustees: Vincent DiCostanzo, Ralph Smith, Victor Cohen, Anna J. Cacciatore
Village Clerk: Thomas DeVincenzo; Counsel: William Glacken; Treasurer: Michael Haran
If, by using estimated bills; we have understated the antxmt you CMS by 50% of the actual energy use
or $100 (whictever is greater), we mist notify you of the fact in writing, and you may mate payments
on Liu? difference.
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You probably do not have to pay a deposit when you open an account. If we do require a deposit, the
nnount is based on two times the average monthly bill. The Public Service Cotnnission rules govern
deposit policies as follows:
RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS - If you are a current Village electric customer or a former customer applying
for a new account, we will not ask you to pay a deposit unless:
1. You have accumulated two consecutive months of overdue payments,
2. We have turned off your electric service for non-payment.
If you are over 62 years of age, we will not ask you for a deposit unless your electric service
was tumed-off for non-payment within the last six months.
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE - If you receive public assistance, we cannot require you to pay a deposit.
DEPOSIT REFUND - We can hold a security deposit for one year, if you maintain a good payment
record during that year, we will refund the deposit plus interest (at a rate set by the PSC).. , ,
Otlierwise, we will hold the deposit, and we will credit interest to your account on a yearly basis.
' FINAL TERMINATION NOTICE
SERVICE TURN-OFF & TURN-ON PROCEDURES
Because of non-payment of overdue electric bills, it is sometimes necessary for the Village to
tum-x>ff electric service'. This step is NOT taken until all efforts to make satisfactory
arrangements for payment of overdue bills.
FINAL TERMINATION NOTICE - Before we can turn-off electric service for an overdue bill or a deposit
request, we must send you a Final Termination Notice. We do not send a Final Termination Notice until
-you have failed to pay a bill more than 23 dnys after it was mailed to you. Once you have received
a Final Termination Notice, you have 15 more days in which to pay the bill, arrange for payment by
signing a deferred payment agreement, or contact us about the bill before service is disconnected.
SERVICE TURN-OFF - Your service will be turned off if:
1. You fail to pay the amount due as shown on the Final Notice Bill,
2. You do not work out a deferred payment agreement,
You qualify for the special protections described in the section on SPECIAL PROTFXnONS. :
TIME OF SERVICE TURN-OFF - i-fe are allowed to turn off electric service for non-payment only between
8 A.M. and 4 P.M., Monday through Thursday. We cannot turn off service on a holiday, on the day
before a holiday, on a day before our Electric Billing Office is closed, or for the two-week period
during the Christmas-New Year's season. We can turn off service anytime there are serious safety
problems, and we will restore service as scon as the problem is corrected.
P-ECOMvlCTION OF SERVICE - If we turn off your service, we will reconnect it within 24 hours when:
1. Yw have either paid the amount due or signed a deferred payment agreement and made
2. The PSC directs us to reconnect the service,
3. You face a serious threat to your health or safety.
If we fail to reconnect your service within 24 hours - except, when it is beyond our control, we
roist pay you either $25 or $50, depending on the circumstances, for each additional day you are
If you receive public assistance, we 'Jill turn your service back on as soon as we receive a
cotmiitment of payment from the social service agency helping you.
Wj tiave the right to cliarge a fee of $12.00 to turn your service back on.
HARDSHIP PROCEmjRES - In accordance with PSC rules, we will continue electric heat-related service
if a person's health or safety is threatened by the lack of heat. We also will refer health or
safety problems to the Department of Social Services'. We will NTT turn off electric service in the
following hani.ship cases:
MEDICAL HARDSHIP - If either you or a family marcher is ill, has a medical condition, „. „
life-support system; you oust file a medical certificate with us from your doctor or Incal Board
of Health, we will continue your service for 30 days. Briefly, to renew the certificate, either
doctor or Board of Health oust explain the medical emergency or why service is needed AND you oust
satisfactorily explain why you are unable to pay your utility bills. We will not shut off your
service during the emergency, but you are responsible for your bills.
jMKEaaNr _ If y°u need utility service to operate a life-supporting device, the certificate will
remain in effect as long as the device is needed, but you oust renew it every three months.
ELDERLY (62 or older), BUM) or DISABLED - If you are 62 years of age or older, blind or disabled,
and all those living with you are too (or not over 18 years old), we will make special attempts to
maintain your electric service, we will contact you by phone or in person at least 72 hours before
the tum-cff is scheduled to try to work out a fair payment plan.
If arrangements cannot be made, we will notify the Department of Social Service of the possible
turn-off and will continue service for 15 days. If we ultimately turn off service, we must, within
10 days after that, attempt to reach you and devise a plan for restoring service. If you qualify
for protection under this section, you should immediately notify us by using the attached form and
returning it with your bill payment.
A quarterly payment plan is available if your annual energy cost does not exceed $150.00.
information about- this plan,- contact your Electic- Billing Office. . . . .
COLD WEATHER PROTECnONS (November 1 to the following April 15) - If you are an electric space-,
heating customer, we cannot turn off your service until we have tried to determine if a serious'
problem with health or safety would result because of the service turn-off. If we find that service
turn-off might cause serious harm to your health or safety, we mast ask the Department of Social
service to investigate AND we must continue service for at least 15 business days.
ELECTRIC INCLUDED IN RENT PAYMEOT - If you pay for your electric service in your rent, and we are
notified that there are tenants in a building, we cannot turn off heat related electric to your
dwelling without giving a-written,•10-day notice to each tenant to determine whether or not any<
tenant has a medical or other problem which would be worsened by an electric turn-off. If we find
a tenant with such a problem, we oust refer them to the Department of Social Services and continue
to provide electric service until the hardship is removed.
LANDLORD PROBLEMS - If you live in an apartment building, rooming house or a two-family house AND
your landlord fails to pay the electric bills for the building, you may be able to have the service
kept on by joining with the otter tenants to pay the bill. You have to pay current charges, and
you can deduct the electric charges from your rent. By posting notices on the building and by
giving you a separate notice at least 15 days before the service turn-off, we will notify you if
the landlord has failed to pay. We will also tell you;whom to call to work out the problem.
DIVERSION OF SERVICE - If you rent an apartment and pay your own electric bills, you pay only for .
the electricity you use in your dwelling. We cannot charge you for electricity used elsewhere in
the apartment building, nor can we turn off your electric service for failing to pay for service
outside your apartment......unless you have agreed with your landlord to.pay-for such service.
IMPORTANT - If you believe you are being charged for electricity that otters are using, call the
Electric Billing Office and we will investigate the matter.
THIRD PARTY NOTIFICATION
All residential customers may choose a third party to receive any notice of service termination.
Just fill out the attached form and return with your elecrtic bill payment. A third party notice
may keep your service from being turned off by mistake. '
You may choose a relative, a friend, a member of the clergy, or an agency (such as the Department of
Social Services) to be a third party for you. A third party will receive copies of any Final
Termination Notices we send to you. The third party can contact us and help you work out payment
terms with us. But the third party is NOT responsible for paying your bills.
ACCESS TO YOUR METER
We read your meter so that we can send you an accurate bill based on the amount of electricity you
use. If we are unable to read your meter for three months in a row, we win request by letter that
you make an appointment for a special reading. We can arrange to read a meter both during and after
rc^ ~ For -vcur protection, every electric departmr.t employee carries a photo-identification card
which you can inspect before they enter your dwell!ig.
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