Shut Off of Service; Conditions; Procedures; Definitions - Mich. Comp. Laws Section 460.10t
(1) An electric utility or alternative electric supplier shall not shut off service to an eligible customer during the heating season for nonpayment of a delinquent account if the customer is an eligible senior citizen customer or if the customer pays to the utility or supplier a monthly amount equal to 7% of the estimated annual bill for the eligible customer and the eligible customer demonstrates, within 14 days of requesting shutoff protection, that he or she has applied for state or federal heating assistance. If an arrearage exists at the time an eligible customer applies for protection from shutoff of service during the heating season, the utility or supplier shall permit the customer to pay the arrearage in equal monthly installments between the date of application and the start of the subsequent heating season.
(2) An electric utility or alternative electric supplier may shut off service to an eligible low-income customer who does not pay the monthly amounts required under subsection (1) after giving notice in the manner required by rules. The utility or supplier is not required to offer a settlement agreement to an eligible low-income customer who fails to make the monthly payments required under subsection (1).
(3) If a customer fails to comply with the terms and conditions of this section, an electric utility may shut off service on its own behalf or on behalf of an alternative electric supplier after giving the customer a notice, by personal service or first-class mail, that contains all of the following information:
(a) That the customer has defaulted on the winter protection plan.
(b) The nature of the default.
(c) That unless the customer makes the payments that are past due within 10 days of the date of mailing, the utility or supplier may shut off service.
(d) The date on or after which the utility or supplier may shut off service, unless the customer takes appropriate action.
(e) That the customer has the right to file a complaint disputing the claim of the utility or supplier before the date of the proposed shutoff of service.
(f) That the customer has the right to request a hearing before a hearing officer if the complaint cannot be otherwise resolved and that the customer shall pay to the utility or supplier that portion of the bill that is not in dispute within 3 days of the date that the customer requests a hearing.
(g) That the customer has the right to represent himself or herself, to be represented by an attorney, or to be assisted by any other person of his or her choice in the complaint process.
(h) That the utility or supplier will not shut off service pending the resolution of a complaint that is filed with the utility in accordance with this section.
(i) The telephone number and address of the utility or supplier where the customer may make inquiry, enter into a settlement agreement, or file a complaint.
(j) That the customer should contact a social services agency immediately if the customer believes he or she might be eligible for emergency economic assistance.
(k) That the utility or supplier will postpone shutoff of service if a medical emergency exists at the customer's residence.
(l) That the utility or supplier may require a deposit and restoration charge if the supplier shuts off service for nonpayment of a delinquent account.
(4) An electric utility is not required to shut off service under this section to an eligible customer for nonpayment to an alternative electric supplier.
(5) The commission shall establish an educational program to ensure that eligible customers are informed of the requirements and benefits of this section.
(6) As used in this section:
(a) "Eligible customer" means either an eligible low-income customer or an eligible senior citizen customer.
(b) "Eligible low-income customer" means a customer whose household income does not exceed 150% of the poverty level, as published by the United States department of health and human services, or who receives any of the following:
(i) Assistance from a state emergency relief program.
(ii) Food stamps.
(c) "Eligible senior citizen customer" means a utility or supplier customer who is 65 years of age or older and who advises the utility of his or her eligibility.
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Last modified: March 17, 2013