Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since August 1, 2016, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R746. Public Service Commission, Administration.
Rule R746-200. Residential Utility Service Rules for Electric, Gas, Water, and Sewer Utilities.
As in effect on August 1, 2016
Table of Contents
- R746-200-1. General Provisions.
- R746-200-2. General Definitions.
- R746-200-3. Deposits, Eligibility for Service, and Shared Meter or Appliance.
- R746-200-4. Account Billing.
- R746-200-5. Deferred Payment Agreement.
- R746-200-6. Reconnection of Discontinued Service.
- R746-200-7. Termination of Service.
- R746-200-8. Informal Review.
- R746-200-9. Formal Agency Proceedings Based Upon Complaint Review.
- R746-200-10. Penalties.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
A. Title -- These rules shall be known and may be cited as the Residential Utility Service Rules.
B. Purpose -- The purpose of these Rules is to establish and enforce uniform residential utility service practices and procedures governing eligibility, deposits, account billing, termination, and deferred payment agreements.
C. Policy --
1. The policy of these rules is to assure the adequate provision of residential utility service, to restrict unreasonable termination of or refusal to provide residential utility service, to provide functional alternatives to termination or refusal to provide residential utility service, and to establish and enforce fair and equitable procedures governing eligibility, deposits, account billing, termination, and deferred payment agreements.
2. Nondiscrimination -- Residential utility service shall be provided to qualified persons without regard to employment, occupation, race, handicap, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, or number of dependents.
D. Requirement of Good Faith -- Each agreement or obligation within these rules imposes an obligation of good faith, honesty, and fair dealings in its performance and enforcement.
E. Customer Information -- When residential service is extended to an account holder, a public utility shall provide the consumer with a consumer information pamphlet approved by the Commission which clearly describes and summarizes the substance of these rules. The utility shall mail or deliver a copy of this pamphlet, or a summarized version approved by the Commission, to its residential customers annually in September or October. Copies of this pamphlet shall be prominently displayed in the business offices maintained by the utility and furnished to consumers upon request. The utility has a continuing obligation to inform its consumers of significant amendments to these rules. Each utility with over 10,000 customers receiving service shall print and make available upon request a Spanish edition of a consumer information pamphlet. The English edition of the pamphlet shall contain a prominent notice, written in Spanish and English, that the utility has a Spanish edition of its pamphlet and whether or not it has qualified personnel available to help Spanish-speaking customers. In this section, utilities with fewer than 10,000 users may use the pamphlets printed by the Division of Public Utilities for the distribution and availability requirements.
F. Scope --
1. These rules shall apply to gas, water, sewer, and electric utilities that are subject to the regulatory authority of the Commission. Except as provided in R746-200-7(G)(4), Notice of Proposed Termination, these rules do not apply to master metered apartment dwellings. Commercial, industrial, government accounts and special contracts are also excluded from the requirements of these rules.
2. Upon a showing that specified portions of these rules impose an undue hardship and provide limited benefit to its customers, a utility may petition the Commission for an exemption from specified portions of these rules.
G. Customer's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities -- When utility service is extended to an account holder, annually, and upon first notice of an impending service disconnection, a public utility shall provide a copy of the "Customer's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" as approved by the Commission. The Statement of Rights and Responsibilities shall be a single page document. It shall be prominently displayed in each customer service center.
A. "Account Holder" -- A person, corporation, partnership, or other entity which has agreed with a public utility to pay for receipt of residential utility service and to which the utility provides service.
B. "Applicant" -- As used in these rules means a person, corporation, partnership, or other entity which applies to a public utility for residential utility service.
C. "Budget Billing" -- Monthly residential payment plan under which the customer's estimated annual billing is divided into 12 monthly payments.
D. "Deferred Payment Agreement" -- As used in these rules means an agreement to receive, or to continue to receive, residential utility service pursuant to Section R746-200-5 and to pay an outstanding debt or delinquent account owed to a public utility.
E. "Residential Utility Service" -- Means gas, water, sewer, and electric service provided by a public utility to a residence.
F. "Termination of Service" -- The terms "termination," "disconnection," and "shutoff" as used in these rules are synonymous and mean the stopping of service for whatever cause.
G. "Load Limiter" -- Device which automatically interrupts electric service at a residence when the preset kW demand is exceeded. Service is restored when the customer decreases usage and then presses the reset button on the device.
A. Deposits and Guarantees --
1. Each utility shall submit security deposit policies and procedures to the Commission for its approval before the implementation and use of those policies and procedures. Each utility shall submit third-party guarantor policies and procedures to the Commission.
2. Each utility collecting security deposits shall pay interest thereon at a rate as established by the Commission. For electric cooperatives and electric service districts, interest rates shall be determined by the governing board of directors of the cooperative or district and filed with the Commission and shall be deemed approved by the Commission unless ten percent or more of the customers file a request for agency action requesting an investigation and hearing. The deposit paid, plus accrued interest, is eligible for return to the customer after the customer has paid the bill on time for 12 consecutive months.
3. A residential customer shall have the right to pay a security deposit in at least three equal monthly installments if the first installment is paid when the deposit is required.
B. Eligibility for Service --
1. Residential utility service is to be conditioned upon payment of deposits, where required, and of any outstanding debts for past utility service which are owed by the applicant to that public utility, subject to Subsections R746-200-3(B)(2), and R746-200-7(C)(2), Reasons for Termination. Service may be denied when unsafe conditions exist, when the applicant has furnished false information to get utility service, or when the customer has tampered with utility-owned equipment, such as meters and lines. An applicant is ineligible for service if at the time of application, the applicant is cohabiting with a delinquent account holder, whose utility service was previously disconnected for non-payment, and the applicant and delinquent account holder also cohabited while the delinquent account holder received the utility's service, whether the service was received at the applicants present address or another address.
2. When an applicant cannot pay an outstanding debt in full, residential utility service shall be provided upon execution of a written, deferred payment agreement as set forth in Section R746-200-5.
C. Shared Meter or Appliance - In rental property where one meter provides service to more than one unit or where appliances provide service to more than one unit or to other occupants at the premises, and this situation is known to the utility, the utility will recommend that service be in the property owner's name and the property owner be responsible for the service. However, a qualifying applicant will be allowed to put service in their own name provided the applicant acknowledges that the request for services is entered into willingly and he has knowledge of the account responsibility.
A. Billing Cycle -- Each gas, electric, sewer and water utility shall use a billing cycle that has an interval between regular periodic billing statements of not greater than two months. This section applies to permanent continuous service customers, not to seasonal customers.
B. Estimated Billing --
1. A gas, electric, sewer or water public utility using an estimated billing procedure shall try to make an actual meter reading at least once in a two-month period and give a bill for the appropriate charge determined from that reading. When weather conditions prevent regular meter readings, or when customers are served on a seasonal tariff, the utility will make arrangements with the customer to get meter reads at acceptable intervals.
2. If a meter reader cannot gain access to a meter to make an actual reading, the public utility shall take appropriate additional measures in an effort to get an actual meter reading. These measures shall include, but are not limited to, scheduling of a meter reading at other than normal business hours, making an appointment for meter reading, or providing a prepaid postal card with a notice of instruction upon which an account holder may record a meter reading. If after two regular route visits, access has not been achieved, the utility will notify the customer that he must make arrangements to have the meter read as a condition of continuing service.
3. If, after compliance with Subsection R746-200-4(B)(2), a public utility cannot make an actual meter reading it may give an estimated bill for the current billing cycle in accordance with Subsection R746-200-7(C)(1)(f), Reasons for Termination.
C. Periodic Billing Statement -- Except when a residential utility service account is considered uncollectible or when collection or termination procedures have been started, a public utility shall mail or deliver an accurate bill to the account holder for each billing cycle at the end of which there is an outstanding debit balance for current service, a statement which the account holder may keep, setting forth each of the following disclosures to the extent applicable:
1. the outstanding balance in the account at the beginning of the current billing cycle using a term such as "previous balance";
2. the amount of charges debited to the account during the current billing cycle using a term such as "current service";
3. the amount of payments made to the account during the current billing cycle using a term such as "payments";
4. the amount of credits other than payments to the account during the current billing cycle using a term such as "credits";
5. the amount of late payment charges debited to the account during the current billing cycle using a term such as "late charge";
6. the closing date of the current billing cycle and the outstanding balance in the account on that date using a term such as "amount due";
7. a listing of the statement due date by which payment of the new balance must be made to avoid assessment of a late charge;
8. a statement that a late charge, expressed as an annual percentage rate and a periodic rate, may be assessed against the account for late payment;
9. the following notice: "If you have any questions about this bill, please call the Company."
D. Late Charge --
1. Commencing not sooner than the end of the first billing cycle after the statement due date, a late charge of a periodic rate as established by the Commission may be assessed against an unpaid balance in excess of new charges debited to the account during the current billing cycle. The Commission may change the rate of interest.
2. No other charge, whether described as a finance charge, service charge, discount, net or gross charge may be applied to an account for failure to pay an outstanding bill by the statement due date. This section does not apply to reconnection charges or return check service charges.
E. Statement Due Date -- An account holder shall have not less than 20 days from the date the current bill was prepared to pay the new balance, which date shall be the statement due date.
F. Disputed Bill --
1. In disputing a periodic billing statement, an account holder shall first try to resolve the issue by discussion with the public utility's collections personnel.
2. When an account holder has proceeded pursuant to Subsection R746-200-4(F)(1), the public utility's collections personnel shall investigate the disputed issue and shall try to resolve that issue by negotiation.
3. If the negotiation does not resolve the dispute, the account holder may obtain informal and formal review of the dispute as set forth in Section R746-200-8, Informal Review, and R746-200-9, Formal Review.
4. While an account holder is proceeding with either informal or formal review of a dispute, no termination of service shall be permitted if amounts not disputed are paid when due.
G. Unpaid Bills - Utilities transferring unpaid bills from inactive or past accounts to active or current accounts shall follow these limitations:
1. A utility company may only transfer bills between similar classes of service, such as residential to residential, not commercial to residential.
2. Unpaid amounts for billing cycles older than four years before the time of transfer cannot be transferred to an active or current account.
3. The customer shall be provided with an explanation of the transferred amounts from earlier billing cycles and informed of the customer's ability to dispute the transferred amount.
4. The customer may dispute the transferred amount pursuant to R746-200-4(F).
A. Deferred Payment Agreement --
1. An applicant or account holder who cannot pay a delinquent account balance on demand shall have the right to receive residential utility service under a deferred payment agreement subject to R746-200-5(B) unless the delinquent account balance is the result of unauthorized usage of, or diversion of, residential utility service. If the delinquent account balance is the result of unauthorized usage of, or diversion of, residential utility service, the use of a deferred payment agreement is at the utility's discretion.
2. An applicant or account holder shall have the right to a deferred payment agreement, consisting of 12 months of equal monthly payments, if the full amount of the delinquent balance plus interest shall be paid within the 12 months and if the applicant or account holder agrees to pay the initial monthly installment. The account holder shall have the right to pre-pay a monthly installment, pre-pay a portion of, or the total amount of the outstanding balance due under a deferred payment agreement at any time during the term of the agreement. The account holder also has the option, when negotiating a deferred payment agreement, to include the amount of the current month's bill plus the reconnection charges in the total amount to be paid over the term of the deferred payment agreement.
3. Payment Options
a. If a utility has a budget billing or equal payment plan available, it shall offer the account holder the option of:
i. agreeing to pay monthly bills for future residential utility service as they become due, plus the monthly deferred payment installment, or
ii. agreeing to pay a budget billing or equal payment plan amount set by the utility for future residential utility service plus the monthly deferred payment installment.
b. When negotiating a deferred payment agreement with a utility that does not offer a budget billing or equal payment plan, the account holder shall agree to pay the monthly bills for future residential utility service plus the monthly deferred payment installment necessary to liquidate the delinquent bill.
4. The terms of the deferred payment agreement shall be set forth in a written agreement, a copy of which shall be provided to the customer.
5. A deferred payment agreement may include a finance charge as approved by the Commission. If a finance charge is assessed, the deferred payment agreement shall contain notice of the charge.
B. Breach -- If an applicant or account holder breaches a condition or term of a deferred payment agreement, the public utility may treat that breach as a delinquent account and shall have the right to disconnect service pursuant to these rules, subject to the right of the customer to seek review of the alleged breach by the Commission, and the account holder shall not have the right to a renewal of the deferred payment agreement. Renewal of deferred payment agreements after the breach shall be at the utility's discretion.
A. Public utilities shall have personnel available 24 hours each day to reconnect utility service. Service shall be reconnected as soon as possible, but no later than the next generally recognized business day after the customer has requested reconnection and complied with all necessary conditions for reconnection of service; which may include payment of reconnection charges and compliance with deferred payment agreement terms.
B. If a customer requests reconnection or other services outside of the utility's normal business days or hours of operation, the utility shall inform the customer of any additional charges or terms, as specified in the utility's tariff provisions, applicable to the customer's request.
A. Definitions. As used in this section (R746-200-7):
1. "Licensed medical provider" means a medical provider:
a. who holds a current and active medical license under Utah Code Title 58; and
b. whose scope of practice authorizes the medical provider to diagnose the condition described by the medical provider under this rule.
2. "Life-supporting equipment" means life-supporting medical equipment:
a. with normal operation that requires continuation of public utility service; and
b. used by an individual who would require immediate assistance from medical personnel to sustain life if the life supporting equipment ceased normal operations.
3. "Life-supporting equipment statement" means a written statement:
a. signed by the licensed medical provider for the account holder or resident who utilizes life-supporting equipment; and
i. a description of the medical need of the account holder or resident who utilizes life-supporting equipment;
ii. the account holder's name and address;
iii. name of resident using life-supporting equipment and relationship to account holder, if different than account holder;
iv. the health infirmity and expected duration;
v. identification of the life-support equipment that requires the utility's service;
vi. a determination by the licensed medical provider that immediate assistance from medical personnel to sustain life would be required if the life supporting equipment ceased normal operations; and
vii. the name and contact information of the licensed medical provider for the resident who utilizes life-supporting equipment,
4. "Serious illness or infirmity statement" means a written statement:
a. signed by a licensed medical provider;
b. written on:
i. a form obtained from the public utility; or
ii. the licensed medical provider's letterhead stationary;
c. legibly describing:
i. a diagnosed medical condition under which termination of utility service will injure the person's health or aggravate the person's illness; and
ii. the anticipated duration of the diagnosed medical condition.
B. Delinquent Account --
1. A residential utility service bill that has remained unpaid beyond the statement due date is a delinquent account.
2. When an account is a delinquent account, a public utility, before termination of service, shall issue a written late notice to inform the account holder of the delinquent status. A late notice or reminder notice must include the following information:
a. A statement that the account is a delinquent account and should be paid promptly;
b. A statement that the account holder should communicate with the public utility's collection department, by calling the company, if the account holder has a question concerning the account;
c. A statement of the delinquent account balance, using a term such as "delinquent account balance."
3. When the account holder responds to a late notice or reminder notice the public utility's collections personnel shall investigate disputed issues and shall try to resolve the issues by negotiation. During this investigation and negotiation no other action shall be taken to disconnect the residential utility service if the account holder pays the undisputed portion of the account subject to the utility's right to terminate utility service pursuant to R746-200-7(F), Termination of Service Without Notice.
4. A copy of the "Statement of Customer Rights and Responsibilities" referred to in Subsection R746-200-1(G) of these rules shall be issued to the account holder with the first notice of impending service disconnection.
C. Reasons for Termination of Service --
1. Residential utility service may be terminated for the following reasons:
a. Nonpayment of a delinquent account;
b. Nonpayment of a deposit when required;
c. Failure to comply with the terms of a deferred payment agreement or Commission order;
d. Unauthorized use of, or diversion of, residential utility service or tampering with wires, pipes, meters, or other equipment;
e. Subterfuge or deliberately furnishing false information; or
f. Failure to provide access to meter during the regular route visit to the premises following proper notification and opportunity to make arrangements in accordance with R746-200-4(B), Estimated Billing, Subsection (2).
2. The following shall be insufficient grounds for termination of service:
a. A delinquent account, accrued before a divorce or separate maintenance action in the courts, in the name of a former spouse, cannot be the basis for termination of the current account holder's service;
b. Cohabitation of a current account holder with a delinquent account holder whose utility service was previously terminated for non-payment, unless the current and delinquent account holders also cohabited while the delinquent account holder received the utility's service, whether the service was received at the current account holder's present address or another address;
c. When the delinquent account balance is less than $25.00, unless no payment has been made for two months;
d. Failure to pay an amount in bona fide dispute before the Commission;
e. Payment delinquency for third party services billed by the regulated utility company, unless prior approval is obtained from the Commission.
D. Restrictions upon Termination of Service -- Medical Reasons --
1. Serious Illness or Infirmity. If a public utility receives a serious illness or infirmity statement:
a. the public utility shall continue or restore residential utility service for the period set forth in the statement or one month, whichever is less;
b. the public utility is not required to provide the continuation or restoration described in R746-200-7.D.1.a. more than two times to an individual customer or residence during the same calendar year; and
c. the account holder is liable for the cost of residential utility service during the period of continued or restored service.
2. Life-Supporting Equipment.
a. After receiving a life-supporting equipment statement, the public utility:
i. shall mark and identify applicable meter boxes where the life-supporting equipment is used;
ii. may not terminate service to the residence unless the public utility has complied with this Subsection (R746-200-7.D.2); and
iii. may request annual verification from the licensed medical provider of the life-supporting equipment.
b. A public utility may terminate service on an account where the public utility has received a life-supporting equipment statement and the related medical provider verification, if:
i. the account is in default;
ii. the public utility has:
AA. followed R746-200-5 on offering a deferred payment agreement; or
BB. if R746-200-5 does not apply, allowed the customer one month to enter into a deferred payment agreement that may last up to 12 months;
iii. after complying with R746-200-7.D.2.b.ii, the public utility has provided to the customer a written notice of proposed termination of service that:
AA. clearly and plainly informs the customer of the customer's rights under R746-200-7.D.2 and of the customer's right to an expedited complaint hearing under R746-200-8.E.; and
BB. complies with R746-200-7.G.1;
iv. the public utility has provided to the customer a 48 hour notice of termination of utility service that complies with R746-200-7.G.2; and
v. the public utility has complied with all other applicable provisions of R746-200-7.
c. The account holder is liable for the cost of residential utility service during the period of service, including throughout all proceedings related to life-supporting equipment.
E. Payments from the Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program -- Suppliers may not discontinue utility service to a low-income household for at least 30 days after receiving utility payment or verification of utility payment from the HEAT Program on behalf of the low-income household.
F. Termination of Service Without Notice -- Any provision contained in these rules notwithstanding, a public utility may terminate residential utility service without notice when, in its judgment, a clear emergency or serious health or safety hazard exists for so long as the conditions exist, or when there is unauthorized use or diversion of residential utility service or tampering with wires, pipes, meters, or other equipment owned by the utility. The utility shall immediately try to notify the customer of the termination of service and the reasons therefor.
G. Notice of Proposed Termination of Service --
1. At least 10 calendar days before a proposed termination of residential utility service, or at least 30 calendar days before a proposed termination if the residential utility service customer has provided to the public utility a life-supporting equipment statement, a public utility shall give written notice of disconnection for nonpayment to the account holder. The 10-day or 30-day time period is computed from the date the notice is postmarked. The notice shall be given by first class mail or delivery to the premises and shall contain a summary of the following information:
a. a Statement of Customer Rights and Responsibilities under existing state law and Commission rules;
b. the Commission-approved policy on termination of service for that utility;
c. the availability of deferred payment agreements and sources of possible financial assistance including but not limited to state and federal energy assistance programs;
d. informal and formal procedures to dispute bills and to appeal adverse decisions, including the Commission's address, website, and telephone number;
e. specific steps, printed in a conspicuous fashion, that may be taken by the consumer to avoid termination of service;
f. the date on which payment arrangements must be made to avoid termination of service; and
g. subject to the provision of Subsection R746-200-1(E), Customer Information, a conspicuous statement, in Spanish, that the notice is a termination of service notice and that the utility has a Spanish edition of its customer information pamphlet and whether it has personnel available during regular business hours to communicate with Spanish-speaking customers.
2. At least 48 hours before termination of service is scheduled, the utility shall make good faith efforts to notify the account holder or an adult member of the household, by mail, by telephone or by a personal visit to the residence. If personal notification has not been made either directly by the utility or by the customer in response to a mailed notice, the utility shall leave a written termination of service notice at the residence. Personal notification, such as a visit to the residence or telephone conversation with the customer, is required only during the winter months, October 1 through March 31. Other months of the year, the mailed 48-hour notice can be the final notice before the termination of service.
If termination of service is not accomplished within 15 business days following the 48-hour notice, the utility company will follow the same procedures for another 48-hour notice.
3. A public utility shall send duplicate copies of 10-day or 30-day termination of service notices to a third party designated by the account holder and shall make reasonable efforts to personally contact the third party designated by the account holder before termination of service occurs, if the third party resides within its service area. A utility shall inform its account holders of the third-party notification procedure at the time of application for service and at least once each year.
4. In rental property situations where the tenant is not the account holder and that fact is known to the utility, the utility shall post a notice of proposed termination of service on the premises in a conspicuous place and shall make reasonable efforts to give actual notice to the occupants by personal visits or other appropriate means at least five calendar days before the proposed termination of service. The posted notice shall contain the information listed in Subsection R746-200-7(G)(1). This notice provision applies to residential premises when the account holder has requested termination of service or the account holder has a delinquent bill. If nonpayment is the basis for the termination of service, the utility shall also advise the tenants that they may continue to receive utility service for an additional 30 days by paying the charges due for the 30-day period just past.
H. Termination of Service -- Upon expiration of the notice of proposed termination of service, the public utility may terminate residential utility service. Except for service diversion or for safety considerations, utility service shall not be disconnected between Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 9:00 a.m. or on legal holidays recognized by Utah, or other times the utility's business offices are not open for business. Service may be disconnected only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
I. Customer-Requested Termination of Service --
1. A customer shall advise a public utility at least three days in advance of the day on which the customer wants service disconnected to the customer's residence. The public utility shall disconnect the service within four working days of the requested disconnect date. The customer shall not be liable for the services rendered to or at the address or location after the four days, unless access to the meter has been delayed by the customer.
2. A customer who is not an occupant at the residence for which termination of service is requested shall advise the public utility at least 10 days in advance of the day on which the customer wants service disconnected and sign an affidavit that the customer is not requesting termination of service as a means of evicting the customer's tenants. Alternatively, the customer may sign an affidavit that there are no occupants at the residence for which termination of service is requested and thereupon the disconnection may occur within four days of the requested disconnection date.
J. Restrictions Upon Termination of Service Practices -- A public utility shall not use termination of service practices other than those set forth in these rules. A utility shall have the right to use or pursue legal methods to ensure collections of obligations due it.
K. Policy Statement Regarding Elderly and Disabled -- The state recognizes that the elderly and disabled may be seriously affected by termination of utility service. In addition, the risk of inappropriate termination of service may be greater for the elderly and disabled due to communication barriers that may exist by reason of age or infirmity. Therefore, this section is specifically intended to prevent inappropriate terminations of service which may be hazardous to these individuals. In particular, Subsection R746-200-7(G), requiring adequate notice of impending terminations of service, including notification to third parties upon the request of the account holder, Subsection R746-200-7(D)(1), restricting termination of service when the termination of service will cause or aggravate a serious illness or infirmity of a person living in the residence, and Subsection R746-200-7(D)(2), restricting terminations of service to residences when life-supporting equipment is in use, are intended to meet the special needs of elderly and disabled persons, as well as those of the public in general.
L. Load Limiter as a Substitute for Termination of Service, Electric Utilities --
1. An electric utility may, but only with the customer's consent, install a load limiter as an alternative to terminating electric service for non-payment of a delinquent account or for failure to comply with the terms of a deferred payment agreement or Commission order. Conditions precedent to the termination of electric service must be met before the installation of a load limiter.
2. Disputes about the level of load limitation are subject to the informal review procedure of Subsection R746-200-8.
3. Electric utilities shall submit load limiter policies and procedures to the Commission for their review before the implementation and use of those policies.
A. A person who is unable to resolve a dispute with the utility concerning a matter subject to Public Service Commission jurisdiction may obtain informal review of the dispute by a designated employee within the Division of Public Utilities. This employee shall investigate the dispute, try to resolve it, and inform both the utility and the consumer of his findings within five business days from receipt of the informal review request. Upon receipt of a request for informal review, the Division employee shall, within one business day, notify the utility that an informal complaint has been filed. Absent unusual circumstances, the utility shall attempt to resolve the complaint within five business days. In no circumstances shall the utility fail to respond to the informal complaint within five business days. The response shall advise the complainant and the Division employee regarding the results of the utility's investigation and a proposed solution to the dispute or provide a timetable to complete any investigation and propose a solution. The utility shall make reasonable efforts to complete any investigation and resolve the dispute within 30 calendar days. A proposed solution may be that the utility request that the informal complaint be dismissed if, in good faith, it believes the complaint is without merit. The utility shall inform the Division employee of the utility's response to the complaint, the proposed solution and the complainant's acceptance or rejection of the proposed solution and shall keep the Division employee informed as to the progress made with respect to the resolution and final disposition of the informal complaint. If, after 30 calendar days from the receipt of a request for informal review, the Division employee has received no information that the complainant has accepted a proposed solution or otherwise completely resolved the complaint with the utility, the complaint shall be presumed to be unresolved.
B. Mediation -- If the utility or the complainant determines that they cannot resolve the dispute by themselves, either of them may request that the Division attempt to mediate the dispute. When a mediation request is made, the Division employee shall inform the other party within five business days of the mediation request. The other party shall either accept or reject the mediation request within ten business days after the date of the mediation request, and so advise the mediation-requesting party and the Division employee. If mediation is accepted by both parties or the complaint continues to be unresolved 30 calendar days after receipt, the Division employee shall further investigate and evaluate the dispute, considering both the customer's complaint and the utility's response, their past efforts to resolve the dispute, and try to mediate a resolution between the complainant and the utility. Mediation efforts may continue for 30 days or until the Division employee informs the parties that the Division has determined that mediation is not likely to result in a mutually acceptable resolution, whichever is shorter.
C. Division Access to Information During Informal Review or Mediation -- The utility and the complainant shall provide documents, data or other information requested by the Division, to evaluate the complaint, within five business days of the Division's request, if reasonably possible or as expeditiously as possible, if they cannot be provided within five business days.
D. Commission Review -- If the utility has proposed that the complaint be dismissed from informal review for lack of merit and the Division concurs in the disposition, if either party has rejected mediation or if mediation efforts are unsuccessful and the Division has not been able to assist the parties in reaching a mutually accepted resolution of the informal dispute, or the dispute is otherwise unresolved between the parties, the Division in all cases shall inform the complainant of the right to petition the Commission for a review of the dispute, and shall make available to the complainant a standardized complaint form with instructions approved by the Commission. The Division itself may petition the Commission for review of a dispute in any case which the Division determines appropriate. While a complainant is proceeding with an informal or a formal review or mediation by the Division or a Commission review of a dispute, no termination of service shall be permitted, if any amounts not disputed are paid when due, subject to the utility's right to terminate service pursuant to R746-200-7(F), Termination of Service Without Notice.
E. Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule (R746-200-8), a customer who has provided to a public utility a life-supporting equipment statement and who has received the 30-day written notice of proposed termination of service described in R746-200-7.D.2 may bypass informal review and receive an expedited hearing before the Commission if the Commission receives a written complaint and request for a hearing from the customer within 10 calendar days after the date the notice is postmarked.
The Commission, upon its own motion or upon the petition of any person, may initiate formal or investigative proceedings upon matters arising out of informal complaints.
A. A residential account holder who claims that a regulated utility has violated a provision of these customer service rules, other Commission rules, company tariff, or other approved company practices may use the informal and formal grievance procedures. If considered appropriate, the Commission may assess a penalty pursuant to Section 54-7-25.
B. Fines collected shall be used to assist low income Utahns to meet their basic energy needs.
public utilities, rules, utility service shutoff
May 27, 2015
November 28, 2012
54-4-1; 54-4-7; 54-7-9; 54-7-25
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R746, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Service Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.