Rules and Regulations

Schedule of Rules and Regulations

  1. Scope. This Schedule of Rules and Regulations is a part of all contracts for receiving electric service from Distributor, and applies to all service received from Distributor, whether the service is based upon contract, agreement, signed application, or otherwise. A copy of this schedule, together with a copy of Distributor’s Schedule of Rates and Charges, shall be kept open to inspection at the offices of Distributor. For additional information on information to customers, see Information to Customers section 5 in the Services Practice Policies document.
  1. Application for Service. Each prospective Customer desiring electric service may be required to sign the Distributor’s standard form of application for service or contract before service is supplied by the Distributor.
  1. Deposit. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority shall require the Applicant for service to place on deposit an acceptable security deposit as a guarantee of payment for utility services provided. The deposit as defined shall secure the Fort Payne Improvement Authority from significant financial losses resulting from the non-payment of utility bills.

For the purpose of this policy, “acceptable security” will mean:

  • An open-ended irrevocable letter of credit from a Chartered American Bank or Credit Union for Non-Residential consumers only; or
  • Payment by cash, check, money order, or security bond for residential or non-residential consumers.

Deposit amounts for residential accounts will be based on credit rating.  The credit rating shall be based upon the customer’s or applicant’s credit history with the Fort Payne Improvement Authority and as reported by a general accepted credit reporting agency.

Deposit amounts for business and commercial accounts will be based on the estimated bill for the account.

Utility service shall not be granted until such time that a deposit is made.

For additional information on deposit policy see the security deposit policy in the Service Practice Policies.

      1. Point of Delivery. The point of delivery is the point, as designated by the Distributor, on Customer’s premises where current is to be delivered to building or premises. All wiring and equipment beyond this point of delivery shall be provided and maintained by Customer at no expense to Distributor.  The Point of Delivery is normally at the point where the service wire enters the weather head or high side of the meter.

      2. Customer’s Wiring–Standards. All wiring of Customer must conform to Distributor’s requirements and accepted modern standards, as exemplified by the requirements of the National Electric Safety Code and the National Electric Code.

      3. Inspections. Distributor shall have the right, but shall not be obligated to inspect any installation before electricity is introduced or at any later time, and reserves the right to reject any wiring or appliances not in accordance with Distributor’s standards; but such inspection or failure to inspect or reject shall not render Distributor liable or responsible for any loss or damage resulting from defects in the installation, wiring or appliances, or from violation of Distributor’s rules, or from accidents which may occur upon Customer’s premises. Customer warrants that the premises are ready to receive power upon application for service, or otherwise makes payment to authorize service activation.

      4. Underground Service Lines. Customers desiring underground service lines from Distributor’s overhead system must bear the excess cost incident thereto. Specifications and terms for such construction will be furnished by Distributor on request.

      5. Customer’s Responsibility for Distributor’s Property. All meters, service connections, and other equipment furnished by Distributor shall be, and remain, the property of Distributor. Customer shall provide a space for and exercise proper care to protect the property of Distributor on its premises, and, in the event of loss or damage to Distributor’s property arising from neglect of Customer to care for same, the cost of the necessary repairs or replacements shall be paid by Customer.

      6. Rights of Access. Distributor’s identified employees shall have access to Customer’s premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading meters, testing, repairing, removing, or exchanging any or all equipment belonging to Distributor.

      7. Billing. Bills will be rendered monthly and shall be paid at the office of Distributor or at other locations designated by Distributor. Failure to receive bill will not release Customer from payment obligation. Should bills not be paid by due date specified on bill, Distributor may at any time thereafter, upon (5) days’ written notice to Customer, disconnect service. Bills paid after due date specified on bill may be subject to additional charges. Should the due date of bill fall on a Sunday or holiday, the business day next following the due date will be held as a day of grace for delivery of payment. Remittances received by mail after the due date will not be subject to such additional charges if the incoming envelope bears United States Postal Service date stamp of the due date or any date prior thereto. For additional information on billing see Billing Section in the Service Practices Policies.

      8. Discontinuance of Service by Distributor. Distributor may refuse to connect or may discontinue service for the violation of any of its Rules and Regulations, or for violation of any of the provisions of the Schedule of Rates and Charges, or of the application of Customer or contract with Customer. Distributor may discontinue service to customer for the theft of current or the appearance of current theft devices on the premises of Customer. The discontinuance of service by Distributor for any causes as stated in this rule does not release Customer from his obligation to Distributor for the payment of minimum bills as specified in application of Customer or contract with Customer. For additional information on Discontinuance of Service see Termination of Electric Service Section in the Service Practice Policies.

      9. Connection, Reconnection, and Disconnection Charges. Distributor may establish and collect standard charges to cover the reasonable average cost, including administration, of connection or reconnecting service, or disconnecting service as provided above. Higher charges may be established and collected when connections and reconnections are performed after normal office hours, or when special circumstances warrant.

      10. Termination of Contract by Customer. Customers who have fulfilled their contract terms and wish to discontinue service must give at least three (3) days’ written notice to that effect, unless contract specifies otherwise. Notice to discontinue service prior to expiration of contract term will not relieve Customer from any minimum or guaranteed payment under any contract or rate.

      11. Service Charges for Temporary Service. Customers requiring electric service on a temporary basis may be required by Distributor to pay all costs for connection and disconnection incidental to the supplying and removing of service. This rule applies to circuses, carnivals, fairs, temporary construction, and the like.

      12. Interruption of Service. Distributor will use reasonable diligence in supplying current, but shall not be liable for breach of contract in the event of, or for loss, injury, or damage to persons or property resulting from, interruptions in service, excessive or inadequate voltage, single-phasing, or otherwise unsatisfactory service, whether or not caused by negligence.

      13. Shortage of Electricity. In the event of an emergency or other condition causing a shortage in the amount of electricity for Distributor to meet the demand on its system, Distributor may, by an allocation method deemed equitable by Distributor, fix the amount of electricity to be made available for use by Customer and /or may otherwise restrict the time during which Customer may make use of electricity and the uses which Customer may make of electricity. If such actions become necessary, Customer may request a variance because of unusual circumstances including matters adversely affecting the public health, safety and welfare. If Customer fails to comply with such allocation or restriction, Distributor may take such remedial actions as it deems appropriate under the circumstances including temporarily disconnecting electric service and charging additional amounts because of the excess use of electricity. The provisions of the Section entitled Interruption of Service of this Schedule of Rules and Regulations are applicable to any such allocation or restriction.

      14. Voltage Fluctuations Caused by Customer. Electric service must not be used in such a manner as to cause unusual fluctuations or disturbances to Distribution’s system. Distributor may require Customer, at his own expense, to install suitable apparatus which will reasonably limit such fluctuations.

      15. Additional Load. The service connection, transformers, meters, and equipment supplied by Distributor for each Customer have definite capacity, and no addition to the equipment or load connected thereto will be allowed except by consent of Distributor. Failure to give notice of additions or changes in load, and to obtain Distributor’s consent for same, shall render Customer liable for any damage to any of Distributor’s lines or equipment caused by the additional or changed installation.

      16. Standby and Resale Service. All purchased electricity service (other than emergency or standby service) used on the premises of Customer shall be supplied exclusively by Distributor, and Customer shall not, directly or indirectly, sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of the electric service or any part thereof.

      17. Notice of Trouble. Customer shall notify Distributor immediately should the service be unsatisfactory for any reason, or should there be any defects, trouble, or accidents affecting the supply of electricity. Such notices, if verbal, should be confirmed in writing.

      18. Non-Standard Service. Customer shall pay the cost of any special installation necessary to meet his peculiar requirement for service at other than standard voltages, or for the supply of closer voltage regulation than required by standard practice.

      19. Meter Tests. Distributor will, at its own expense, make periodical tests and inspections of its meters in order to maintain a high standard of accuracy. Distributor will make additional tests or inspections of its meters at the request of Customer. If tests made at Customer’s request show that the meter is accurate within 2%, slow or fast, no adjustment will be made in Customer’s bill, and Distributor’s standard testing charge will be paid by Customer. In case the test shows meter to be in excess of the two percent (2%) fast or slow, an adjustment shall be made in Customer’s bill over a period of not over thirty (30) days prior to date of such test, and cost of making test shall be borne by Distributor.

      20. Relocation of Outdoor Lighting Facilities. Distributor shall, at the request of Customer, relocate or change existing Distributor-owned equipment. Customer shall reimburse Distributor for such changes at actual cost including appropriate overheads.

      21. Billing Adjustments to Standard Periods. The demand charges and the blocks in the energy charges set forth in the rate schedules are based on billing periods of approximately one month. In the case of the first billing of new accounts (temporary service, cotton gins, and other seasonal customers excepted) and final billings of all accounts (temporary service excepted) where the period covered by the billing involves fractions of month, the demand charges and the blocks of the energy charge will be adjusted to a basis proportionate with the period of time during which service is extended.

      22. Revisions. These Rules and Regulations may be revised, amended, supplemented, or otherwise changed from time to time, without notice. Such changes, when effective, shall have the same force as the present Rules and Regulations.

      23. Conflict. In case of conflict between any provisions of any rate schedule and the schedule of Rules and Regulations, the rate schedule shall apply.


      Fort Payne Improvement Authority
      Services Practices Polices
      Schedule of Rules and Regulations

      1. Security Deposits

      A.  Residential:

      1. All residential property shall be subjected to the following utility service security deposits, but should not exceed twice the highest monthly bill::
        1. $ 75.00 for an applicant with good credit (850-668 Vantage Score)
        2. $ 150.00 for an applicant with fair credit (667-575 Vantage Score)
        3. $ 250.00 for an applicant with bad credit (574 or below Vantage Score)
      2. A customer or applicant with an outstanding bill, will be required to pay the outstanding bill and a $250.00 deposit.
      3. In lieu of a deposit, residential accounts are allowed to sign up for Pre-Paid Metering (PPM) as described below.

      B.  All Commercial, Industrial, and all other non-residential accounts:

      1. All commercial, Industrial, and other non- residential accounts shall be subjected to utility service security deposits based on two (2) times the average utility bill for the same or similar business during the immediately preceding twelve (12) months.
      2. When actual billings for a comparable business are not available to establish the deposit for a commercial or industrial connection, Fort Payne Improvement Authority shall estimate the needed two (2) month utility consumption and anticipate billing based on information provided by applicant.

      C. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority reserves the right and authority to require customers with a history of past delinquency with Fort Payne Improvement Authority, a poor credit rating as evident by a credit report, bankruptcy and/or any other circumstances which places the Fort Payne Improvement Authority at financial risk, to provide a maximum deposit of two (2) times the customer’s highest monthly bill.

      D. All security deposits shall remain with the Fort Payne Improvement Authority until the termination of said utility service with neither express nor imputed payment of interest on said deposits as retained. Deposits greater than one-month average bill and retained longer than twelve (12) months shall earn interest at the rate of the Fort Payne Improvement Authority’s pass book savings account and paid annually. The deposit balance including earned interest is accounted for in order to credit the customer’s account. Deposit balance (including interest) and adequacy is subject to review by the customer and the Fort Payne Improvement Authority.

      2. Application of deposits to Delinquent Utility Bills:

      A. In the event that an account becomes delinquent, the deposit or deposits may be applied against the account and the service shall be disconnected.

      B. In the case of disconnection, service will not be reestablished until a new deposit is posted and the account is paid in full.

      C. Should the deposit in part exceed the delinquency outstanding against all utility charges then due, then the remaining of the deposit is to be refunded to the customer.

      D. Utility service will not be reestablished until such time as a new deposit is posted and the account balance is paid in full.

      3. Refund of Deposit upon Service Termination:

      A. When a residential or commercial/industrial customer intends to vacate a property where utility service has been established, it is the customer’s responsibility to notify the Fort Payne Improvement Authority of the need for a meter reading and final bill.

      B. Upon notice of utility service termination, a final meter reading shall establish all charges for service then due.

      C. The final utility bill will be due for payment. The customer may request that the security deposit and any earned interest be applied to the utility bill, any remaining funds will be returned to the customer.

      D. Any and all charges on the final bill that exceed the deposit on reserve shall be the responsibility of the customer for payment.

      E. The right to the deposit may not be assigned or delivered to any other person, and the right of refund is limited to the person making the deposit or to his or her heirs or fiduciaries.

      4. Pre-Paid Metering (PPM)

      A. Residential accounts are eligible to sign-up for PPM and will not be required to provide a deposit. PPM is a pay as you go account that requires the customer to establish an initial credit balance of $50 in their account to have power turned on at their residence.

      B. Customers will be required to maintain a positive balance in their account or service will automatically be disconnected.

      C. Customers with delinquent accounts will be required to enroll in the debt management program, requiring 25% of their payments be applied to their delinquent balance until paid in full.

      D. Customers should read and understand all of the rules associated with the PPM Program when enrolling.


      1. Bills will be rendered monthly and shall be paid 15 days from the date on the bill. Bills that are paid after the due date on the billing statement provided shall be subject to an additional charge of 5%. Payment will be required to be in the Fort Payne Improvement Authority business office by the due date to avoid late payment charges. Failure to receive a bill will not release a customer from its payment obligations. Should bills not be paid by the due date specified on the bill, services may be discontinued as set out in the “Termination of Services” section herein. Should the due date fall on a weekend or a holiday, the next business day following the due date will be held as a day of grace for the payment to be received.
      2. Fort Payne Improvement Authority allocates payments over all unpaid charges, paying the older charges first. Absent a contractual arrangement, Fort Payne Improvement Authority does not allocate payments to include or exclude specific charges.
      3. If Fort Payne Improvement Authority receives a non-sufficient funds (NSF) notice or is unable to charge bill payment to the customer’s account, the event will be considered as a NSF payment, and the customer will be charged according to the schedule of charges. (See Miscellaneous Fees) Two NSF payment in a twelve (12) month period will disallow all but verifiable funds (cash, money order, bank cashier’s check, etc.) payment for the following twelve (12) months.
      4. Service charges established by Fort Payne Improvement Authority may be added to a customer’s account to cover the cost of collection efforts in the processing of dishonored checks, hand-delivered notices by field representatives, and the disconnection/reconnection of services (See Miscellaneous Fees)
      5. When an underbilling or overbilling occurs, Fort Payne Improvement Authority shall provide the customer with notice of the circumstances, period of time, and amount of adjustment. If the date of error can reasonably be established, the undercharge or overcharge shall be computed back to such date. If no date can reasonably be established, Fort Payne Improvement Authority shall refund or rebill for twelve (12) months of usage. In no event shall underbilling or overbilling be adjusted for a period of more than three (3) years usage.
        1. Fort Payne Improvement Authority may waive under billing or rebilling when the cost to Fort Payne Improvement Authority of rebilling makes it uneconomical.
        2. When a customer is overbilled, Fort Payne Improvement Authority will refund the excess amount to the customer or credit the customer’s account with the amount.
        3. When a customer is required to pay for an underbilling, the customer may enter into a time-payment agreement at Fort Payne Improvement Authority’s discretion.
        4. Estimated readings are not considered undercharges or overcharges.
        5. This policy does not apply to theft, meter tampering or fraud.

      Termination of Electric Service

      1. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority may discontinue electric service for the violation of any of the Schedule of Rules and Regulations or of the Schedule of Rates and Charges. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority also may discontinue electrical service to the customer for the theft of services or the appearance of theft on the customer’s premise, for safety reasons or to be compliant with any state, city or county regulations that require disconnection for safety reasons. Any and all electrical services will be discontinued to customers with past due accounts except as provided in this rule. Payment in full (including late fee charges) will be required before service is restored.
      2. An additional deposit amount may also be required. The termination of service by the Fort Payne Improvement Authority for any reason in this rule does not release the customer from the obligation for any amounts due to the Fort Payne Improvement Authority, including the payment of minimum bills as specified in contracts.
      3. If payment is not received by the due date on the bill, the Fort Payne Improvement Authority may discontinue service 11 days after providing a separate written notice by mail to the customer of the electric service and the available rights and remedies to dispute the bill with the Fort Payne Improvement Authority, including the Customer Service phone number 256-845-0671. No further notice will be provided before electric service is disconnected.
      4. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority evaluates weather conditions daily at for Fort Payne, Alabama 35967. In the event the forecast temperature is expected to exceed 98 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or is expected to be below 32 degrees (F) on that day, the Fort Payne Improvement Authority will postpone the disconnection of service of residential customers scheduled for such disconnection due to non-payment. Where disconnection is postponed due to extreme weather condition, the postponement will not extend beyond the extreme weather condition.
      5. Upon the approval of Fort Payne Improvement Authority medical necessity form, disconnection of service will be postponed for 30 days to allow customers time to make payment or alternative shelter arrangements. The medical necessity form must be completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in the state of Alabama certifying that the disconnection of electric service would create a life-threatening medical situation for the customer or other permanent resident of the customer’s household. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that the Certificate of Medical Emergency form (which can be obtained at the Fort Payne Improvement Authority office, see attachment “B”) has been approved by the Fort Payne Improvement Authority. A life-threatening medical condition does not relieve a customer of the obligation to pay for electric service, including any late fees incurred or other applicable charges. The Fort Payne Improvement Authority will only grant this postponement for termination once in a twelve-month period unless otherwise approved by the General Manager. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late fees, is not received by the end of the 30-day postponement period, electric service will be disconnected without further notice.

      Information to Customers

      1. A copy of this Schedule of Rules and Regulations together with a copy of the Fort Payne Improvement Authority Schedule of Rates and Charges, which was approved in a public Fort Payne Improvement Authority Board of Directors’ meeting, shall be kept open to inspection at the offices of the Fort Payne Improvement Authority located at 406 3rd Street SE, Fort Payne, AL 35967. Furthermore, the Fort Payne Improvement Authority will provide information regarding rates, Service Practice Policies, and guidelines to customers via the website . Brochures and print media will also be available in our office. A customer will also receive such information upon application for electrical service, and at any time upon request.
      2. All retail rate actions initiated by the Fort Payne Improvement Authority will be communicated to the public via print or electronic media.
      3. Upon request by the customer the Fort Payne Improvement Authority will make available a customer’s energy consumption data for the prior 12-month period.

      Fort Payne Improvement Authority Board Approved May 11, 2021:
      Original signed by Wallace E. Smith