Stoughton Utilities (SU) will not require a cash deposit as a condition of new residential service unless we can prove that the customer has an outstanding balance with another Wisconsin electric utility.
For existing residential customers, Stoughton Utilities shall require a cash deposit as a condition of continuation of service if any of the following circumstances apply:
- The customer's service has been disconnected within the last 12-month period for non-payment or violation of SU's utility rules and regulations.
- The customer's initial application for service was falsified.
- The customer has the ability to pay, but accrues a balance over the winter disconnection moratorium that is 80 days or more past due.
- A new customer accrues charges that become 60 or more days past due within the first 8 months of service.
A deposit under this section shall be waived if the customer provides complete and accurate information showing that his/her gross (before any deductions) quarterly income is at or below 200% of the federal income poverty guidelines. A customer must provide this information each time a deposit is requested; e.g., if we waived a deposit for service disconnection in May of 2010, we can again request a deposit for disconnection in August of 2010 or for winter non-payment in 2011, and the customer will need to provide proof of income for the quarter preceding the most recent request.
Stoughton Utilities uses Energy Assistance eligibility as the preferred method of determining if the customer is eligible for a deposit waiver. If the customer qualified for Energy Assistance during the current heating season (defined as September through May), SU will waive any pending deposit request, and refund any deposit already collected. If SU has reason to suspect that the customer's income may have changed since the most recent Energy Assistance approval, additional information may be required from the customer.
When checking a customer's proof of quarterly income, the following may be required from the customer:
- Pay stubs/statements/checks or 1099G , or if self-employed, their most recent 1040 including schedule C, E, or Form 1065 or personal records of income and expenses, or if farm-income, their most recent 1040 including schedule F or personal records of income and expenses;
- Any land contract income;
- Any rental income receipts or records;
- Any SS or SSI benefits;
- Pension check stubs or statements;
- Veteran's benefits stubs or statements;
- Unemployment compensations records;
- Disability, tribal, or worker's compensations records;
- Child support payment stubs, checks, or statements;
- TANF/W2 stubs or statements;
- Any seasonal employment stubs or statements.
Since Badgercare and other health insurance programs have varying requirements that sometimes differ from the federal poverty guidelines, as well as the fact that any such programs may not base their acceptance upon the most recent quarterly income, an acceptance card shall not be considered proof of quarterly income.
A deposit under this section shall be waived if the customer opts to enroll in our AutoPay program, using either a checking/savings account or a credit/debit card account. Prior to enrollment, the customer shall be notified that if they cancel enrollment, or if a withdrawal is refused by the bank for any reason, their enrollment shall be terminated and the deposit due immediately. AutoPay enrollment provides a one-time waiver, and there shall be no second chances given.
If the customer enrolls in AutoPay, enrollment will take effect immediately, and any current balance will be deducted on the next due date. For example, if we waive a deposit in March and the customer has a delinquent balance, AutoPay will deduct the full balance on March 28. AutoPay withdrawal will supersede any previously established Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA). This is by design. SU is only waiving the deposit due to the AutoPay guarantee of timely payment.
The amount of deposit required shall generally be equal to 2 months average bills over the previous 12-month period. For deposits required for winter non-payment the deposit shall equal 4 months average bills over the previous 12-month period.
If a customer again meets any deposit criteria set forth after a deposit has already been calculated for a previous qualifying circumstance (but prior to any of the events mandating a refund) the deposit shall be recalculated using the specification above. If the new amount is higher than the previous amount on file, the customer shall have 30 days to make up the difference. If the new amount is lower than the previously collected amount on file, the original deposit amount shall stand as is. The time period specified for refund will start from the date of the new calculation.
Deposits shall accrue interest from the date a deposit is made to the date it is applied to an account balance or is refunded. SU uses the annual interest rate determined by the Public Service Commission for calculating payable interest.
If SU deducts an arrearage from a customer deposit, we shall require the customer to bring the deposit up to its original amount, and that amount shall be held for 12 months.
SU will refund the deposit of a customer for any of the following reasons:
- The customer makes 12 consecutive prompt payments.
- Upon termination of service and after satisfying all arrearages. If the account is reopened at a different address, the deposit shall be transferred.
Refunds will be made by check, less any account balance outstanding.