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Notice of Discontinuation of Energy Service

YOUR RIGHTS CONCERNING DISCONTINUATION OF ENERGY SERVICE

 

Under Rule 3407-3409 or 4407-4409 of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), you have certain rights related to discontinuance and restoration of your energy service. These rights are set out below and in the disconnect notice. 

You may avoid discontinuation of service by paying at least one-tenth of the amount shown on the disconnect notice before the disconnect date and entering into a payment arrangement with us to pay off your past-due balances. To avoid discontinuation or to restore discontinued service, we may require payment by cash or certified funds. 

If you are a residential customer and discontinuance of service would aggravate or create a medical condition or emergency, you can delay service disconnection for 90 days by providing us with a medical certificate.  The certificate must be from a Colorado licensed physician or health practitioner licensed to prescribe and treat patients. It must clearly show the name of the customer or individual whose illness is at issue and the Colorado medical identification number, the telephone number, and the signature of the physician or health care practitioner acting under a physician's authority who certifies the medical emergency.  The certification is effective on the date it is received by the utility and is valid to prevent discontinuance of service for 90 days.  A medical certification may be invoked only once in any 12-month period.  

Financial assistance may be available to assist qualified low-income customers in paying their utility bill. For more detailed information please call 2-1-1 or visit www.call-211.org or contact Black Hills Energy at 1-888-890-5554.  

You are entitled to a hearing, in person, before one of our customer service managers or the manager's designees, according to procedures adopted by us for such hearings. You can contact us at 1-888-890-5554

You have the right to make an informal complaint to the CPUC by letter, or telephone 303-894-2070. Outside the (303) calling area 1-800-456-0858 or in person at 1560 Broadway, Suite 250, Denver, CO 80202. You have the right to submit and dispute, relative to this notice, to a formal hearing by filing a written formal complaint with the CPUC as provided in the Commission's rules. Also, you may file with the complaint a motion for an order to the utility not to discontinue service pending the outcome of the hearing. The Commission may grant such motion upon such terms as it deems reasonable including the posting of a deposit, or bond with the utility or timely payment on all undisputed charges. 

Restoration of service due to discontinuance during normal business hours $55.00

Restoration of service due to discontinuance after normal business hours $135.00 pertains to:
•    between 12 Noon on Friday and 8 a.m. the following Monday.
•    between 12 Noon on the day prior to and 8:00 a.m. on the day following any state or federal holiday.
•    between 12 Noon on the day prior to and 8:00 a.m. on the day following any day during which the Company’s local office is not open.

The Company shall restore service if the Customer does any of the following: 

  1. pays in full the amount for regulated charges shown on the notice and any deposit and/or fees as may be specifically required by the Company's tariff in the event of discontinuance of service. 
  2. pays any reconnection and collection charges specifically required by the Company's tariff, enters into an installment payment plan, and makes the first installment payment, unless the cause for discontinuance was the Customer's breach of such an arrangement.
  3. presents a medical certificate, as provided in Commission Rule 4407(e)(IV); 
  4. demonstrates to the Company that the cause for discontinuance, if other than non-payment, has been cured

Unless prevented by safety concerns or exigent circumstances, the Company shall restore service to a customer who has completed an action in the above paragraph within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of the time that the customer completes an action in the above paragraph, or within 12 hours of the time that the customer completes an action in the above paragraph if the customer pays applicable after-hours charges and fees established in tariffs. The utility will exercise its best efforts to restore service for customers meeting requirements of the above paragraph on the same day of a service discontinuance.

The Company shall offer to all residential and commercial firm customers in good standing a Budget Billing Plan, which allows the customer to pay a more uniform amount and avoid spikes in bill amounts, such as those caused by high gas prices or severe cold weather. The customer’s account will be calculated monthly, and the budget bill amount will not change unless it is at least ten percent (10%) greater than or at least ten percent (10%) less than the last monthly budget bill amount. The customer’s account will have an annual recalculation to true-up the previous year’s actual bills versus budget bill payments. Such customers may enroll in the program during any month of the year. Participation in this program would be at the Customer's option and request, and all normal billing and consumption information would be shown on the billing statements in addition to the monthly Budget Billing Plan payment amount. 

"If you are an occupant of a service address, not a customer of record, and have a court ordered protection order against a customer of record, please contact Black Hills Energy to either transfer service to yourself or create a new account.  In such instances, you may be responsible for any balances on the account but not for fees incurred due to non-payment. Discontinuance of service may also be delayed, and service may be temporarily restored and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.”

The Company does not offer a Budget Billing Plan to Irrigation and Seasonal Customers.

The Company may make available to customers not in good standing a "Modified" Budget Billing Plan, the terms and conditions of which are set out below.

The Company will postpone disconnection of residential customers when the morning forecast by the National Weather Service forecasts that the temperature will be 35 degrees Fahrenheit or lower during the following 24 hours.

The Company will not disconnect service during the following times:

a. if it is outside the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M Monday through Thursday;

b. if it is outside the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 12:00 Noon on Friday;

c. if it is between 12:00 Noon the day before a state or federal holiday and 8:00 A.M. the day following a state or federal holiday; or

d. if it is between 12:00 Noon the day before Black Hills’ local office is closed and 8:00 A.M. the day following Black Hills’ local office is closed.

INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS COMPANY DUTY TO OFFER:

Residential consumers fulfilling one of the following conditions must be offered installment arrangements including a Modified Budget Billing Plan.

On or before the expiration date of the Notice of Discontinuation pays at least ten (10) percent of the amount shown on the notice and agrees to enter into installment plan arrangements.

On or before the last day covered by a medical certification or extension thereof pays at least ten (10) percent of any amount more than thirty (30) days past due and enters into installment plan arrangements.

If service has been discontinued, pays at least any collection and charges authorized by these Rules and Regulations.  However, Company is not obligated to re-establish service if customer has breached previous installment arrangements.

Company will also offer the plan to all residential customers who contact it in response to a Notice of Discontinuation.

BILL HELP RESOURCES

  1. LOW-INCOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LEAP)
    The Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a federally funded program that is run by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and helps eligible Coloradans pay a portion of their winter home heating costs.  The LEAP program works to keep communities warm during the winter (November through April) by providing assistance with heating costs, equipment repair and/or replacement of inoperable heating tools. While the program is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, its aims to help alleviate some of the burdens that come with Colorado's colder months.  To learn more about LEAP, visit the CDHS webpage here: https://cdhs.colorado.gov/leap
  2. BLACK HILLS ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (BHEAP) 
    The purpose of this program is to provide further bill-payment assistance to residential customers who are enrolled in LEAP. Colorado Gas customers who receive LEAP benefits and meet eligibility requirements will be automatically enrolled in BHEAP for one year. For more information about BHEAP, visit our webpage here.
  3. Energy Outreach Colorado
    Energy Outreach Colorado has several programs to help customer with their utility bills. For more information, visit www.energyoutreach.org or call 303-825-8750
  4. Demand Side Management
    Black Hills’ DSM Plan has a wide variety of programs that can help to reduce customer usage.  For a list of DSM programs, including requirements to participate, the benefits of participating, and contact information relating to such programs visit our energy efficiency webpage here:
    blackhillsenergy.com/colorado-gas-residential-rebates

If you are an occupant of a service address, not a customer of record, and have a court ordered protection order against a customer of record, please contact Black Hills Energy to either transfer service to yourself or create a new account. In such instances, you may be responsible for any balances on the account but not for fees incurred due to non-payment. Discontinuance of service may also be delayed, and service may be temporarily restored and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.