FAQ

COMMONWEALTH UTILITIES CORPORATION

Frequently Asked CUC Billing and Customer Service Questions

Question:  How much does it cost to change account names?

Answer:  Changing account name is essentially the same as opening a new account.  The new account holder(s) will need to complete an application.  Once the application is approved and the account is ready to be opened, a security deposit will need to be paid.  For residential accounts, the security deposit for electric service is the higher of $185 or the average monthly household consumption (unless there is basis for a lower deposit), and $40 for water or the average monthly household consumption.

 

Question:  What is the cost to add a name to an existing account?

Answer:  Adding a name to an existing account is not classified as a name change and will not result in additional charges.

 

Question:  Are there any special charges to pay for reconnection of my utility services if they have been disconnected for non-payment?

Answer:  Residential customers will need to pay a $60 reconnection fee and a security deposit equal to the average of the two highest month’s charges in past 12 months.  Commercial customers will need to pay a reconnection fee of the higher of $150 or 10% of the average month, using the 2 highest billing months out of the past 12 months.  They will also be required to pay a security deposit equal to 2 months usage based on the average of the 2 highest months out of the past 12 months.

 

Question:  What is the water consumption by farmers?

Answer:  Currently, there is no agricultural tariff, therefore CUC has no customers defined as farmers, making no data available.

 

Question:  How do I get a prepaid meter?

Answer:  At the present time, CUC is out of prepaid meters. We are expecting meters to arrive in 2-3  months. If you wish to get on a wait list to obtain a prepaid meter, the process is a very simple one.  The first step is to complete an application for service.  Then, if you are a renter, you will need to submit written permission from your landlord that it is permissible for CUC to install the prepaid meter.  This is needed because CUC will be drilling holes and running lines from the meter to the control station (which is located inside your home).  An installation fee of $60 will need to be paid, and any outstanding balance on your existing CUC account will need to be paid (extended payment terms of those balances are available for those customers installing prepaid meters).

 

Question:  Are LEAC charges assessed on prepaid meter usage?

Answer:  Yes. Prepaid meter customer purchase tokens based on the same rates that a customer on a regular meter gets billed.

 

Question:  How do I dispute a bill?

Answer:  Billing disputes need to be made in writing.  You can either submit a letter to CUC, or fill in a dispute form available in the Customer Service office.  Please be as specific as possible when filing your dispute.  For example, “My last bill for power usage was for 1500 kWh.  However, all my previous bills were never over 1000 kWh, and nothing has changed at my home” is much better than “My last power was too high.”  Also, please file your dispute within 60 days of your first indication of a problem.  It is very difficult to investigate and resolve problems if they are really old.  This is why the regulations require the dispute be filed within 60 days of billing or when you first become aware of the problem.  CUC will issue a written response to your dispute within 20 days of receipt.  If you are not satisfied with CUC’s response, you can request a hearing by an administrative hearing officer.  This needs to be done in writing, within ten days of your receipt of CUC’s response.

 

Question:  My recent water bills have been much higher than normal, and CUC had informed me that leaks on my property are the reason.  Can I get any relief from these charges?

Answer:  CUC has recently implemented a policy to provide a credit of up to 90 days of water charges (in excess of average historical charges) to address this problem.  Given the average billing lag of 35-45 days, customers are not immediately aware of problems caused by leaks, and it can take CUC several weeks to investigate the complaint.  Therefore, the credit will be issued upon request.  This is a one-time credit only.

 

Question:  My account was disconnected for non-payment and I want to get my services reconnected. Why do I have to pay additional security deposit before my account can be reconnected?

Answer:  The security deposit for residential customer should be equivalent to a one month bill. If your security deposit is sufficient at the time you come in to reconnect your account, additional deposit will not be required. If your deposit is less than your high average one-month bill, only the additional amount is required.

 

Question:  How many days do I have to pay my bill before I get disconnected?

Answer:  You have 15 days from your bill date to pay your account. The first 15 days is your current period. On the 16th day, CUC mails you a delinquency/disconnection notice. You have another 14 days grace period from the date of the notice to pay your past due charges. That is a total of 30 days from the date of your bill. If your account remains delinquent by the 31st day or the next day after the due date on your delinquency notice, your services will be disconnected for non-payment.

 

Question:  Why is CUC’s LEAC rate still the same or higher when the price of gas at the gas stations has gone down? 

Answer:  The rate is adjusted by the changes in the price of diesel (not the price of gas) and that is finalized by the CPUC. 

 

Question:  Who calculates and determines the LEAC rate?

Answer:  The LEAC is calculated by CUC and approved by the CPUC.

 

Question:  Why is water service more expensive than electric service?

Answer:  Generally, your water bill should be less than your electric bill unless you are running a business that uses a lot of water or you are a government department.  (Water rate for government is much higher than other customer classes).  If you are a residential customer and your water bill is higher than your electric one, then you may have a leak in the house plumbing or water is being wasted.