Important— If you believe you are being charged for electricity that others are using, call the
Billing Office and we will investigate the matter.
Third Party Notification
All residential customers may choose a third party to receive any notice of service termination. Just
fill out the attached form and return with your electric bill payment. A third party notice may keep
your service from being turned off by mistake.
You may choose a relative, a friend, a member of the clergy, or an agency (such as the Department
of Social Services) to be a third party for you. A third party will receive copies of any Final Termination
Notices we send to you. The third party can contact us and help you work out payment terms with
us. But the third party is NOT responsible for paying your bills.
Access to Your Meter
We read your meter so that we can send you an accurate bill based on the amount of electricity
you use. If we are unable to read your meter for three months in a row, we will request by letter
that you make an appointment for a special reading. We can arrange to read a meter both during
and after working hours.
Note—for your protection, every electric department employee carries a photo-identification card which
you can inspect before they enter your dwelling.
Deferred Payment Agreement
DPA—If you have a financial problem that prevents you from paying your bills, we will work with
you to establish a deferred payment agreement. The agreement must be fair and take account of your
financial circumstances. We may require you make a down payment based on your ability to pay.
After the down payment, you may make payments over a period of time that you and we agree upon.
This agreement may be changed if you show that there are significant changes in your financial condition
beyond your control.
The ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT has a responsibility to provide its customers with safe, reliable and
uninterrupted service. Since you may be entitled to certain protections from turn-offs, it is important
for us to have the information requested below. Please fill in the blanks, and fill in the appropriate
lines. Then sign and date this form, and return it with your electric bill payment. Thank you for helping
us serve you better.
Account No. (as shown on bill): :
D I am 62 years of age or older.
D I live in an apartment building or two-family home, but do not pay own electricity.
I receive: D Public Assistance Q Supplementary Security Income
D Other (kind of assistance):
My identification number is: :
D I have the following hardship/condition(s):
D Medical Hardship (Identify):
D Life Sustaining Equipment (Identify):
D Blind D Other Disability (Identify):
R FReeport 8-4000
Meet with Mayor:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., every Friday
Public Meetings: 8:00 p.m.,
1st and 3rd Mondays of the Month
Your Rights and Responsibilities
As a Residential Electric Customer
As a Residential Electric Customer of the Village of Freeport your rights and responsibilities result
from New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) rules and a new law, the.Home Energy Fair
Practices Act (HEFPA), which is called the "Consumer Bill of Rights."
Complaints, Questions, Problems And Appeals
Contact the Electric Billing Department as soon as possible if you have any complaints, questions,
or problems about your electric service. The address and telephone number of the Electric Billing
Office appear on your bill. Our Electric Billing Office is staffed by Representatives to help you. Our
office hours are 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. If the lines are busy due to the volume of calls they receive
every,day, please call again.
Whether you write, visit,* or phone our Customer Representatives will do their best to handle your
inquiry promptly and considerately. If you do not get a satisfactory answer, further assistance is available
from the Office Supervisor.
If you still are not satisfied, you may appeal by writing to the Consumer Services Division, Public
Service Commission, at Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223, or call the PSC toll-free
HELPLINE at 1-800-342-3377, between the hours of 8:30 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. on business days. The
HELPLINE is staffed by a PSC consumer representative who will investigate your complaint and determine
whether or not the utility has acted properly. /
The PSC also has a special emergency HOTLINE for matters concerning the turn-on or turn-off of
residential electric service. The toll free HOTLINE number-is-1-800-342-3355 and is staffed-from 7:30"
A.M. to 7:30 P.M. every business day.
If you call either the HELPLINE or the HOTLINE after their regular hours of operation, you will be
answered by a recording machine. Be sure to give your area code with your telephone number and
your account number and a Staff Representative will return your call the following business day.
While your appeal is being considered by the PSC, the Village cannot turn off your service for your
failure to pay the amount in question. All other billing amounts are payable when due.
The Village has a responsibility to supply electricity to customers in a reliable manner, and you have
a responsibility to pay your electric bills promptly.
When to Pay—The Village bills you for electricity after you use it on a monthly basis. Bills are due
and payable when received. A payment is considered overdue 20 days after you receive the bill. This
is about 23 days after the bill date printed on the bill.
Trustees: Vincent DiCostanzo, Ralph Smith, Victor Cohen, Anna J. Cacciatore; Village Justice: Michael Solomon
Village Clerk: Karen A. Navin; Counsel: William Glacken; Treasurer. Michael Haran
Where to Pay—The most convenient way to pay is by mail, using the return envelope with your
You may also pay in person at the Village Hall, 46 North Ocean Ave.
Balanced Billing—If you want to spread electricity charges evenly over a 12-month period, the Balanced
Billing Plan may help. This payment plan does not reduce your overall energy expenses, but may
help you manage your budget. For more information about the plan, contact the Billing Office.
Billing Accuracy—The Village reads every meter on a monthly basis. Under certain circumstances,
we may have to issue you an estimated bill. Your bill will clearly show that it is an estimate.
If, by using estimated bills, we have understated the amount you owe by 50% of the actual energy
use or $100 (whichever is greater), we must notify you of the fact in writing, and you may make payments
on the difference.
You probably do not have to pay a deposit when you open an account. If we do require a deposit,
the amount is based on two times the average monthly bill. The Public Service Commission rules
govern deposit policies as follows:
Residential Customers— If you are a current Village electric customer or a former customer applying
for a new account, we will not ask you to pay a deposit unless:
1. You have accumulated two consecutive months of overdue payments, OR
2. We have turned off your electric service for non-payment.
If you are over 62 years of age, we will not ask you for a deposit unless your electric service was
turned-off for non-payment within the last six months.
Public Assistance—We can hold a security deposit for one year. If you maintain a good payment record
during that year, we will refund the deposit plus interest (at a rate set by the PSC). Otherwise, we
will hold the deposit, and we will credit interest to your account on a yearly basis.
Final Termination Notice
Service Turn-Off & Turn-On Procedures
Because of non-payment of overdue electric bills, it is sometimes necessary for the Village to turn-off
electric service. This step is NOT taken until all efforts to make satisfactory arrangements for payment
of overdue bills.
Final Termination Notice—Before we can turn-off electric service for an overdue bill or a deposit request,
we must send you a Final Termination Notice. We do not send a Final Termination Notice until you
have failed to pay a bill more than 23 days after it was mailed to you. Once you have received a
Final Termination Notice, you have 15 more days in which to pay the bill, arrange for payment by
signing a deferred payment agreement, or contact us about the bill before service is disconnected.
Service Turn-Off— Your service will be turned off if:
1. -You fail to pay the amount due as shown on the Final Notice Bill, OR
2. You do not work out a deferred payment agreement,
You qualify for the special protections described in
the section on SPECIAL PROTECTIONS.
Time of Service Turn-Off—\Ne are allowed to turn off electric service for non-payment only between
8 A.M. and 4 P.M., Monday through Thursday. We cannot turn off service on a holiday, on the day
before a holiday, on a day before our Electric Billing Office is closed, or for the two-week period
during the Christmas-New Year's season. We can turn off service anytime there are serious safety
problems, and we will restore service as soon as the problem is corrected.
Reconnection of Service—\i we turn off your service, we will reconnect it within 24 hours when:
1. You have either paid the amount due or signed a deferred payment agreement
and made a down payment, OR
2. The PSC directs us to reconnect the service, OR
3. You face a serious threat to your health or safety.
If^^fail to reconnect your service within 24 hours—except, when it is beyond our control, we must
pJPPDU either $25 or $50, depending on the circumstances, for each additional day you are without
If you receive public assistance, we will turn your service back on as soon as we receive a commitment
of payment from the social service agency helping you.
We have the right to charge a fee of $12.00 to turn your service back on.
Hardship Procedures—\r\ accordance with PSC rules, we will continue electric heat-related service
if a person's health or safety is threatened by the lack of heat. We also will refer health or safety
problems to the Department of Social Services. We will NOT turn off electric service in the following
Medical Hardship—If either you or a family member is ill, has a medical condition, or uses a life-support
system; you must file a medical certificate with us from your doctor or local Board of Health,
we will continue your service for 30 days. Briefly, to renew the certificate, either doctor or Board
of Health must explain the medical emergency or why service is needed AND you must satisfactorily
explain why you are unable to pay your utility bills. We will not shut off your service during the emergency,
but you are responsible for your bills. ' '""' ' ' "" ' ""
Important—If you need utility service to operate a life-supporting device, the certificate will remain
in effect as long as the device is needed, but you must renew it every three months.
Elderly (62 or older), Blind or Disabled—If you are 62 years of age or older, blind or disabled, and
all those living with you are too (or not over 18 years old), we will make special attempts to maintain
your electric service. We will contact you by phone or in person at least 72 hours before the turn-off
is scheduled to try to work out a fair payment plan.
If arrangements cannot be made, we will notify the Department of Social Service of the possible turn-off
and will continue service for 15 days. If we ultimately turn off service, we must, within 1.0 days
after that, attempt to reach you and devise a plan for restoring service. If you qualify for protection
under this section, you should immediately notify us by using the attached form and returning it with
your bill payment.
A quarterly payment plan is available if your annual energy cost does not exceed $150.00. For more
information about this plan, contact your Electric Billing Office.
Cold Weather Protections (November 1 to the following April 15)— If you are an electric space-heating
customer, we cannot turn off your service until we have tried to determine if a serious problem with
health or safety would result because of the service turn-off. If we find that service turn-off might
cause serious harm to your health or safety, we must ask the Department of Social Service to investigate
AND we must continue service for at least 15 business days.
Electric Included in Rent Payment—If you pay for your electric service in your rent, and we are notified
that there are tenants in a building, we cannot turn off heat related electric to your dwelling without
giving a written, 10-day notice to each tenant to determine whether or not any tenant has a medical
or other problem which would be worsened by an electric turn-off. If we find a tenant with such a
problem, we must refer them to the Department of Social Services and continue to provide electric
service until the hardship is removed.
Landlord Problems—If you live in an apartment building, rooming house or a two-family house AND
your landlord fails to pay the electric bills for the building, you may be able to have the service kept
on by joining with the other tenants to pay the bill. You have to pay current charges, and you can
deduct the electric charges from your rent. By posting notices on the building and by giving you
a separate notice at least 15 days before the service turn-off, we will notify you if the landlord has
failed to pay. We will also tell you whom to call to work out the problem.
Diversion of Service—If you rent an apartment and pay your own electric bills, you pay only for the
electricity you use in your dwelling. We cannot charge you for electricity used elsewhere in the apartment
building, nor can we turn off your electric service for failing to pay for service outside your
apartment...unless you have agreed with your landlord to pay for such service.
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