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BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES

POLICY NO. 2003-1
ADOPTED 08/28/2003
TENANT OR LANDLORD’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR UTILITIES WHEN RENTAL PROPERTY IS VACATED
Utility services will be terminated upon a tenant’s request when he/she vacates a rental property. The utility service will then revert to the owner of the property. When there is a signed rental lease between the tenant and property owner, and the tenant does not fulfill his/her lease, utilities incurred after the tenant’s final billing will be the responsibility of the property owner to pay.

Brainerd Public Utilities will notify the owner of the vacated property after the tenant’s final billing is done.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2003-2
ADOPTED 08/28/2003
CUSTOMER CREDIT CARDS
Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) customers will be allowed to pay their monthly utility bill by credit or debit card (Mastercard and VISA only) commencing October 1, 2003. The customer will not be charged a convenience fee at this time. However, BPU reserves the right to charge the customer a convenience fee, if deemed necessary, at a future date.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2003-2
Adopted 08/28/2003
Revised 12/20/05
CUSTOMER CREDIT CARDS
Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) customers will be allowed to pay their monthly utility bill by credit or debit card (Mastercard and VISA only) commencing October 1, 2003.

Customers with a monthly utility bill in excess of $2,000 are subject to a three (3) percent convenience fee due to increased costs associated with processing credit card payments. The BPU reserves the right to review credit card limitations and convenience fees at any time.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2003-3
ADOPTED 10/28/2003
REVISED 10/30/07
RECONNECT FEES FOR DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS THAT HAVE BEEN DISCONNECTED
Brainerd Public Utilities will charge the following reconnection fees when an account has been disconnected for a non-payment delinquent bill.

Weekdays 7:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. $ 50.00

Weekdays 3:30 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. $150.00

Weekends and Holidays, all hours $150.00

 

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2003-4
ADOPTED 10/28/2003
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF UTILITY METERS

BPU will administer a zero tolerance program for unauthorized use of utility meters.

When a customer of Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) deliberately commits, authorizes, attempts, solicits, aids, or abets bypassing, tampering, unauthorized connection, or unauthorized metering that results in damages to the utility; or knowingly receives service provided as a result of bypassing, tampering, unauthorized connection, or unauthorized metering, BPU has the authority to bring civil or criminal action per MN Statute 325E.026.

BPU will charge a three month average bill as a deposit to the customer receiving illegal power and/or water for this utility meter, as well as the energy and/or water charges for the period of illegal tampering, the charges described below, and any other charges BPU deems necessary.

BPU may recover double the costs of the actual billing charges incurred; including the costs and expenses for investigation, disconnection, reconnection, service calls, equipment and employees. Trial costs and witness fees of pursuing possible legal action will also be charged to the customer.

 

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2003-5
ADOPTED 12/23/03
REVISED 06/26/12
FEES FOR WATER METERS

Effective January 1, 2004, Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will charge for all residential water meters. Meters must be purchased from BPU and BPU will own and maintain the water meter.

All commercial and residential water meters that are broken or frozen will be replaced and charged to the customer, per BPU’s fee schedule.

 

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2005-6
ADOPTED 08/30/05
METERING OF MULTI-UNIT DWELLINGS FOR RENTAL PROPERTIES

Electric service in a single-metered multi-unit residential building, as defined pursuant to MN Statute 504B.215, will be billed to the landlord/building owner.(MN Statute 504B.215 Sub d. 2 requires the landlord of a single-metered residential building be responsible for paying the utility bill, and shall be the customer on record contracting with the utility, and requires the landlord to advise the utility of the existence of a single-metered residential building). A single metered residential building includes the following situations: “shared meter” in which a utility meter measures service provided to a tenant’s dwelling and also measures such service to areas outside that dwelling or “mixed wiring” in which electric outlets, fixtures or devices outside the individual unit are included on another unit’s individual meter; or “mixed plumbing” when related to electric utility service such as when an electric water heater serves more than one individual unit.

If Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) discovers a single-metered residential or commercial building with shared metering, mixed metering, or mixed plumbing in which individual metered service has been established and is being billed to the tenant, BPU will immediately establish an account in the landlord/owner’s name and they will be responsible for the usage of all meters involved.

In order to re-establish individual metered service for the individual tenant unit(s), the landlord/building owner will be required to provide certification of a licensed electrician that all instances of mixed wiring, shared metering and/or mixed plumbing have been eliminated. The property will also have to be inspected by BPU personnel before the account will be put in a tenant’s name.

 

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2005-7
Adopted 08/30/05
INACTIVE ACCOUNTS
Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will charge all customers a monthly fixed charge for utility services, regardless of the length of time an account will remain inactive. Residential accounts will be billed the monthly fixed charge for electric, water, and wastewater each month, plus any kilowatt hours used and all gallons of water used that are not included in the fixed charge. Commercial accounts will be billed the appropriate monthly fixed charge for electric and water utility services based on size of service. The wastewater charge is the same for both commercial and residential accounts.

Different options available to the customers are summarized below:

Customers will have the option to pay the utility bill in full each month, pre-pay the monthly fixed charges for the months they are going to be gone, and pay for the kilowatt hours and gallons of water used when they return, or pay the entire bill when they return.

Customers can avoid paying these charges by requesting BPU disconnect the electric meter and/or remove the water meter for the time period that the property is going to be vacant. If the meters are removed, there will be a $50 charge to have the electric reconnected and a $50 charge to have the water turned on.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2005-8
Adopted 12/06/05
APPLICATION FOR SERVICE

The provision for customers to receive utility service from Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) shall be contingent upon the customer complying with the following policy requirements. These policy requirements can be amended when deemed necessary in the future.

  • All applications for utility service must be completed in full and filed at BPU’s business office.
  • A new application for service will be required to re-establish a disconnected service.
  • A new application for service will be required for any change of residence or business.
  • All previously incurred bad debts to BPU must be paid in full or arrangements made (at the discretion of credit/collections rep) before a new application for service will be accepted.
  • If renting a residence, the utility service will remain in the landlord’s name until BPU has received the tenant’s completed application for service, a copy of their driver’s license or photo ID, and a copy of the signed rental lease.
  • All names listed on lease that are not dependents of main applicant, will be noted on account.
  • If there is not any electric and/or water service to the property address, all reconnects fees have to be paid before the service will be restored. Per Policy No. 2003-5, all water meters that are broken and/or frozen will be replaced and charged to the customer, per BPU’s fee schedule.

Any customer that does not comply with the above list of requirements, will be considered an unauthorized user of BPU’s utility service and subject to immediate disconnection of service without further notice and/or legal action.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2005-9
Adopted 01/01/86
Revised 12/06/05
Revised 01/30/07
CUSTOMER DEPOSITS

CUSTOMERS SUBJECT TO A DEPOSIT
To establish credit with Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU), a deposit may be required at the time of application for service. A deposit will be required from customers for the following reasons:

  • A utility credit reference is not returned to the BPU business office within 10 days from the date of application for service.
  • A utility credit reference indicates a less than favorable credit history. A favorable credit history would indicate no more than one (1) penalty can be charged to an account within a 12 month period. No delinquent notices or disconnection notices can be issued and the account cannot have any NSF checks.
  • Any customer that was a previous BPU customer and left a bad debt or had an unfavorable credit history.
  • Any customer who has filed bankruptcy while being a customer of BPU.
  • Any customer who is disconnected for non-payment of bill.
  • Any customer who has an existing deposit that is not sufficient and/or has not established a good credit history while being served by BPU.
DEPOSIT AMOUNT

Residential Customers – The deposit will equal a two (2) month average billing based on the previous 12 months of bills. If there is no previous year’s billing available, there will be an estimate made based on an account of similar size to establish an average monthly bill and then doubled to satisfy the required deposit. A minimum deposit of $50 will be required.

Commercial Customers – The deposit will equal the highest monthly bill charged for the previous 12 months, rounded to the nearest ten (10) dollars. If there is no previous year’s billing available, there will be an estimate made based on an account of similar size to establish an estimated highest monthly billing which will then be considered the required deposit. A minimum deposit of $100 will be required. Deposits for new customers will be billed with their first monthly bill. Exceptions include being disconnected for non-payment of a customer’s utility bill or having a bad debt with BPU. The deposit will then have to be paid before utility service is allowed.

INTEREST ON DEPOSITS

All deposits will earn interest at a rate that is set by the MN Department of Commerce each year in December [MN Statute 325E.02(b)]. Interest will be credited to the customer’s account annually in December and/or when a customer moves and a final billing is done.

REFUNDING OF DEPOSITS

All customers who have paid their bill on time and in full for at least 11 of 12 consecutive months will have their deposit refunded. The deposit will be refunded to only the primary name on the account. Deposits and any accrued interest are credited to the customer’s 13th month’s billing. When a customer moves out of their residence and a final billing is done, the deposit will be applied to their final bill. If the customer’s final bill is less than their deposit, the remaining balance will be mailed to them. Any refund less than $5 will not be returned to the customer.

TRANSFER OF DEPOSITS

A deposit can be transferred from one person to another residing at the same service location by coming into BPU and filling out a deposit transfer form.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2005-10
Adopted 01/01/86
Revised 12/06/05
Revised 11/24/15
DISCONNECTION OF SERVICE

DISCONNECTION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF BILL

  • A customer’s account is considered delinquent if the current charges are not paid to Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) by the due date of the bill. IT IS ALWAYS THE CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PAY BILLS IN A TIMELY MANNER AND IN FULL UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED. The following procedures will be followed if the bill is not paid in full each month.
  • The customer will be notified by regular mail that he/she is delinquent. The customer will be given five (5) business days after the date of mailing to pay the amount owing.
  • If the customer does not respond to the delinquent notice he/she will receive a disconnection notice delivered by regular mail. The disconnection date will be scheduled for five (5) business days after the date of mailing the disconnection notice. If the disconnection notice is for a rental property, a copy of the notice will be sent to the landlord.
  • If the customer does not pay the amount due on the disconnection notice in full, or make payment arrangements by the disconnect date, their service(s) will be disconnected.
  • The customer may request a payment arrangement which will allow him/her to pay their delinquent amount over a three (3) month period. Current charges will also have to be paid by the due date each month. Customers failing to make scheduled payments or current charges can be disconnected immediately. BPU has the right to not allow a customer to make an arrangement.
  • Once a customer has been disconnected for non-payment or not complying with the payment arrangement, the service(s) will not be reconnected until the customer pays all the account charges in full. This includes current charges and a deposit if one has not been paid previously or if the paid deposit is not sufficient. A reconnection fee for each service will also have to be paid. Reconnection of service(s) is only done during the regular business hours of 7:00 – 3:00 p.m., Monday- Friday.
  • Payment for accounts that are on the disconnection list each week must be made with cash, money order, or credit card. No checks will be accepted.
  • All previously incurred bad debts to BPU must be paid in full or arrangements made (at the discretion of credit/collections rep) when applying for electric service or your account is subject to disconnection.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS

BPU shall not discontinue electric service if such action will aggravate an existing serious illness of any person who is a permanent resident of the premise where service is rendered IF the customer complies with the following requirements regarding such illness.

  • The illness must be certified to BPU by a registered physician on BPU’s Physician’s Certification of Illness form. The form must be filled out completely.
  • Initial certification by the physician may be made by telephone if the completed form is forwarded to the utility within five days.
  • Initial certification shall prohibit disconnection of service for thirty (30) days. Certification may be renewed by the customer for an additional thirty (30) days by providing another certificate to BPU. IT IS THE CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE A NEW CERTIFICATE EVERY 30 DAYS. FAILURE TO RENEW THE CERTIFICATE ENTITLES BPU TO START DISCONNECTION PROCEDURES.
  • The customer cannot use their illness as a way not to pay their utility bill. The customer will be required to make a payment arrangement to pay their past due bill and keep the current charges paid.
DECEASED CUSTOMERS

When BPU discovers that a BPU customer is deceased, the utility service(s) will be disconnected 30 days after finding out of the death, if BPU is not notified by the executor of the estate; or if another person moves into the deceased’s residence and does not transfer the utility bill into his/her name.

DISCONNECTION OF SERVICE WITHOUT NOTICE

BPU may disconnect service to any customer without further notice for the following reasons:

  • In the event of unauthorized use, theft of power, and/or tampering (see Policy 2003-4) with BPU’s equipment.
  • In the event that a condition has been determined to be hazardous to the customer or other customers of BPU, BPU’s equipment, or to the general public.
  • When a customer is in violation of municipal, state, or national electric codes.
  • When a customer has not complied with the requirements for application for service.
TAMPERING WITH ELECTRIC METER

Stealing electricity is dangerous and against the law. Tampering with any electric facility, including the meter box and its seals is dangerous. Anyone who breaks the seal and tampers with the meter exposes him/herself to the risk of electrocution. Per BPU Policy No. 2003-4 BPU will administer a zero tolerance program for unauthorized use of utility meters. BPU has the authority to bring civil or criminal action per MN Statute 325E.026.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2007-11
Adopted 10/30/07
WATER TURN ON FEE

When a customer requests the water be turned off for their residence or business, the customer, or the new owner of the property, will be charged a $50 fee when the water is turned back on. When there is an after hours request the fee will be $150.

The $50 charge will be billed to the customer on their monthly bill, however, BPU has the right to require payment before the water is turned on.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2007-12
Adopted 10/30/07
FEE FOR CHECK READINGS AND TEST/CHANGE METERS

If a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) customer requests BPU to check the reading of their electric and/or water meter, there will be a $25 fee for this service if it is requested more than one time, by the customer, within a 12 month period.

In the event a BPU customer requests their electric and/or water meter be tested and changed more than once in a three (3) year period, the customer will be charged a $25 fee. If the meter test indicates that the meter is not accurate, the meter will be repaired or replaced, and the $25 fee will be returned to the customer.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2008-13
Adopted – November 24, 2009
ACCESS TO PROPERTY
TO SERVICE/REPAIR WATER METERS

Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) has the right to access a customer’s residence or business at reasonable times, whether it is for the reading, inspection, repairing and/or replacing a water meter; or for some other purpose reasonably necessary for the proper administration of the water service.

A notice will be sent to the customer stating the reason why BPU needs to have access to the water meter. If the customer does not respond back by the due date on the notice, to make arrangements with BPU to correct the problem, BPU has the right to turn the water service off until access is gained.

If the water service is turned off, the customer will have to pay a $50 water turn on fee before the service is reinstated.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2008-14
Identity Theft Prevention Program Procedures
Adopted 11/25/08

This program is intended to identify red flags, pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flags Rule which implements Section 114 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (16 C.F.R. § 681.2), that will alert Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) employees when new or existing accounts are opened using false information; protect against the establishment of false accounts; methods to ensure existing accounts were not opened using false information; and measures to respond to such events.

Risk Assessment

BPU has conducted an internal risk assessment to evaluate how at risk the current procedures are at allowing customers to create a fraudulent account and evaluate if current (existing) accounts are being manipulated. This risk assessment evaluated how new accounts were opened and the methods used to access the account information. Using the following information, BPU was able to identify the following red flags that were appropriate to prevent identity theft.

  • New accounts opened in person
  • New accounts opened via telephone
  • New accounts opened via fax
  • Existing account information accessed in person
  • Existing account information accessed via telephone
  • Existing account information accessed via web site
Detection (Red Flags)

BPU adopts the following red flags to detect potential fraud. These are not intended to be all-inclusive and other suspicious activity may be investigated as necessary.

New Customers
  • Fraud or active duty alerts included with consumer reports
  • Notice of credit freeze provided by consumer reporting agency
  • Notice of address discrepancy provided by consumer reporting agency
  • Inconsistent activity patterns indicated by consumer reports such as
  1.  Recent and significant increase in volume of inquiries
  2.  Unusual number of recent credit applications
  3.  A material change in use of credit
  4.  Accounts closed for cause or abuse
  • Identification documents appear to be altered
  • Photo and physical description do not match appearance of applicant
  • Other information is inconsistent with information provided by applicant
  • Other information provided by applicant is inconsistent with information on file
  • Application appears altered or destroyed and reassembled
  • Personal information provided by applicant does not match other sources of information (e.g. credit reports, SSN not issued or listed as deceased)
  • Lack of correlation between the SSN range and date of birth
  • Information provided is associated with known fraudulent activity (e.g. address or phone number provided is same as that of a fraudulent application)
  • Information commonly associated with fraudulent activity is provided by applicant (e.g. address that is a mail drop or prison, non-working phone number or associated with answering service/pager)
  • SSN, address, or telephone number is the same as that of other customer at BPU
  • Customer fails to provide all information that is requested on application
  • Personal information provided is inconsistent with information on file for a customer
  • Applicant cannot provide information requested beyond what could commonly be found in a purse or wallet
  • Identity theft is reported or discovered
Existing Customers
  • Verify the identification of customers if they request information (in person, via telephone, via fax, via email)
  • Verify the validity of requests to change billing address
  • Verify changes in banking information given for billing and payment purposes
IF A CUSTOMER REFUSES TO GIVE NECESSARY INFORMATION AN ADDITIONAL SECURITY DEPOSIT WILL BE REQUIRED.

Responses to Red Flags

Any employee that may suspect fraud or detect a red flag will implement the following response as applicable.

  • Ask applicant for additional documentation
  • Any BPU employee who becomes aware of a suspected or actual fraudulent use of a customer or potential customer’s identity must notify the Accounting Supervisor or Finance Director.
  • Notify law enforcement – BPU will notify the Brainerd Police Department of any attempted or actual identity theft.
  • Do not open the account
  • Close the account
  • Do not attempt to collect against the account, but notify authorities Personal Information Security Procedures The following suggestions are not part of or required by the Federal Trade Commission’s “Identity Theft Red Flags Rule” but BPU will also adopt the following additional security procedures to further protect consumer information.
  • Paper documents, files, and electronic media containing secure information will be stored in locked file cabinets.
  • Files containing personally identifiable information are kept in locked file cabinets except when an employee is working on the file.
  • Employees will not leave sensitive papers out on their desks when they are away from their workstations.
  • Employees store files when leaving their work area.
  • Employees log off their computers when leaving their work areas at the end of the day.
  • Employees lock file cabinets when leaving their work areas at the end of the day.
  • Any sensitive information shipped using outside carriers or contractors will be encrypted.
  • Any sensitive information shipped will be shipped using a shipping service that allows tracking of the delivery of this information.
  • No visitor will be given any entry codes or allowed unescorted access to the BPU office.
  • Computer passwords will be required
  • Passwords will not be shared or posted near workstations.
  • When installing new software, immediately change vendor-supplied default passwords to a more secure strong password.
  • Ensure that BPU’s website is secure or provide clear notice that the website is not secure.
  • Anti-virus and anti-spyware programs will be run on individual computers and on servers daily.
  • The use of laptops is restricted to those employees who need them to perform their jobs.
  • Laptop users will not store sensitive information on their laptops.
  • Employees are required to notify the superintendent, finance director, or their supervisor immediately if there is a potential security breach, such as a lost or stolen laptop.
  • Any wireless network in use is secured. The computer network will have a firewall where BPU’s network connects
    to the Internet.
  • Check references or do background checks before hiring employees who will have access to sensitive data.
  • New employees sign an agreement to follow BPU’s confidentiality and security standards for handling sensitive data.
  • Access to customer’s personal identify information is limited to employees with a “need to know.”
  • Implement a regular schedule of employee training.
  • Employees will be alert to attempts at phone phishing.
  • Employees who violate security policy are subjected to discipline, up to, and including, dismissal.
  • Service providers notify BPU of any security incidents they experience, even if the incidents may not have led to an actual compromise of BPU’s data
  • Paper records will be shredded before being placed into the trash.
  • Any data storage media will be disposed of by shredding, punching holes in, or incineration.
IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION PROGRAM UPDATES

The Identity Theft Program will be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changes in risks to BPU customers and the reliability of BPU from identity theft. At least once a year, BPU’s Finance Director will consider BPU’s experiences with any identity theft situation(s) that have occurred, changes in identity theft methods, changes in identity theft detection and prevention methods, changes in types of accounts BPU maintains and changes in BPU’s business arrangements with other entities. After considering these factors, the Finance Director will determine whether changes to the identity theft program, including the listing of red flags, are warranted. If warranted, the Finance Director will update the Identity Theft Program or present the BPU Commission with his recommended changes and the BPU Commission will make a determination of whether to accept, modify, or reject those changes.

Responsibility for developing, implementing, and updating this program lies with an Identity Theft Committee for BPU. The Committee will consist of the Finance Director, Accounting Supervisor, and Information Technology Supervisor. The Finance Director will be responsible for the program administration, ensuring appropriate training of BPU staff, review any staff reports regarding the detection of red flags and the steps for preventing and mitigating identity theft, determine which steps of prevention and mitigation should be taken in particular circumstances, and considering periodic changes to the program.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2008-15
Adopted 12/30/08
NON-SUFFICIENT FUND CHECKS AND ACH PAYMENTS

If a check made payable to Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) is returned for nonsufficient funds (NSF) or the account has been closed, or if a customer has their utility bill paid by ACH, and notification is sent for non-sufficient funds or the account has been closed, the following procedures will take place.

  • BPU will send a notice, by regular mail, to the check issuer when a check or ACH is returned for NSF from a financial institution. The notice shall contain language of MN Statute 609.535 pertaining to issuance of dishonored checks.
  • Restitution has to be made within five (5) business days and must be paid by money order or cash. There will also be an additional $30 service charge. There are no arrangements allowed when a NSF check is received.
  • If restitution is not made within the required time, the electric service will be disconnected at the service address where the check was issued. Before the service will be reconnected, the NSF check, $30 service charge, entire balance of account, a deposit, if one has not been previously paid, and a reconnect fee will have to be paid.
  • If more than two (2) checks or ACHs are returned to BPU within a twelve (12) month period, all future utility payments will have to be paid by money order or cash. However, if a customer signs up for the automatic bill payment plan in lieu of paying the required utility deposit, and an ACH or recurring credit card is returned to BPU within the first twelve (12) months of service, the customer will automatically be taken off bank pay and will have to pay the required utility deposit, along with the other required charges.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY 2013-16
Adopted 10/29/2013
FEE FOR READING ELECTRIC AND/OR WATER METERS

Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will charge a $15 monthly fee to a customer of BPU who does not respond to notice(s) giving permission to BPU to install Automatic Meter Reading meter(s) at their residence or business. Three (3) attempts will be made to the customer:
1. Telephone call
2. Door hanger will be delivered
3. Send a letter

If after these three (3) attempts and there has not been an appointment set up by the customer, or if the appointment is cancelled, the following month the $15 fee will added as a line item to the customer’s bill each month until the new meter(s) is installed. If the meters have not been changed out within six months after receiving the last notice, the fee will increase to $25 per month.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2014-18
ADOPTED 09/23/2014
FEE FOR TEMPORARY ELECTRIC SERVICE

Effective October 1, 2014 Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will charge a fee of $150 for temporary electric service requests for both commercial and residential customers. If a line extension is needed, additional costs may apply. In addition to the temporary service fee, the customer will also be charged the required electric meter service charge and for all kilowatt hours that are used

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
Budget Billing Policy
Policy 2016-18
September 1, 2016

This policy is in effect for Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) residential customers to sign up for budget billing to even out their utility costs by paying a consistent amount each month. Budget billing will help manage unanticipated high billings during summer and winter months.

A customer can enroll in the budget billing program in March and September of each year. An application will have to be filled out and returned to BPU by last day of chosen month. The application can be downloaded from BPU’s website www.bpu.org or picked up at BPU’s business office at 8027 Highland Scenic Road.

A budget billing amount will be determined by using the previous 12 months of billing history for the customer’s residence and dividing the total amount by 12. Budget billing accounts will be calculated twice a year; at the end of March, effective with the April billing and at the end of September, effective with the October billing. BPU has the right to increase or decrease the calculated amount at any time, if BPU believes it is necessary. The customer will be notified by BPU if a change is necessary.

To be eligible for budget billing the customer must:

  • Have a 12 month billing history at current place of residence.
  • Be current in utility payments and have a good paying history. (No more than one (1) penalty in a 12 month period.) Account has to be paid in full when enrolling in the program.
  • Agree to remain in the program for 12 months. After the 12 month period, a customer can be removed from budget billing by notifying BPU in writing or sending an e-mail that they no longer wish to be enrolled in the budget billing program. Customer would have to wait another 12 months before being re-enrolled.
  • Agree to pay the full budget amount each month by the due date of customer’s utility bill.
  • Agree that budget billing accounts are ineligible for time extensions or a payment arrangement to pay budget amount.
  • Agree that after two (2) delinquent payments, or if account is in disconnect status the account will automatically be removed from budget billing and customer will have to wait 12 months, with a good paying history, before being allowed to enroll in the program again.

BRAINERD PUBLIC UTILITIES
POLICY NO. 2016-20
Adopted 01/24/17
RECONNECTION OF ELECTRIC AND WATER SERVICE

In order to have electric and/or water service restored after a customer has been disconnected for non-payment of a utility bill, the customer is required to pay their bill in full and a reconnect fee will have to be paid for each service that is disconnected in accordance to Policy No. 2005-10 – Disconnection of Utility Services.

Payment will have to be paid to Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Business Office by 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, in order to get service(s) reconnected the same day as disconnection of service occurs.

For any payment made after 3:00 p.m., service(s) will not be reconnected until the following business day.

This policy is in effect for all 12 months in the calendar year.

POLICY NO. 2017-21
A POLICY regulating nonessential water usage upon critical water deficiency as
authorized by Minn. Stat. § 103G.291, subd. 1 and 2.

Sec. 1-1. Purpose. This Policy establishes water conservation restrictions; and the plan will be in effect at any time the governor declares by executive order a critical water deficiency, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes section 103G.291.
Sec. 1-2. Application.
(a) This Policy applies to all customers of public water suppliers who own or control water use on any premises.
(b) No person shall make, cause, use, or permit the use of water received from a public water supply for residential, commercial, industrial, governmental, or any other purpose in any manner contrary to any provision in this Policy.
(c) Mandatory emergency conservation measures shall be implemented based upon the declaration of a critical water emergency by the governor.

Sec. 1-3. Declaration of critical water deficiency.

Upon the declaration of a critical water deficiency by the governor, Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) shall immediately notify all water users via social media tools, including but not limited to radio, Facebook, and website of the emergency declaration. BPU shall provide notification to the public as quickly as possible or through established water supply plans emergency response plans or procedures.

Sec. 1-4. Mandatory emergency water conservation measures.

Upon declaration of a water emergency and notification to the public, the following mandatory restrictions upon nonessential water use shall be enforced:
(1) Outdoor irrigation of yards, gardens, golf courses, parklands, and other non-agricultural land, except for those areas irrigated with reclaimed water, is prohibited.
(2) Washing or spraying of sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios, or other paved areas with water from any pressurized source, including garden hoses, except to alleviate immediate health or safety hazards, is prohibited.
(3) The outdoor use of any water-based play apparatus connected to a pressurized source is prohibited.
(4) Restaurants and other food service establishments are prohibited from serving water to their customers, unless water is specifically requested by the customer.
(5) Operation of outdoor misting systems used to cool public areas is prohibited.
(6) The filling of swimming pools, fountains, spas, or other exterior water features is prohibited.
(7) The washing of automobiles, trucks, trailers, and other types of mobile equipment is prohibited, except at facilities equipped with wash water recirculation systems, and for vehicles requiring frequent washing to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

Sec. 1-5. Variances.

BPU management is authorized to grant variances to this Policy where strict application of its provisions would result in serious hardship to a customer. A variance may be granted only for reasons involving health or safety. An applicant may appeal the denial of a variance within five (5) days of the decision by submitting a written appeal to BPU management. The BPU commission shall hear the appeal at the next commission meeting. The decision of the commission is final.

Sec. 1-6. Violation.

(a) Violations shall be determined and cited by the BPU management. A violator may appeal the citation within five (5) days of its issuance by submitting a written appeal to the commission. The BPU Commission shall hear the appeal at the next Commission meeting. The decision of the Commission is final. Violators may be granted an administrative waiver if evidence is provided that equipment failure was the cause of the violation. A letter from a qualified vendor or equipment invoice will be required to show proof of equipment failure.

(b) Upon discovery of a first violation, the violator shall be issued, either personally or by mail, a warning letter that sets forth the violation and which shall describe the remedy and fines for future violations.

(c) Upon subsequent violations at the same location, the violator shall be issued, either personally or by mail, a citation that sets forth the violation and shall describe the remedy. Fines shall be added to the monthly water bill of the owner or current occupant of the premises where the violation occurred. The imposition of the fine shall in no way limit the right of the City to pursue other legal remedies.

Sec. 1-7. Enforcement.

BPU management or his/her designee is authorized to designate city employees or law enforcement personnel to enforce the provisions of this Policy.

Sec. 1-8 Severability

If any provision of this Policy or the application of any provision to a particular situation is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining portions of the Policy and the application of the Policy to any other situation shall not be invalidated.

Sec. 1-9 Effective date.

This Policy becomes effective on January 24, 2017 Passed by the BPU Commissionl of Brainerd January 24, 2017.
Approved:
BPU Commission President
Attested:
BPU Commission Secretary

Brainerd Public Utilities Policy Regarding Distributed Generation and Net Metering Policy 2018-02 Adopted March 20, 2018

To establish the application procedure and qualification criteria for all customers for the delivery, interconnection, metering and purchase of electricity from distributed generation facilities and to comply with applicable laws and rules governing distributed generation.

Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) recognizes its obligation to provide an interconnection to qualifying facilities that are eligible for distributed generation and will comply with all applicable laws and rules governing distributed generation.

In the event an inconsistency exists between terms in this policy and those established by Statute, Rule or Court Order, then the definition so established shall supersede the definition used in this policy and shall govern.

For purposes of this policy, the following terms have the meaning given them:

A. Net Metering/Net Billing – the process whereby the customer and BPU compensate each other based on the difference in the amount of energy each sells to the other at the net metered facility.

B. Net Metered Facility – an electric generation facility constructed for the purpose of offsetting energy use through the use of renewable energy or high efficiency generation sources.

C. Average Retail Energy Rate – the average of the retail energy rates, exclusive of special rates based on income, age, or energy conservation, according to the
applicable rate schedule of BPU for sales to the class of customer of which the customer/qualifying facility belong.

D. Avoided Costs – the incremental costs to BPU of electric energy or capacity or both which, but for the purchase from the qualifying facility, BPU would generate itself or purchase from another source.

E. Interconnection Rules – means any applicable Utility Cogeneration Rules developed in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 216B.164 and 216B.1611 that include issues outlined in the State of Minnesota Interconnection Process for Distributed Generation Systems, Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements, General Interconnection Application, Engineer Data Submittal and Interconnection Agreement.

F. Interconnection Application – the form to be used by the customer to submit its formal request for interconnection to BPU and which shall be substantially similar in form to that Application attached as Exhibit A to this policy. The customer signature on the interconnection application indicated the customer shall follow  steps outlined in BPU Cogeneration Rules and the State of Minnesota Interconnection Process for Distributed Generation System. The interconnection between the qualifying facility or net metered facility and BPU must comply with the requirements as stated in the State of Minnesota Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements.

G. Contract – the written agreement between the customer/qualifying facility and BPU, as established in BPU Cogeneration Rules.

H. Total Generator Nameplate Capacity – the total kW output of a qualifying facility’s generator. For purposes of this definition total output is determined by the nameplate capacity rating, or in the event that the nameplate capacity is not less than 40 kW, then the existence of any variable speed drive or other limiting device shall be factored into determining total generator nameplate capacity. The customer must fully, accurately and completely disclose in its interconnection application to BPU, the technical specifications for any capacity limiting device contemplated and the customer shall furnish BPU with any factory manuals or other similar documents requested from BPU regarding such limiting or other control devices which factor into the calculation of total generator nameplate capacity.

I. Measured Capacity – for purposes of determining capacity, it shall be measured based on the highest fifteen (15) minute average demand of the unit in any one billing period.

All customers are eligible for distributed generation, interconnection with BPU’s distribution system and application of net metering upon the following terms and conditions.

1. The customer must meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) *18 C.F.R. 292.303, 292.304 and Minnesota’s Distributed Generation laws. Minn. Stat. §216B.164.
2. The customer shall complete, sign and return to BPU an Interconnection Application in the form prescribed in Exhibit A hereto. The Application shall be approved by BPU prior to the customer beginning the project.
3. The customer shall enter into a written contract with BPU using the uniform utility contract contained in BPU Cogeneration Rules – Exhibit B.
4. The qualifying facility shall pay BPU for all reasonable costs of interconnection including those costs outlined in Minnesota Statute 216B.164, the Minnesota Interconnection Process, and the Minnesota Interconnection Technical Requirements as established in PUC Docket CI-01-1023.
5. The qualifying facilities total generator nameplate capacity shall be less than 40 kW and the facility shall operate at a measured capacity of less than 40 kW at all times.
6. BPU may limit the capacity and operating characteristics of distributed generation single phase generators in a manner consistent with BPU limitations for single phase motors, when necessary to avoid a qualifying facility from causing problems with the service of other customers.
7. BPU may require the qualifying facility to discontinue parallel generation operations when necessary for system safety.
8. The power output from the qualifying facility must be maintained so that frequency and voltage are compatible with normal utility service and do not cause that service to fall outside the prescribed limits of interconnection rules and other standard limitations.
9. The qualifying facility shall keep in force liability insurance against personal or property damage due to the installation, interconnection, and operation of its electric generating facilities. The amount of insurance coverage shall be the maximum amount of said insurance for a qualifying facility or net metered facility as outlined in the State of Minnesota Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements.
10.Failure of the qualifying facility to operate its generators at a measured capacity below the 40 kW capacity limit established by M.S. 216B.164, Sub. 3 and as contemplated by this policy, shall result in the following. BPU will notify the customer/qualifying facility of the fact that its generating equipment has failed to operate below the 40 kW maximum capacity and will provide the customer/qualifying facility with the date, time and kW reading that substantiate this finding.
11.BPU shall compensate the customer/qualifying facility for all metered electricity produced by said qualifying facility during the thirty (30) day period during which the failure occurred, at BPU’s Generation and Transmission Supplier’s avoided cost rate.
12.BPU shall continue to pay the customer/qualifying facility for subsequent electricity produced and delivered pursuant to this distributed generation agreement, at BPU’s Generation and Transmission Supplier’s avoided cost rate until:
1. The problem with the generator that caused it to operate at or above the statutory maximum capacity has been remedied; and
2. BPU has been provided documentation adopted by a Minnesota Professional Engineer that confirms the problem with the generator
has been remedied.
13.Any customer account eligible for net metering and the net billing rate may not be eligible for any other load management discounts unless agreed to by BPU.
14.Payment for the purchase of distributed generation electricity herein shall be in the form of a credit on the customer’s monthly billing invoice or paid by check or electronic payment to the customer within fifteen (15) days of the billing date, whichever is selected and indicated in the Contract.
15.The customer must be, and continue to be, current with payment on its electric account with BPU.
16.The customer must not enter into any arrangement that violates BPU’s exclusive right to provide electric service in its service area under Minnesota Statutes §216B.40.
17.In the event that the distributed generator fails to meet the requirements of this policy for a Total Generator Nameplate Capacity of less than 40 kW, and fails to satisfy the corrective requirements set forth in Section 12 above, then BPU will have the right to (1) cancel the Contract with the owner of the distributed generator, and (2) enter into a new contract with the owner of the distributed generator that, among other changes, adjusts the distributed generator’s rated capacity and specifies avoided cost pricing for the distributed generator’s output. To the extent that BPU does not have the obligation to make purchases from qualifying facilities of 40 kW or greater due
to transfer of the obligation to BPU’s wholesale supplier that has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the new agreement will be between BPU’s wholesale supplier and the distributed generator. In either case, BPU (and as applicable BPU’s wholesale supplier) and the owner of the distributed generator will cooperate in the transition from the form of contract set forth in BPU’s adopted cogeneration rules to a new form of contract appropriate to a distributed generator with a capacity of 40 kW or greater.