BC Hydro and Power Authority by gjjur4356

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									                             BC Hydro and Power Authority
                         Credit & Collection Policy & Procedures
              Re: Customers in Receipt of BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA)

1.0 Purpose:
       This instruction is to describe the procedures for handling the collection of past-due
       accounts of customers who are currently receiving BCEA.
2.0 Policy:
   2.1 Terms of Payment:
       Any residential customer, including a BCEA recipient, who establishes a record of late
       payment, will be placed on the Advance Billing Plan, subject to the usual terms of
       payment and collection action. When a BCEA recipient cannot pay the total amount
       owing on the account to prevent the disconnection of service, or to effect the
       reconnection of service, the following options will be made available:
              (a) immediately pay 50 percent of the total amount of the bills incurred while on
              BCEA, which includes a bill that was current at the time the customer started
              receiving BCEA, and amortize the remaining 50 percent over 12 months on the
              monthly Advance Billing Plan, subject to the usual terms of payment and
              collection action; and/or

              (b) defer making payment arrangements on the total amount of the bills that were
              in arrears at the time the customer started receiving BCEA to a later date, or,
              amortize these bills, at a monthly amount established by the customer, on the
              monthly Equal Payment Plan.
              (for limitations on Payment levels for hydro bills, refer to Other Supplements -
              Crisis Supplements Part 10, Section 8 )
              Amortization will be a one-time only opportunity, and will be for 12 months or less
              with a minimum monthly installment of $10. If a customer defaults on payments
              under the amortization program, BC Hydro is under no obligation to comply with
              further requests for amortization.
   2.2 Defer Disconnection of Service:
              When a BCEA recipient cannot pay the minimum amount required under item
              2.1(a) above, the customer will be provided three full working days to allow the
              customer to contact the ministry if the customer so wishes.
   2.3 No Disconnection of Service:
              Service will not be disconnected for nonpayment of the bills that were in arrears
              at the time the customer started receiving BCEA. If a customer voluntarily
              amortizes payment of these bills, service will not be disconnected if the customer
              cannot maintain payment of the amortized amount.
              BC Hydro will not comply with requests for amortization of charges from a
              previous address if, in their opinion, the customer has intentionally avoided or
              tried to avoid payment.


3.0 General Information:
   3.1 Shelter and Crisis Grant Funding:
      The Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) provides monthly income to meet current
      acceptable costs for support and shelter, which includes both shelter and utilities, to
      individuals in financial need. However, the Acts and Regulations do not permit MHR to
      provide funding to pay debts incurred prior to the individual receiving BCEA.
   3.2 Administration of Customer's Payments:
      The bills for a BCEA recipient's account will be sent to the customer unless otherwise
      requested by the recipient 's MHR worker. Notwithstanding the decision of MHR to
      administer a recipient's account, the ultimate responsibility for payment of same will
      remain the responsibility of the customer.
   3.3 Communications Between BC Hydro and MHR:
      General enquiries concerning confirmation of the BCEA recipient's status and payment
      requirements will be handled by local credit services staff and the recipient's MHR
      worker.
      When the MHR worker/supervisor encounters any problem that cannot be resolved
      through local Hydro staff/management, the matter will be referred through an MHR
      Assistant Regional Executive Officer (AREO) to a Hydro Regional Dispute Resolution
      Reviewer. If further action is necessary, the matter will be referred through an MHR REO
      to a Hydro Regional Manager.

4.0 Determining Payment Options:
   4.1 Determining Whether Immediate Payment Required:
      When a BCEA recipient cannot pay the total amount owing on the account, ask the
      customer for the date he/she started receiving BCEA and determine whether the total
      amount owing includes any bills incurred while on BCEA.
      Example:
      •   The date is September 18.


      •   The total amount owing on the account is $400, comprised of three unpaid bills:
          $160 billed May 1;
          $140 billed July 1;
          $100 billed September 1.


      •   The customer started receiving BCEA July 15.


      •   The total amount of the bills in arrears at the time the customer started receiving BCEA is
          $160.
      •   The total amount of the bills incurred while on BCEA (including the bill of July 1 which
          was current at the time the customer started receiving BCEA) is $240.
      •   Therefore, as the customer owes bills incurred while on BCEA, an immediate payment is
          required.
   4.2 Calculating Minimum Payment and Amortized Payment Amounts:
      When it is determined the customer owes an amount for bills incurred while on BCEA,
      calculate the minimum payment required and the amount to be billed each month over
      the next 12 months. The minimum monthly installment is $10.
      Example:
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   •   The total amount of the bills incurred while on BCEA (as shown in the example under
       item 4.1) is $240.
   •   Therefore, immediate payment of $120 is required (50 percent of $240); and the
       remaining $120 will be amortized over 12 months at $10 per month on the Equal
       Payment Plan.

4.3 Disposition of Bills in Arrears When Started on BCEA:
   When a customer enters into an Amortized Payment Plan to retire the bills incurred while
   on BCEA (as shown in the example under item 4.2), action to effect payment of the bills
   that were in arrears at the time the customer started receiving BCEA will be deferred until
   the Amortized Payment Plan is completed.
   When payment of the bills that were in arrears at the time the customer started receiving
   BCEA can be arranged, at the customer's option, the customer may defer making
   payment arrangements to a later date, or may establish a Monthly Repayment Plan and
   may establish the monthly amount to be paid and the length of the amortized repayment
   period.
   Example:
   •   The date is September 18.
   •   The total amount of the bills in arrears at the time the customer started receiving BCEA
       $160 and the total amount of the bills incurred while on BCEA is $240.
   •   The customer pays $120 and amortizes $120 over 12 months at $10 per month, with the
       first billing to commence in October (with the commencement of the Equal Payment
       Plan), no action will be taken concerning arrangements to pay the balance of $160 until
       September 1 of the following year.
   •   The date is September 1 of the following year; the customer is contacted concerning
       payment of the balance of $160, but elects to defer making any payments until March 1.
   •   The date is February 1; the customer is contacted and volunteers to pay off the balance
       of $160 at $10 per month over the next 16 months, with the first billing to commence
       March 1.




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5.0 Collection of Required Minimum Payment:
   5.1 Defer Disconnection One Working Day:
      When it is determined the customer can pay the minimum amount required, or when it is
      determined the customer cannot pay the minimum amount required, but does not intend
      to contact his/her MHR worker, notify the customer that the minimum amount must be
      paid within one working day to prevent the disconnection of service.
   5.2 Defer Disconnection Three Working Days:
      When it is determined the customer cannot pay the minimum amount required, and the
      customer wishes an extension to contact his/her MHR worker, notify the customer that
      the disconnection of service will be deferred for three full working days, and that the MHR
      worker must contact the local Hydro credit services staff within that three-day period.
   5.3 Confirmation of Payment from MHR:
      When MHR confirms that they will be issuing payment on behalf of the recipient, arrange
      for MHR to forward payment in the form of a cheque only (vouchers are not an
      acceptable form of payment) payable to BC Hydro, direct to that Hydro office.
   5.4 Disconnection of Service:
      When MHR advises that they will not be issuing payment on behalf of the customer,
      unless the customer pays the minimum amount required within the three-day period, the
      service will be disconnected at the expiry of the three working days, and will not be
      reconnected until the required minimum amount plus a reconnection charge has been
      paid.
   5.5 Reconnection of Service:
      When it becomes known after the service has been disconnected that the customer is a
      BCEA recipient and it is determined a minimum payment is required, notify the customer
      the minimum amount plus a reconnection charge must be paid before service will be
      reconnected.
6.0 Collection of Bills in Arrears When Started on BCEA:
   6.1 Enrolment in Equal Payment Plan Mandatory:
      Regardless of whether payment of the arrears owing at the time the customer started
      receiving BCEA are amortized or not, the customer's account is to be established on the
      monthly Equal Payment Plan.
      Example:
      •   The date is December 15.
      •   The total amount owing on the account is $120, comprised of one unpaid bill: $120 billed
          November 1.
      •   The customer started receiving BCEA December 1.
      •   No immediate payment is required and the customer elects to defer making payments on
          the balance of $120 until March 1.
      •   The customer's account is established on the Equal Payment Plan so that monthly billing
          will commence January 1.
      •   The date is February 1; the customer is contacted and volunteers to pay off the balance
          of $120 at $10 per month over the next 12 months, with the first billing to commence on
          March 1.
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   6.2 Minimum Terms of Payment:
       When a BCEA recipient's monthly Equal Payment Plan billing consists of the regular
       monthly budget amount and a monthly amortized portion of the bills that were in arrears
       at the time the customer started receiving BCEA, payment of only the regular monthly
       budget bills will be required to prevent the disconnection of service or to effect the
       reconnection of service.
       When it is evident the customer cannot maintain the arrangement for payment of the bills
       that were in arrears at the time the customer started receiving BCEA, it may be
       necessary to reduce or suspend the billing of the monthly amortized amount.
   6.3 Confirmation Customer is a Recipient of BCEA:
       When a BCEA recipient has not paid the whole or part of the bills that were in arrears at
       the time the customer started receiving BCEA, regardless of whether a Payment Plan
       has been established or not, the customer will be required to supply written permission to
       MHR in order that Hydro may contact MHR periodically to confirm the customer is still on
       BCEA (otherwise action to effect prompt settlement of the unpaid balance will be
       initiated).

       The Letter of Consent to Information Sharing will be maintained in both MHR and Hydro
       offices. Either MHR will have the customer sign the letter and MHR send a copy to Hydro,
       or Hydro will have the customer sign the letter, retain a copy and send the original to
       MHR.
7.0 Collection of Large Year-End Budget Plan Debits:
   7.1 Terms of Payment:
       When the year-end adjustment to a BCEA recipient's Equal Payment Plan account is not
       a large amount, full payment of the adjustment will be required. When the adjustment
       amount is a large amount, the amount of the adjustment may be amortized over the next
       12 months, at BC Hydro's discretion, taking into account the customer's immediate past
       payment record.
8.0 Billing Procedures:
   8.1 Forward Billing Instructions to the Customer's Accounts:
       Instructions to establish a customer's account on the Equal Payment Plan, instructions
       concerning the monthly amount to be amortized, along with advice concerning the
       disposition of any balance that is not being amortized, are to be forwarded to the
       Customers' Accounts Department, Head Office.




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8.2 Administration of Bills in Arrears When Started on BCEA:
   Note that if the whole or part of the bills that were in arrears at the time the customer
   started receiving BCEA are not amortized at the time the Equal Payment Plan is
   established, bill the amount on the Final Account, establish a new Current Account and
   enter a permanent remark on both accounts for cross-reference purposes.
   When the Final Account changes to a Bad & Doubtful Account, do not refer the account
   to a Collection Agency; instead turn on the "Stop Trace" indicator.
   [Updated: September 14, 2002]




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