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Membership Bill of Rights

Here’s a snapshot of all your legal rights and responsibilities as a CoServ Electric Member. After you finish, learn more about your bill, or thumb through our FAQs for related details.

 

Membership in the Cooperative

We are a Member-owned electric cooperative. To receive service from us, you must first become a Member. Your first statement will include a $15 membership fee, which is refundable (applied to your final bill) upon closing all active accounts with CoServ.

 

Your Electric Bill

Every 30 days (give or take a day or two), you’ll receive an itemized bill. It includes three basic rate components:

  • Electric Energy Charge—The amount of electricity you used (in kWh) multiplied by your wholesale base rate. This charge includes wholesale power cost factor (PCRF) adjustments and fixed costs associated with delivery (Customer Charge).

  • Customer Charge—The minimum bill included on each statement (regardless of how much energy you use). The charge covers utility expenses not directly related to the generation or delivery of electricity, such as billing, meter reading, equipment, administration and customer service. If you receive both electric and gas service from CoServ, you pay two Customer Charges because you have two meters supported by two different types of equipment.

  • PCRF (Power Cost Recovery Factor)—An adjustment to your bill based on our wholesale cost of power. To calculate, we multiply the factor by the amount of electricity you used during the billing cycle (the “kWh used” line item). When our wholesale power costs go up, the PCRF increases, and vice versa. If the PCRF becomes negative, we still multiply it by the kWh used—but, instead of charging you this amount, we subtract it from your bill.

    The PCRF allows CoServ to adjust for changes in wholesale fuel costs. It also prevents the cumbersome process of modifying our overall rate structure. Because wholesale costs can fluctuate from month to month, CoServ uses the PCRF to more accurately calculate your bill.

 

To avoid service disconnection, CoServ must receive your payment by the “Current Bill Due Date,” shown in the upper-right corner of your statement. This due date falls 16 days after the “Statement Date,” which is when the bill was printed. 

If you don’t pay your electric bill on time, your account will be charged a late fee on the next statement. This fee is 5 percent of your most recent Electric Energy Charge. Learn why we charge a late fee.

Even if you don’t receive your bill (because it got lost in the mail, accidentally thrown away, etc.), you’re still responsible for making the payment. To view and pay your bill as soon as it’s ready, sign up for E-Bill by establishing a CoServ Online account with us and checking the E-bill box when prompted. Then, while logged in, click “E-Bill Preferences.” You can opt out of receiving a paper bill or choose to receive both an E-Bill and a paper bill.
 
Contact Customer Service if you don’t receive a statement within 30 days of setting up electric service (or if your statements ever start arriving later than usual).

 

Your Electric Meter

An electric meter measures and records the amount of electricity used in kilowatt hours (kWh). We read your meter around the same time each month. Meter readings for the previous month and the current month appear on every bill, so you can monitor your monthly usage.

If you dispute the accuracy of your reading, you may request a second reading. We will charge $15 if your first reading proves to be accurate.

However, if you think your meter is giving inaccurate readings, you may request a meter test. If you haven’t requested a test within the last four years, this test will be free. Otherwise, we will charge $40 for the new test. You will not be charged if the test shows that your meter is indeed giving inaccurate readings. Keep in mind that our meters test with more than 99.5 percent accuracy, so a meter problem is rare.

To request a second reading, ask for a meter test, or learn how to read your meter, contact Customer Service.

 

Deposits

When you apply for service, you must pay a deposit according to your account type:

  • Residential—The deposit will never exceed one-sixth of your annual electric bill. It is not a prepayment of your bill. You must still pay each month for the energy you use. We hold your deposit until:

    • Your account is closed, or

    • We receive payment for 12 consecutive bills without disconnecting service for nonpayment and without receiving a late payment more than twice. You must also pay the current bill on time

 

At that point, we will automatically refund (through crediting your account) your deposit plus accrued interest. (You earn interest from the date of the deposit through the date before it’s refunded. No interest applies if we refund the deposit within 30 days.)

 

If you transfer service to another location within our service area, we will apply your deposit to the new location. Or, if you close your account, we will apply your deposit and accrued interest to the final amount due and refund the remaining deposit balance.


We will waive the deposit if you provide CoServ with one of the following:

  • Letter of credit—Documentation from your previous provider showing 12 consecutive months of payment history with no more than one late payment within the previous 24-month period. CoServ will give equal consideration on a letter of credit to both husband and wife.

  • Guarantee agreement—Similar to co-signing a loan, this agreement is signed by the person applying for electric service and a second-party “guarantor” (who must be a CoServ Member with at least 12 months of service and no late payments in the last 12 months). We will hold the guarantor responsible for payments on the new account if the new Member does not pay.

   

Commercial/Industrial—We require a deposit on all commercial and industrial accounts. This deposit is not a prepayment of your bill. You must still pay each month for the energy you use. We hold your deposit until:

    • Your account is closed, or

    • We receive payment for 24 consecutive bills without disconnecting service for nonpayment and without receiving a late payment more than twice. You must also pay the current bill on time.

     

At that point, we will automatically refund (through crediting your account) your deposit plus accrued interest. (You earn interest from the date of the deposit through the date before it’s refunded. No interest applies if we refund the deposit within 30 days.)

If you transfer service to another location within our service area, we will apply your deposit to the new location. Or, if you close your account, we will apply your deposit and accrued interest to the final amount due and refund the remaining deposit balance.


Payment Options

CoServ offers a variety of options for making your payment. Pick the one that’s right for you:

 

“No fee” payment options:

  1. Automatic bank draft: Without you lifting a finger, we electronically draft your account balance from your savings/checking account each month. 
  2. Rolling Average Billing (with bank draft): For residential members with 12 months CoServ service and a zero balance.
  3. By mail: Send your check or money order to CoServ, P.O. Box 650785, Dallas, TX 75265-0785.
  4. In person: Come to 7701 S Stemmons between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Monday through Friday. We accept cash, check or money order and have a convenient night depository.
  5. Online bill-pay through your bank: Most banks provide free bill-pay services, giving you complete control of your monthly payment. Allow 5-7 days for CoServ to receive payment. Please update if you move from one CoServ address to another.

 

“Fee-based” payment options:

  1. Remote Pay Locations: Cash payments only, and a $1.50 fee applies. See our Web site for locations.
  2. Pay on CoServ.com or by phone: Use an electronic check or credit/debit card—a $3.95 fee per transaction applies.
  3. Pay by phone: Available 24/7, you can pay by phone by calling 1-800-967-9649—a $3.95 fee per transaction applies.

 

If you will be out of town and miss one or more CoServ bills, contact Customer Service. We can make arrangements for you to pay an average bill amount for each month you’re gone. This will help avoid unnecessary disconnection of your service. Note: You must pay your current bill on time to be eligible for this option.

 

Disconnection of Service

If CoServ doesn’t receive your payment by five days after the due date, we’ll mail you a “service interruption notice.” If we don’t receive your payment by the date stated on the notice, we must disconnect your electric service. (You will receive the notice at least 10 days prior to the disconnection date.)  

 

Do you have a serious illness or physical disability?

If you (or someone in your home) have a serious illness or physical disability that may become worse without electric service, we will consider delaying disconnection. Here are the prerequisites:

  • Your state-licensed doctor must call Customer Service at (940) 321-7800 or (800) 274-4014 within 16 days of the “Statement Date” (found in the upper-right corner of your bill).

  • Your doctor must send written documentation (stating that your condition may become worse without electric service) to CoServ within 26 days of the Statement Date.

  • At that point, CoServ will negotiate an arrangement or deferred payment plan with you.

  • Note: You must complete these steps every time you ask us to delay disconnection for medical reasons.


We may disconnect your electric service after mailing a “service interruption notice” if you:

  • Don’t pay your bill before the disconnection date specified on the notice.

  • Don’t comply with the terms of your arrangement or deferred payment plan.

  • Use your electric service in a way that interferes with the service of others. (We will first try to notify you and give you an opportunity to fix the situation.)

  • Use your electric service by the operation of non-standard equipment. (We will first try to notify you and give you an opportunity to fix the situation.)

  • Don’t comply with requirements specified in the “Deposit” section above.

  • Use a fake name when applying for electric service.

  • Don’t comply with permit or restriction requirements from a government authority.

  • Don’t allow our representatives to access your location to read meters or service/repair equipment.

  • Vacate the location.

 

We may disconnect your electric service without notice if you:

  • Tamper with or bypass our meter or equipment (or some other type of diversion or theft of service). This is extremely dangerous and illegal. You could face possible prosecution by the district attorney’s office.

  • Have a known dangerous condition at your location. We will not reconnect service until the condition is gone.

  • Connect service without the authority of the person who applied for service, or if you reconnect service without authority after being disconnected for not paying your bill.

  • Pay the reconnection fee with a check that is later returned by the bank because of insufficient funds.


We may refuse service if you:

  • Have facilities that are hazardous, interfere with the service of others, or are otherwise inadequate.

  • Use prohibited equipment or attachments.

  • Change your identity to avoid paying your bill.

  • Still owe money on a previous CoServ account.

  • Refuse to comply with requirements specified in the “Deposit” section above.


To restore service after being disconnected:
For nonpayment—You must pay the entire balance on your account, plus a $100 reconnection charge and an additional deposit (equal to one-sixth of your annual bill). We must receive your payment before 3 p.m. for service to be reconnected the same day. Otherwise, we’ll reconnect the next business day.

For any other reason—We will reconnect your service once the reason (listed above) has been corrected. This does not apply to cases involving theft or fraud. Please note that tampering, bypassing or connection of service by an unauthorized person will result in additional charges, including a deposit equal to one-sixth of your annual bill.

 

To prevent disconnection of service:

  • Pay your full outstanding balance (the “Total Amount Due” line item on your bill) by the due date

  • You must also pay subsequent bills on time.

 

Deferred Payments

If you have been billed for a period of time longer than 30 days (because of a meter malfunction or billing error), contact Customer Service to see if you qualify for a deferred payment plan. (You may not qualify if you’ve received CoServ service for less than three months.)

In this case, you must keep all subsequent bills current and pay a monthly amount agreed to by CoServ. For the initial payment, you will pay up to one-third of the total deferred amount. Then you’ll pay the balance in reasonable installments. The plan may include a 5 percent penalty for late payments.

If you don’t fulfill your part of the agreement, we must disconnect your service. Such breach of the agreement voids your right to a deferred payment plan or renegotiation in the future.

 

Billing Disputes

If you don’t agree with a portion of your bill, contact Customer Service. We will do our best to answer your questions. If we cannot resolve the issue via phone, please send CoServ a written notice of the reasons why you dispute the bill. Be sure we receive it before your bill is due. Then we will investigate the matter and let you know our conclusion.

We will not disconnect your electric service while the bill is in dispute or for 60 days after the bill is issued, whichever period is shorter. However, until the dispute is resolved, you may need to pay an amount based on prior electric usage.

If our investigation concludes that the unpaid amount is indeed correct, that payment will be due immediately. If you aren’t satisfied with the findings, you may appeal by sending a letter to:

CoServ Board of Directors
7701 S Stemmons
Corinth, TX 76210-1842

 

Financial Assistance

We want to meet the needs of the residents in our service area, and the CoServ Charitable Foundation (funded through member, customer and employee generosity) donates tens of thousands of dollars every quarter to three area social services agencies that use the funds to assist CoServ members who need assistance during tough times.

 

To discuss financial assistance, we ask that you contact these agencies directly, as their counselors are specially trained to assess your family’s needs, and most importantly, they can provide resources regarding employment, job training, food pantries, healthcare, and more. Below are the agencies’ contact information and hours of operation:

Frisco Family Services Center
P.O. Box 1387
8780 Third St.
Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 335-9495
www.friscocenter.org
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday

Christian Community Action
200 S Mill St.
Lewisville, TX 75067
www.ccahelps.org
(972) 219-HELP
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Community Services Inc.
P.O. Box 612
401 E Sixth Ave.
Corsicana, TX 75110
(800) 831-9929
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

 

Critical Care

If you or someone at your location uses life-sustaining equipment powered by electricity, you may qualify for critical care status. Your account will be coded to make our service technicians aware of your situation. We will notify you before any scheduled outages (for maintenance or repair). And, during unexpected outages, you’ll receive high priority as we restore power. Contact Customer Service to begin the process.

 

Office Address and Business Hours

We are located at 7701 S Stemmons, Corinth, TX 76210-1842. Our business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

Reporting Emergencies and Outages

Call (940) 321-7800 or (800) 274-4014. We answer our phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for emergencies such as power outages and safety hazards (power lines on the ground, broken utility poles, exposed underground wire and open transformers).

 

Privacy

We keep completely confidential all information needed to establish your account per the terms of our Privacy Policy. We never give away or sell this information for any reason (except as required by regulatory authorities or by a valid subpoena). CoServ has the right to request personal information to verify the identity of a caller requesting account details.

 

Weather Policy

Heat advisory
The National Weather Service, Dallas/Ft. Worth is the official heat advisory notification site for North Texas. The National Weather Service defines a heat advisory as follows: maximum heat indices of 105* or higher for two or more consecutive days, with a minimum night temperature of 78* or warmer. During the months of May through October, CoServ Electric will access The National Weather Service's website no later than 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday to determine if a heat advisory alert has been issued for any county located within CoServ Electric's service area. CoServ Electric will check The National Weather Service's Web site at one-hour intervals throughout the day on any day for which there exists a potential for a heat advisory alert. CoServ Electric will not disconnect electric service on a day that it has confirmed that a heat advisory alert has been posted on The National Weather Service's website for any county located within CoServ Electric's service area.

 

Inclement Weather
On a day when the previous day’s highest temperature did not exceed 32*F, and the temperature is predicted to remain below 32*F for the next 24 hours, or when the average of the temperatures is below 32*F for a 24 hour period anywhere in our service area (both electric and gas), CoServ will not disconnect a customer until the utility ascertains that no life-threatening condition exists in the customer’s household, or would exist, because of disconnection during severe weather conditions. These will be determined by The National Weather Service reports.