Rules and Regulations of BTES

1. APPLICATION FOR SERVICE - Each prospective Customer desiring electric, cable, Internet, telephone or any other service will enter into a contract for service with Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), post a deposit or acceptable guarantor’s agreement and pay the service activation charge. Two proofs of identity are required, and BTES may make a credit investigation. Service will not be supplied by BTES to any applicant: (a) who is then indebted to BTES or (b) who, at the time of application, is a member of the household of a former Customer who is indebted to BTES or (c) who was a member of the household of a former Customer when said indebtedness was incurred, except upon payment of such indebtedness.

2. DEPOSITS - A deposit equal to approximately twice the highest estimated monthly bill or suitable guarantor’s agreement may be required of any Customer. Annually upon written request, of the customer or at the discretion of BTES, the deposit requirement may be re-evaluated based on the most recent usage.  Interest at the rate paid by bank savings accounts within Bristol, Tennessee, shall accrue on all deposits and be paid annually on request or at the time the deposit is refunded. BTES shall have the right of recoupment and/or to off-set deposits against any account of the customer. BTES may obtain a credit report from an approved Credit Bureau. A residential deposit, including any earned interest, may be refunded after twelve (12) consecutive months in which all payments were made on or before the due date, no payments were rejected or declined by the Customer’s financial institution, and a satisfactory credit rating is maintained. A Flex Pay Customer may not be required to post a deposit.

3. POINT OF DELIVERY - The point of delivery is the point, as designated by BTES, on Customer’s premises where services are to be delivered. All wiring and equipment beyond this point of delivery shall be provided and maintained by Customer at no expense to BTES. Point of delivery is further defined as that point where obligation ends for BTES to furnish and install conductor, and where obligation begins for Customer to furnish and install conductor.

4. CUSTOMER’S WIRING - STANDARDS - All wiring of Customer must comply with standards set forth by the National Electrical Code, the State of Tennessee Division of Fire Prevention, or by local city or county codes. The National Code is superseded by the state or local codes if it is not as stringent, but in all cases is the minimum acceptable standard. All meter locations, for both underground and overheard services, must be approved by a representative of BTES. BTES shall not be obligated to provide protective equipment for the Customer’s lines, facilities, or equipment, and the Customer shall provide such protective equipment as necessary for the protection of its own property and operations.

5. INSPECTIONS - BTES will install electrical services only after a satisfactory inspection has been performed by an authorized representative of the Division of Fire Prevention, Department of Insurance, State of Tennessee. Applications for such inspections may be made at 2470 Volunteer Parkway but only for locations with approved contracts for BTES service located within Sullivan County, Tennessee outside the City of Bristol. Customers with approved contracts for service located within the City of Bristol, Tennessee may make application for such inspections at 104 Eighth Street. However, such inspections or failure to inspect or reject shall not render BTES liable or responsible for any loss incurred or from property damages resulting from defects in the installation, wiring, or appliances, or from violation of BTES rules, or from accidents which may occur upon Customer’s premises.  

6. UNDERGROUND SERVICE LINES - Customer desiring underground service lines from BTES must bear the excess cost incident thereto. Specifications and terms for such construction will be furnished by BTES on request. BTES shall have no responsibility for damage to the property of the Customer or others following installation or maintenance work on underground service lines, except to the extent it may result solely from the negligence or willful misconduct of BTES, its agents or employees. There will be a $2.00 per month routine maintenance charge in addition to energy and Customer charges in accordance with Schedule of Rates and Charges for all BTES owned and maintained mobile home pedestals.

7. CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR BTES PROPERTY - All meters, service connections and other equipment furnished by BTES shall be, and remain, the property of BTES. As part of the consideration for service, each Customer shall be BTES’ bailee of such facilities and shall accordingly desist from interfering with, impairing the operation of or causing damage to such facilities.  Customer shall control new and existing trees and shrubbery and placement of obstruction so as to prevent interference with utility lines and other BTES facilities. In the event such facilities are interfered with, BTES reserves the right to trim or remove said obstruction. Further, in the event such facilities are interfered with, impaired in their operation or damaged by the Customer, or by any other person when the Customer’s reasonable care and surveillance could have prevented such, the Customer shall indemnify BTES or any other person against death, injury, loss or damage resulting therefrom, including but not limited to BTES cost of repairing, replacing or relocating any such facilities. In the event such facilities are entered into, or tampered with in such a manner as to allow any service to be illegally consumed or the measurement of that usage to be impaired, a $300.00 charge will be assessed to the Customer of record and/or the occupant of the property where such tampering occurred, and in addition, such Customer of record and/or occupant shall indemnify BTES for its estimated loss of revenue, if any, resulting therefrom.

8. RIGHT OF ACCESS - BTES identified employees shall have access to Customer’s premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading meters, testing, repairing, removing or exchanging any or all equipment belonging to BTES. BTES may, at its discretion, utilize or upgrade existing facilities on Customer’s property for the additional purpose of serving other properties.

9. BILLING - Bills will be rendered monthly and shall be paid within fifteen (15) days from the date the bill is mailed/electronically transmitted by BTES. Bills paid after the due date stated on said bill shall be subject to an additional charge of 5%, as provided in the Schedule of Rates and Charges. Failure to receive bill will not release Customer from payment obligation. The additional charges shall not be less than $3 per service for cable and Internet. Should payment not be received accordingly, BTES may, six (6) days following the mailing or electronic transmittal of written notice to Customer, discontinue any or all services. An in-home display will serve as notice for Flex Pay customers. No further notice will be provided before all services are disconnected.

10. SERVICE ACTIVATION CHARGES - All activations for new service, transfers of service or reconnections of terminated services will require a payment of $25.00 in addition, all delinquent amounts, collection charges and deposits must also be paid. If, at the Customer’s request, the connection is made after regular work hours or is guaranteed to be completed on the same day that service application is made, the charge will be $50.00.

11. SERVICE CALL / COLLECTION CHARGES - If an attempt is made to collect and/or terminate a delinquent account, there will be a $25.00 charge for each such attempt. If a Customer requests that we re-read their meter, on verifying the previous reading to be correct, the customer will be charged $25.00. In the event a customer causes BTES to make an unnecessary service call or an after-hours service call at the Customer’s premises, BTES reserves the right to charge Customer with all reasonable costs associated with the service call.

12. PAYMENT REJECTION CHARGES - There will be a $25.00 charge for each check returned to BTES and for each presented payment rejected or declined by the Customer's financial institution.

13. TERMINATION OF CONTRACT BY CUSTOMER - Customers who have fulfilled their contract terms and wish to discontinue service must give at least three (3) days’ written notice to that effect, unless contract specifies otherwise. Notice to discontinue service prior to expiration of contract term will not relieve Customer from any minimum or guaranteed payment under any contract or rate.

14. CONSTRUCTION PEDESTAL - BTES will furnish and install a construction pedestal for Customers who request electrical service on a temporary basis. An initial installation fee of $30.00 will be collected plus a $15.00 per month rental charge in addition to energy and Customer charges in accordance with Schedule of Rates and Charges. In the event of loss of or damage to the construction pedestal, the Customer will be liable for the costs of necessary repairs or replacements. Other construction charges may apply.

15. DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE BY BTES - BTES may discontinue any service for the violation of any of the Schedule of Rules and Regulations or of the Schedule of Rates and Charges. BTES may discontinue any service to the Customer for the theft of services or the appearance of theft devices on the Customer’s premises. Any and/or all services will be discontinued to Customers with past due accounts. (Payment in full will be required and an additional deposit may be required before service will be restored.) The discontinuance of service by BTES for any causes stated in this rule does not release the Customer from his obligation to BTES for the payment of minimum bills as specified in contracts or any other amounts due BTES.  BTES evaluates weather conditions daily at for Bristol, TN 37620, and in the event that the forecasted temperature is not expected to exceed 32 degrees/ Fahrenheit (F) or under 100 degrees/Fahrenheit on that day, BTES will not discontinue service of residential customers for non payment.  During such events where service is extended due to weather conditions, the service extension shall not extend past the extreme weather condition or  past the customer’s next due date, whichever date comes first. If a BTES customer or a person residing in the customer’s residence has a life threatening medical condition that requires electrical powered special equipment to monitor, stabilize, support, or assist in maintaining their life an arrangement will be made to postpone disconnection of service for not more than 30 days from the original scheduled disconnection date to allow customer time to make payment or alternative shelter arrangements if the customer has never broken an arrangement for postponement of paying a bill. The customer must have on file at BTES a current approved Life Support Classification form. BTES will only grant this postponement for termination not more than two times in a twelve month period. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late fees, is not received by the end of the postponement period, electric service will be disconnected without further notice.

16. INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE - BTES will use reasonable diligence in supplying electric power, Internet, telephone and cable television services but shall not be liable for breach of contract in the event of, or for loss, injury, or damage to persons or property resulting from interruptions in service, excessive or inadequate voltage, single-phasing or otherwise unsatisfactory service, whether or not caused by negligence.

17. VOLTAGE FLUCTUATIONS CAUSED BY CUSTOMER - Electric service must not be used in such a manner as to cause unusual fluctuations or disturbances to BTES. BTES may require Customer, at his own expense, to install suitable apparatus which will reasonably limit such fluctuations.

18. ADDITIONAL LOAD - The service connection, transformers, meters, and equipment supplied by BTES for each Customer have definite capacity, and no additions to the equipment or load connected thereto will be allowed except by consent of BTES. Failure to give notice of additions or changes in load, and to obtain BTES consent for same, shall render customer liable for any damage to any of BTES lines or equipment caused by the additional or changed installation.

19. STANDBY AND RESALE SERVICE - All purchased services (other than emergency or standby service) used on the premises of Customer shall be supplied exclusively by BTES, and Customer shall not, directly or indirectly, sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of the services or any part thereof.

20. NOTICE OF TROUBLE - Customer shall notify BTES immediately should the service be unsatisfactory for any reason, or should there be any defects, trouble, or accidents affecting the supply of service. Such notices, if verbal, should be confirmed in writing.

21. NON-STANDARD OR MODIFIED SERVICE - The Customer shall pay for any special installations necessary to meet his particular requirements for other than BTES standard or planned voltage or standard voltage regulation. This includes making Customer requested changes in existing installations. No interconnection of any kind shall be permitted between BTES’ electric system and any electric supply from any other source, nor shall any electric supply from any other source be permitted to migrate into BTES’ electric system, unless approved in writing by BTES. Additionally, BTES will require technical information, including but not limited to manufacturer drawings, equipment layout, and details concerning the transfer switch apparatus, in regard to the interconnection or electric backup system. BTES reserves the right to alter or modify the requesting party’s plans to address safety concerns or BTES’ electric system integrity.

22. METER TESTS - BTES will, at is own expense, make periodic tests and inspections of its meters to maintain a high standard of accuracy. BTES will make additional tests or inspections of its meters at the request of Customer for a fee of $40.00. If tests made at Customer’s request show that the meter is accurate within two percent (2%) slow or fast, no adjustment will be made in Customer’s bill. In case the test shows meter to be in excess of two percent (2%) fast or slow, an adjustment shall be made in Customer’s bill over a period not to exceed sixty (60) days prior to date of such test, and cost of making test shall be bourne by BTES.

23. OUTDOOR LIGHTING FACILITIES - BTES will supply, install, and maintain the Light Fixture, all the equipment pertaining to the Fixture, and furnish electrical energy to the Customer. BTES shall, at the request of Customer, relocate or change existing BTES-owned equipment. Customer shall reimburse BTES for such changes at actual cost including appropriate overheads.

24. BILLING ADJUSTED TO STANDARD PERIODS - The Customer charges and the energy charges set forth in the Schedule of Rates and Charges are based on billing periods of approximately one month. In the case of the first billing of new accounts (temporary service and other seasonal Customers excepted) and final billing of all accounts (temporary service excepted) where the period covered by the billing involves fractions of a month, the Customer charges and the energy charge will be adjusted to a basis proportionate with the period of time during which service is extended.

25. LOAD MANAGEMENT PROGRAM - BTES operates load control equipment placed on the premises or equipment of Customers. At any time, either party, Customer or BTES, at their option, may cancel by written notice their participation in the Load Management Program, after which the load management equipment will be removed from their premises or equipment. Damages shall be limited to the repair and/or replacement of equipment under warranty. The program is subject to the policy of the Load Management Program.

Usage of services provid
ed by BTES is subject to the Fiber Services Acceptable Use Policy.

27. CUSTOMER'S ENERGY USE DATA - Upon request, using procedures established by BTES, BTES will make available to customers their available energy consumption data for the prior 12 months.  BTES will not provide to other parties any customer's individually identifiable energy consumption data or other individually identifiable customer data collected by BTES without the customer's authorization, using authorization procedures established by BTES. Aggregated energy use data will be utilized only by BTES and parties authorized by BTES in order to enhance system security, reliability, and improve system efficiency and will not be provided to any other parties except with BTES approval. Nothing in this paragraph limits TVA's rights as provided under the Wholesale Power Contract.

28. SCOPE - The schedule of Rules and Regulations is a part of all contracts for receiving electric service from BTES and applies to all service received from BTES, whether the service is based upon contract, agreement, signed application, or otherwise. A copy of this Schedule together with a copy of BTES Schedule of Rates and Charges, approved in an open BTES Board of Directors’ meeting, shall be provided to new customers, shall be kept open to inspection at the offices of BTES or may be found on our website at local retail rate actions will be posted on the BTES website. In the case of billing disputes or other service issues, the customer is expected to resolve the dispute by notifying and working with BTES. If the dispute is not resolved, BTES will provide the customer with information regarding TVA’s Complaint Resolution Process. Customers will be informed about the availability of the TVA Complaint Resolution Process upon application of service, at any time upon request and through information provided on BTES’ website.

29. REVISIONS - These Rules and Regulations may be revised, amended, supplemented, or otherwise changed from time to time, without notice. Such changes, when effective, shall have the same force as the present Rules and Regulations.

30. CONFLICT - In case of conflict between any provision of any Schedule of Rates and Charges and the Schedule of Rules and Regulations, the Schedule of Rates and Charges shall apply.

revised February 15, 2017


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