1. In any case where a public utility company or municipality rendering equivalent
utility services permits its customers to pay their bills to a payment agency authorized
by the corporation or the municipality for collection of bills, the date of payment
to such authorized payment agency shall be the effective date of payment of such bill,
and the payment shall be regarded as if it were paid directly to the corporation or
municipality on such date. Where a customer of such corporation or municipality has paid a bill to an authorized
payment agency on or before a designated due date, no penalty or extra charge shall
accrue on such bill for the reason that the payment did not reach the corporation
or municipality on or before the designated due date. Notwithstanding the provision of this section, payments to authorized payment agencies
by residential customers shall be governed by article two of this chapter.
2. Backbilling. Except as provided for residential utility service pursuant to article two of this
chapter, no public utility company or municipality may render a bill for previously
unbilled service, or adjust upward a bill previously rendered, to a residential customer
after the expiration of twenty-four months from the time service to which the bill
or adjustment pertains was provided. This provision shall not apply when the culpable conduct of a customer caused or
contributed to the failure of the company or municipality to have rendered timely
or accurate billing.
3. Credit or refund of overpayments. (a) The commission shall have the power to require a public utility company or municipality
to provide a refund or credit to a customer when a payment has been made in excess
of the correct charge for actual service rendered to the customer.
(b) If a residential customer becomes eligible for a lower rate because he or she
changes the character of the service received and if excess payment resulted from
the failure of the customer to notify the utility or municipality providing service
of a change in the character of service received or from the failure of the utility
or municipality to change the rate after such notification by the customer, such a
customer will be entitled to such lower rate from the date the change occurs but such
a customer shall not be entitled to such lower rate for more than twenty-four months
prior to the giving of actual notice to the utility or municipality providing service.
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