When Service May Be Terminated

Terminations Requiring Notice:

After sending a customer written notice at least 14 days in advance, a customer’s service may be turned off for any of the following reasons:

  1. Violation of, or noncompliance with, SMECO’s tariff on file with the PSC or with the applicable PSC rules (COMAR 20.50, Service Supplied by Electric Companies).
  2. Failure to fulfill contractual obligations for services or facilities subject to regulation by the PSC.
  3. Failure to provide access to the Co-op’s meter and equipment located on the customer’s premises.
  4. Failure to provide the Co-op with a deposit as authorized in COMAR 20.30.02, Residential Customer Deposits.
  5. Failure to furnish the service, equipment, permits, certificates, or rights-of-way, as specified by SMECO as a condition to obtaining service, or if the equipment or permissions are withdrawn or terminated.

Terminations Without Notice:

SMECO may turn off service without notice for any of the following reasons:

  1. A condition on a customer’s premises is determined by the Co-op to be hazardous.
  2. The customer’s use of equipment in a manner which adversely affects the Co-op’s equipment or service to others.
  3. The customer’s tampering with equipment furnished and owned by the Co-op.
  4. The customer’s unauthorized use of service by any method, including diversion of electricity around a meter.

Terminations With Seven Days’ Notice:

The Co-op may turn off service at a dwelling unit if service has been secured in any manner described below:

  1. Application was made in a fictitious name.
  2. Application was made in the name of an individual who is not an occupant of the dwelling unit, without disclosing the individual’s actual address.
  3. Application was made in the name of a third party without disclosing that fact or without authority from the third party.
  4. Application was made without disclosure of a material fact or by misrepresentation of a material fact.
  5. Application was made for service to a dwelling unit where there are co-occupants, if an account for that dwelling unit was previously held in the name of a current co-occupant who failed to pay or make arrangements to pay an outstanding bill or the undisputed portion of a disputed bill at the dwelling unit during a period of co-occupancy with the present applicant.
  6. Application was made for service to a dwelling unit where there are co-occupants, if the account at a prior dwelling unit of the applicant was held in the name of a current co-occupant who has failed to pay or make arrangements to pay an outstanding bill or undisputed portion of a disputed bill for service at the prior dwelling unit.
  7. Application was made by an individual to help another occupant of a dwelling unit to avoid payment of that occupant’s prior outstanding bill.

If service at a dwelling unit was secured in any manner described above, SMECO may give seven days’ notice that service will be turned off. The notice will state the facts or circumstances upon which the Co-op bases its decision that a turn-off is justified. The notice will state the amount of any outstanding bill. The Co-op may then proceed to turn off service unless certification is received from a licensed physician, physician's assistant, or certified nurse practitioner stating that service disconnection will aggravate an existing serious illness or prevent the use of life-support equipment of any occupant of the dwelling unit.

A customer who disputes the proposed turn-off must do so in accordance with the provisions of COMAR 20.32.01.04, Dispute Procedures.

Insufficient Reasons for Termination:

SMECO may not turn off service to an existing customer for the following reasons:

  • Failure of a previous customer to pay for service at the premises to be served unless the current or prospective customer violates one of the provisions under Terminations with Seven Days’ Notice.
  • Failure to pay:
  1. for goods and services provided by SMECO other than electric service;
  2. for service in other than a dwelling unit;
  3. the bill of another customer as guarantor of that other customer;
  4. a bill that is past due for less than three months if a security deposit exceeds the amount of the estimated final bill;
  5. any outstanding bill that is less than $50 and is past due for less than three months;
  6. any undercharge by SMECO for the period in excess of four months as described in COMAR 20.50.04.05; or
  7. an outstanding bill that is more than seven years old unless the customer signed an agreement to pay the outstanding bill before the expiration of this period, or the outstanding bill is for service obtained by the customer in any manner described in COMAR 20.31.02.03D or 20.31.02.04A(1)-(7).

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