February 2024 North Avenue News: Miscellaneous Service Fees

We invite our customers to review our proposed updated Miscellaneous Service fees and to provide feedback.

At Burlington Electric Department (BED), we assess various Miscellaneous Fees pursuant to a tariff approved by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). Examples of these fees include: the initial service fee, charged when BED starts electric service at a customer’s service location; the reconnection fee, charged when BED restores electric service to a customer who has been disconnected for nonpayment after multiple reminders; returned check fee, charged when the bank does not honor a payment by check; and a customer assistance call fee, charged when a customer requests BED staff to visit a service location and BED determines the issue to be the customer’s responsibility.

Our current Miscellaneous Fees have been in place since July 1, 2010, having been set based on costs in fiscal year 2009 (FY09). This cost basis pre-dated BED’s deployment of our advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), or smart meters.

To serve you better, we recently have analyzed our business processes for all services associated with Miscellaneous Fees, including how our smart meters streamline our processes in certain instances. We also reviewed and updated all BED time and staff involvement with each service and applied updated FY23 labor and labor overhead rates. Finally, we followed the provisions of our contract with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The results of our analyses have led to both proposed fee decreases and increases. For example, BED’s analysis shows that performing initial service for a returning BED customer costs approximately $6 and for a first-time BED customer approximately $15, whereas the initial service fee currently is $30. One example of a proposed fee increase is for returned checks, where our analysis shows that costs have increased from $10 to $28, based on increased bank fees.

We invite our customers to review our proposed updated Miscellaneous Service fees by visiting burlingtonelectric.com/proposedfees and to provide feedback through the form on that website page. Also, you are welcome to attend the Burlington Electric Commission (BEC) meeting on Wednesday, February 14 at 5:30pm at 585 Pine Street, to share comments during public forum.

With your input and our further review, we plan to finalize our proposed fees and ask the BEC to vote on them at their March 13 meeting. Thereafter, we will take our proposals to the City Council and then to the PUC. Community members will have opportunities to comment on the proposals during consideration by both governing bodies.

Thank you for helping us serve you even better.