Section 280.20  Definitions


"Actual Reading" means a direct meter reading taken by utility personnel or a meter service provider at the customer's location or by use of a remote reading device.


"Applicant" means a person seeking to establish new residential or non-residential utility service under the accepted application process and who is not a customer. Applicants agree to provide payment for utility services that will be rendered to them. Successful applicants immediately become customers.


"Budget Payment Plan" means a plan seeking to reduce fluctuations in the amount a customer must pay in each billing cycle. The customer agrees to pay an amount for each billing cycle that is based upon the amount the utility expects the customer to be billed for an entire year, divided by the number of billing cycles in the year. The amount may be adjusted to accommodate changes in the usage pattern by the customer.


"Class of Service" means either residential service or non-residential service.


"Credit Scoring System" has the same meaning set forth in 12 CFR 202.2 (January 1, 2002). A utility that elects to use a credit scoring system shall file a tariff describing its practice of using the credit scoring system.


"Current" means the status of a customer's utility account when there are no past due amounts owing on the account for utility services, including amounts owing for deposits, deferred payment arrangements or medical payment arrangements.


"Customer" means a person receiving utility service after a successful application and a person transferring utility service from one location to another within the conditions described under the definition of "Transfer of Service".


"Customer Provided Reading" means a meter reading submitted by a customer to a utility instead of an actual or an estimated reading for the purpose of generating a bill.


"Deferred Payment Arrangement" or "DPA" means a payment plan under which a customer may retire a past due amount owed to a utility by paying installments towards the arrearage, in addition to paying future bills.


"Deposit" means money provided by a customer and held by a utility as a guarantee towards payment for utility service.


"Illegal Tap" means a diversion of utility service in which  a party or parties other than the customer of record receives a portion of the customer's metered utility service without the customer's consent.


"Implementation Checklist" means a list of each new requirement imposed by this Part on November 1, 2014, including but not limited to: a reference to the Subpart that imposes the new requirement, a general description of the new requirement, the date by which the utility must be in compliance, a description of the old requirement currently in place (if applicable), and a utility phone number the customer can call with questions.   


"Implementation Plan" means a plan each utility creates to detail when it expects to be in full compliance with each new requirement included in the implementation checklist. The Plan includes the following: the date the new requirement will be fully implemented, the rationale for a delay in meeting the requirement, a description of the work that must be completed for implementation, including a timetable, steps that have or will be taken to achieve maximum reasonable compliance prior to the date full compliance is required, and the expected cost of the implementation.


"Low Income Customer" means a residential customer who has qualified under the income criteria of Section 6 of the Energy Assistance Act of 1989 [305 ILCS 20/6]. Qualification is effective for purposes of this definition when the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) administrator notifies the customer's utility of the customer's low income status. Unless water and sewer utilities begin participation in a low income assistance program with the LIHEAP agencies, it shall be the individual customer's responsibility to notify and provide proof to the water and/or sewer utility of the customer's low income status under the income criteria of Section 6 of the Energy Assistance Act of 1989. Qualifications established on or after September 1 shall remain effective for purposes of this definition until December 31 of the following year. Qualifications established before September 1 shall remain effective until December 31 of that same year. The utility shall notify the customer 30 through 90 days prior to the expiration of a customer's qualification.


"Medical Certificate" means written certification (though initial certification may be by phone) of medical necessity provided to the utility company by a doctor or the local department of public health.  If a customer or occupant in the home is very sick, a medical certificate will provide the following documentation to the utility company:


Name and contact information for the certifying party;


Service address and name of patient;


A statement that the patient resides at the premises in question; and


A statement that the disconnection of utility service will aggravate an existing medical emergency or create a medical emergency for the patient.


"Master-Metered Customer" means a non-residential customer for a building where a single meter measures the utility service provided to three or more dwelling units in the building instead of separate meters for each residential unit in the building.


"Medical Payment Arrangement" or "MPA" means a payment plan established after the use of a medical certificate under which a customer may retire a past due amount owing to a utility by paying installments towards the arrearage in addition to paying future bills.


"Meter Service Provider" means every provider of metering service certified by the Illinois Commerce Commission under 83 Ill. Adm. Code 460.


"Non-residential Customer" means any customer not on a residential rate.


"Occupant" means a person who is not a utility customer and who receives the benefit of utility services at a residential or non-residential service location.


"Past Due" means any amount unpaid for more than two days beyond the due date on a customer's utility account bill statement.


"Payment Avoidance by Location" or "PAL" means a pattern of action taken to avoid payment for utility service used by customers or occupants at a specific premises. Evidence proving a PAL allegation shall be the burden of the utility.


"Person" means any legal entity with the ability to become a utility customer, including but not limited to: individual persons, units of government, corporations, trusts, partnerships, associations, not-for profits, boards, organizations and institutions.


"Residential Customer" means a customer receiving service for household purposes, including service provided through a single meter to one or two dwelling units.


"Returned Payment" means any payment submitted for utility service for which the utility is unable to receive the funds submitted for payment, when the parties have not mutually agreed to void or otherwise disregard the submitted payment.


"Small Business" means an Illinois business with 50 or less full time employees in Illinois [220 ILCS 35/2(b)].


"Staff" means the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission.


"Tampering" means any unauthorized alteration of utility equipment or facilities by which a benefit is achieved for which the utility is not compensated. Tampering includes customer self-restoration of utility service. Proof of tampering shall be the burden of the utility.


"Transfer of Service" means terminating service at one location and activating service at another location by the same customer of record served by the same utility within 14 calendar days, as long as there is no change in the rate class of the customer. A transfer of service shall not be deemed an application for service unless the utility has reason to believe that the person requesting the transfer of service is not the original customer. Outside any winter, temperature or other period defined by statute or rule restricting disconnection of service, a customer requesting a transfer of service but who has past due utility charges or deposit amounts that have not previously been disputed by the customer owing for more than 2 days past the due date may be denied the transfer unless the customer pays the past due utility charges or deposit or enters into a payment agreement on the amounts owing.  It shall be the responsibility of the utility to advise the customer of any such outstanding amounts at the time the transfer of service is soughtThis definition shall not be construed to entitle the customer to rights to an additional deferred payment arrangement beyond those conferred by Section 280.120.


"Type of Service" means gas, electric, water or sewer service.


"Written" or "Writing" means either a hard copy or electronic copy, unless it is specifically stated a hard copy must be placed in the U.S. Mail or delivered by other means.  Where this Part requires information to be "written" or in "writing", an electronic record satisfies that requirement, so long as both utility and customer have agreed to electronic communications.