Utility Users Guide

Avoiding High Bills

  • Make your home or business as energy efficient as possible.  Your local electric and gas utilities may be able to help.  For details, visit Energy Efficiency Arkansas.
  • Level or flat billing options allow you to spread the cost of utility bills over the course of the year. Instead of high bills during summer and winter months, that usage will be “leveled” so that bills are consistent throughout the year. But be careful to read the details of your utility’s flat- or level-billing plan. During some months,  bills will be higher than with standard billing.

Avoiding Shutoffs

  • If a resident of your household has a serious medical condition, and disconnecting utility service would risk their health, you may be able to temporarily avoid cut-off by submitting a physician’s certificate.
  • Electric and gas utilities may not suspend  residential service in certain conditions in cold weather.
  • If you are elderly or handicapped, registering with the utility may restrict the utility’s ability to cut off your service, including during hot weather.
  • Contact your utility and discuss a payment plan. However, if you sign up for a payment plan, you must be able to follow it or you may incur additional charges.
  • Energy assistance may be available. Please see www.acaaa.org or http://liheap.ncat.org/profiles/Arkansas.htm for more details.

Deposits

  • Utilities are legally allowed to assess a deposit when  an existing customer does  not pay a utility bill by the close of business on the due date two times in a row or any three times during a year.
  • New customers may be assessed a deposit when applying for new service and are unable to provide proof of satisfactory payment history with the same kind of utility for the previous 12 months.
  • New customers may be assessed a deposit when applying for service if they  have an undisputed past due, unpaid account for previous service with the utility.
  • A deposit cannot be more than the total of your two highest bills during the last 12 months.
  • If you pay all bills in full by the due date in the next 12 months, then your deposit will be returned.

Rules Governing Utilities