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Deposit & Non Payment Policy

Bills, Notices, And Good Credit
A Good Credit History is a record of paying by the due date shown on the bill during the past year. A customer with a Good Credit History is a dependable payer.

Importance of A Good Credit History
A Good Credit History is important for the following reasons:
• If you already have a Good Credit History with API or another power or natural gas company when you sign up for a new  service, you don't have to pay a security deposit.
• If you have paid a security deposit, it is refunded once you have a good credit history covering the past year.
• A good reference can allow you to avoid paying a deposit if you sign up with another utility company.
• By paying on time, you avoid paying 1.5% interest - compounded monthly - more in late charges.
• API will require a security deposit if you have a poor credit history.

Bill Payment
Bills can be paid by any of the following methods on or before the due date:
1. Cheque or money order at the API office.
2. Telephone or online banking (payment arrives at API within three business days).
3. Major financial institutions: banks and credit unions (payment arrives within 14 days).
4. Pre-approved payment (the bill is paid directly from your bank account on the due date).
5. Mailing a cheque or money order to API (prior to the due date).
6. MasterCard and Visa payments can be made at our website www.algomapower.com


Courtesy Call
Monthly invoices are due on the due date indicated on your statements. In the event that your account is overdue, a courtesy call will be activated 8 days after the due date. If you receive a courtesy call and you have already paid, you may wish to check with API to make sure your payment has reached us; if it was paid on time it should have reached us by the time you receive the courtesy call. If you haven't paid the bill yet, payment can be made by certified cheque or money order (Canadian Funds) at the API office - as soon as possible - because payment stops any further steps in this process.

PAYMENTS MADE AFTER THE DUE DATE NEED TO BE PAID DIRECTLY TO API BY CERTIFIED CHEQUE OR MONEY ORDER.

Special Arrangements
If you have unusual circumstances arise where you will be unable to pay on time, call Customer Services as soon as you know you have a concern. We will discuss the situation with you and determine if a mutually acceptable arrangement can be made based on your Good Credit History. Note that arrangements past the cut off date are not made for customers with Poor Credit Histories. Do not leave this until we are about to interrupt your service.  You will still receive the regular notices of the outstanding amount, but as long as you fulfill the approved arrangements, the power will stay on.

Final Notices
Approximately two weeks after we send the reminder notice, the final notice for any account still having an outstanding amount is mailed. An overdue account should be paid immediately at our office, not by any other method. This avoids the service being interrupted while the payment is en route to us.

Service Interruption
If an account is not paid by approximately one month after the due date of the last bill, the service will be interrupted, except where payment arrangements have already been agreed upon by both the customer and API.  Where power is interrupted for non-payment, the outstanding bill, a security deposit and a reconnection fee must be paid to restore power.

Regaining a Good Credit History
Often financial difficulties are temporary. Any customer who has had payment problems will be pleased to know that a Good Credit History is attained after a one-year period of paying bills by the due date.


SECURITY DEPOSIT PROCEDURE


Background
Algoma Power Inc. (API) is a licensed distributor and is regulated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). In addition to charging approved distribution rates, API must in accordance with regulation, purchase and pass through charges from the Independent Electricity Market Operator (IMO). These IMO charges represent at least 2/3 of the consumer bill. In order to manage the non-payment risk costs, API, as permitted by law, assesses, charges and manages deposits to new and existing customers.

Types and Forms
The form of payment of a security deposit for a API customer shall be cheque or an automatically renewing, irrevocable letter of credit from a bank as defined in the Bank Act, 1991, c.46 at the discretion of the customer.  API, at its discretion, may also accept other forms of security, such as surety bonds and third party guarantees.  API shall permit the customer to provide a security deposit in equal installments paid over at least four months.  A customer may, at its discretion, choose to pay the security deposit over a shorter time period.

Requirement to Pay
API may require all deposits for new customers to be paid in full prior to connection of the service, or at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the deposit when paid through installments. Should a deposit remain unpaid, the normal collection process outlined in API’s Conditions of Service Manual will proceed. Unpaid amounts may result in service interruption for non-payment. API’s Service Interruption Policy fully describes timelines and processes following up to and including service interruption. The previously mentioned documents can be found at www.algomapower.com or at API’s office located at 2 Sackville Road, Suite A, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Maximum Deposit and Calculation
The maximum amount of a security deposit, which API will require a customer to pay, shall be calculated in the following manner:

Billing Cycle Factor x Estimated Bill

Estimated Bill Calculation
The estimated bill will be based on the location’s average billing amount with the distributor, during the most recent 12 consecutive months, within the past two years.  Where relevant usage information is not available for the location for 12 consecutive months, within the past two years, or where API does not have the past information for making the above calculation, the customer’s average billing amount shall be based on a reasonable estimate made by API. Where a customer has a payment history which discloses more than one disconnection notice in a relevant 12 month period, API will use that customer’s highest actual or estimated billing amount for the most recent 12 consecutive months, within the past 2 years, for the purposes of making the calculation of the maximum amount of security deposit.

Billing Cycle Factors
Monthly Cycle Billing - 2.5
Bi-Monthly Cycle Billing - 1.75
Quarterly Cycle Billing - 1.5
Annual Cycle Billing - 1.125

Allowable Deposit Reductions
Deposit requirements may be waived if the customer has a good payment history of 1 year, in the case of a residential or seasonal customer, 5 years in the case of a nonresidential customer in a <50 kW demand rate class, or 7 years in the case GS >50kW, Large User A and Large User B rate classes. The time period that makes up the good payment history must be the most recent period of time and some of the time period must have occurred in the previous 24 months.

For newly connected customers, or customers with no established API payment history; API will accept a letter from another distributor or gas distributor confirming the period of time the customer has had good payment history as described below.

A customer is deemed to have a good payment history unless, during the relevant time period set out in the first paragraph of this section, the customer has received more than one disconnection notice from the distributor, more than one cheque given to the distributor by the customer has been returned for insufficient funds, more than one preauthorized payment to the distributor has been returned for insufficient funds, or a disconnect / collect trip has occurred. If any of the preceding events occur due to an error by API, the customer’s good payment history shall not be affected.

Where a GS >50kW, Large User A or Large User B customer rate class has a credit rating from a recognized credit rating agency (provided by the customer), the maximum amount of a security deposit which the distributor may require the non-residential customer to pay shall be reduced in accordance with a credit rating table.

Contact Customer Service for information.

API may at its own discretion reduce the amount of security deposit required for any reason.

Deposit Interest Rates, Calculation and Payment
Interest shall accrue monthly on security deposits made by way of cash or cheque commencing on receipt of the total deposit required by API. The interest rate shall be at the Prime Business Rate as published on the Bank of Canada website less 2 percent, updated quarterly. The interest accrued shall be paid out at least once every 12 months or on return or application of the security deposit or closure of the account, whichever comes first, and will be paid by crediting the account of the customer or otherwise.

Deposit Review Process
API will review every customer’s security deposit at least once in a calendar year. This will determine a) whether the entire amount of the security deposit is to be returned to the customer, if the customer has progressed to a position that it would be exempt from paying a security deposit, or b) whether the amount of the security deposit is to be adjusted based on a re-calculation of the maximum amount of the security deposit. Where API determines, during the process of conducting a deposit review, that the maximum amount of the security deposit is to be adjusted upward, API may require the customer to pay this additional amount at the same time as that customer’s next regular bill comes due.

A customer may, no earlier than 12 months after the payment of a security deposit or the making of a prior demand for a review, demand in writing that API undertake a review to determine a) whether the entire amount of the security deposit is to be returned to the customer, as the customer is now in a position that it would be exempt from paying a security deposit, or b) whether the amount of the security deposit is to be adjusted based on a re-calculation of the maximum amount of the security deposit. A customer may not demand a review of a security deposit paid prior to February 2, 2004 until February 1, 2005.

Deposit Refunds
Where API determines in conducting a deposit review that some or all of the security deposit is to be returned to the customer, API shall promptly return this amount to the customer by crediting the customer’s account or otherwise. In the case of a customer in a >5000 kW demand rate class, where the customer is now in a position that it would be exempt from paying a security deposit had it not already paid a security deposit, API is only required to return 50% of the security deposit held by API. API shall promptly return any security deposit received from the customer upon closure of the customer’s account, subject to API’s right to use the security deposit to off set other amounts owing by the customer to the distributor. The security deposit shall be returned within six weeks of the closure of an account.


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