N.J. Admin. Code § 14:3-3.4

Current through Register Vol. 56, No. 4, February 20, 2024
Section 14:3-3.4 - Deposits for service
(a) A utility may require a reasonable deposit as a condition of supplying service, in accordance with this section.
(b) The amount of any deposit required or increased pursuant to this section shall meet all of the following requirements:
1. The deposit shall be reasonably related to the probable charge for service, taking into account the customer's history regarding payment of utility bills;
2. The amount of a deposit shall be calculated at two times the average monthly bill for the previous 12 months; and
3. In determining the average monthly amount of a bill, there shall be excluded from the average bill any amount for which payment is made in advance.
(c) If the customer's actual bills subsequently prove that the deposit is either insufficient or excessive, the utility may change the deposit in accordance with the facts.
(d) A utility may require an existing customer to furnish a deposit or increase their existing deposit if the customer fails to pay a bill within 30 days after the due date printed on the bill. The deposit required shall be in an amount sufficient to secure the payment of future bills.
(e) If a utility requires a customer to furnish or increase a deposit under (c) or (d) above, the utility shall bill the customer for the deposit amount. If the customer fails to pay the required deposit amount within 15 days of the bill, the utility shall not discontinue the customer's service, except in accordance with 14:3-3A.2.
(f) If a customer's service has been discontinued for nonpayment under 14:3-3A.2, and the utility holds a deposit for that customer, the utility may apply the deposit as necessary to liquidate the bill. The utility may also, in accordance with 14:3-3A.9(c), require that the customer restore the deposit to its original amount.
(g) If a utility requires a deposit or requires that customers establish a credit record, the utility shall apply the same credit and deposit requirements throughout the utility service area, and, if the utility maintains a website, the utility shall post these requirements on that website. A utility shall not set different credit or deposit requirements for different municipalities or locations.
(h) When a utility requires a customer deposit for service, the utility shall inform the customer of the interest rate that applies to the deposit at the time the deposit is established, determined in accordance with 14:3-3.5.
(i) The utility shall furnish a receipt to each customer that makes a deposit. If the deposit is provided by mail, internet or telephone, the utility may comply with this requirement by displaying the amount of the deposit on the customer's next bill.
(j) If a utility, other than a telephone utility, furnishes unmetered service for which payment is made in advance, the utility may not require other guarantees to secure payment for service.

N.J. Admin. Code § 14:3-3.4

New Rule, R.2008 d.119, effective 5/19/2008.
See: 39 N.J.R. 4077(b), 40 N.J.R. 2481(a).
Former N.J.A.C. 14:3-3.4, Permits, recodified to N.J.A.C. 14:3-3.3(e).
Amended by 54 N.J.R. 1612(a), effective 8/15/2022