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Introduction

Download PEC’s Articles of Incorporation »

Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation of Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Part I

Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. (the “Corporation”), pursuant to the provisions of Articles 161.151 and 161.152 of the Texas Electric Cooperative Corporation Act (the “Act”), hereby adopts these Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation (these “Articles”). These Articles accurately state the text of the previous Articles of Incorporation and each Articles of Amendment thereto that is in effect as well as the change to the Registered Agent set forth in the Statement of Change of Registered Agent filed with the Secretary of State effective April 6, 2010 (collectively the “Prior Articles”), as further amended hereby. The following provisions of the Corporation’s Articles are amended hereby: Article IV; Article V; Section 2 of Article VIII. The following provision of the Corporation’s Articles is added hereby: Article IX. These Articles do not contain any other change in the Articles of Incorporation being restated.

Part II

The prior Articles are amended and restated in their entirety as follows:

Article I. The name of the Corporation is PEDERNALES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

Article II. The purposes for which the Corporation is organized are the provision of electric energy and other goods and services, without regard to geographic location, to any person, without restriction, and, except as otherwise expressly excluded by the Electric Cooperative Corporation Act, the transaction of any or all lawful business.

Article III. The names and addresses of the original incorporators who shall serve as directors and manage the affairs of the Corporation until the first annual meeting of the members or until their successors are elected and qualified are as follows:

Name Residence
Hugo Weinheimer Stonewall, Texas
W.B. Bryson Bertram, Texas
R. Klappenbach, Jr. Johnson City, Texas
L. W. Chick Twin Sisters, Texas
L. A. Warner Lake Victor, Texas
John W. McLeod Pontotoc, Texas
A. Ricketson Llano, Texas
Tom Carr Kerrville, Texas (Box 190)
O.S. Brumley Dripping Springs, Texas
Charles Howard Driftwood, Texas
Paul Stehling Fredericksburg, Texas (Star Rt.)

Article IV. The number of directors shall be seven (7), except that if a vacancy occurs on the Board, that vacancy may remain until the next annual meeting of the members. Those elected at the annual meeting of the members on June 19, 1961, shall determine by lot the term for which they are to serve. Two (2) of such directors shall serve for one (1) year, two (2) of such directors shall serve for two (2) years and three (3) of such directors shall serve for three (3) years, or until their successors are elected and qualified. Directors elected at all annual meetings held after June 19, 1961, shall serve for a term of three (3) years.

Article V. The address of the principal office of the Corporation shall be Johnson City, County of Blanco, Texas, and the name and address of its agent upon whom process may be served is C T Corporation System, 350 North St. Paul Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

Article VI. The duration of the Corporation shall be perpetual.

Article VII.

Section 1. The undersigned incorporators shall be members of the Corporation. In addition to the undersigned incorporators, any person, corporation or partnership may become a member of the Corporation by: (a) paying suchmembership fee as shall be specified by the Board of Directors of the Corporation; (b) agreeing to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Corporation and any amendments thereto and such rules and regulations as may from time to time be adopted by the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

Section 2. Each member shall purchase from the Corporation not less than the minimum services which shall, from time to time, be determined by the Board of Directors of the Corporation; and shall pay therefore and for all additional energy and other services used by such member at a price which from time to time shall be fixed therefore by resolution of the Board of Directors.

Section 3. The Bylaws of the Corporation may fix other terms and conditions upon which persons shall be admitted to and retain membership in the Corporation not inconsistent with these Articles of Incorporation or applicable law.

Article VIII.

Section 1. Subject to the provisions of any mortgage or deed of trust given by the Corporation and within sixty (60) days after the expiration of each fiscal year the Board of Directors, after paying or providing for the payment of all operating and maintenance expenses of the Corporation including an amount for prospective operating and maintenance expenses for a reasonable period, and all interest and installments on account of the principal of notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness of the Corporation which shall have become due and be unpaid, or which shall have accrued at the end of the fiscal year just ended but which shall not be then due, and after paying or making provision for the payment of all taxes, insurance and all other non-operating expenses which shall have become due and be unpaid and all taxes, insurance and all other non-operating expenses which shall have accrued at the end of the fiscal year just ended but which shall not be then due, shall apply the revenues and receipts of the Corporation remaining thereafter for the following purposes and in the following order of priority:

  1. The establishment and maintenance of a reserve for the payment of interest on and principal of all outstanding notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness of the Corporation in an amount which shall equal the amount of principal and interest required to be paid in respect of such notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness during the ensuing fiscal year.
  2. The establishment and maintenance of a general reserve fund for working capital, insurance, taxes, improvements, new construction, depreciation, obsolescence and contingencies in an amount that the Board of Directors shall deem reasonable.
  3. And all revenues and receipts not needed for the foregoing purposes shall be returned from time to time to the members on a pro rata basis according to the amount of business done with each during the period either in cash, abatement of current charges for electric energy or otherwise as the Board of Directors shall determine; but such return may be made by way of general rate reduction to the members if the Board of Directors so elects; provided, however, that in no case shall any such refunds be paid to any member who is indebted to the Corporation until such indebtedness is paid or arrangements in respect thereof satisfactory to the Board of Directors shall have been made.

Section 2. A quorum of Members for the transaction of business at all meetings of the members is five thousand (5,000) Members present in person or casting a vote electronically, by mail or on their own behalf by any other method approved by the Board.

Section 3. The Board of Directors shall have power to make and adopt such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with these Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws of the Corporation, as it may deem advisable for the management, administration and regulation of the business and affairs of the Corporation.

Section 4. The private property of the members of the Corporation shall not be subject to the payment of, and no member shall be individually responsible for, corporate debts to any extent whatever.

Section 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 2 of this Article VIII regarding the constitution of a quorum for the transaction of business at meetings of the members of the Corporation, the Corporation may not sell or transfer all or substantially all of its assets without the approval of 66 2/3 percent of all members of the Corporation. Any amendment of this Section shall require a majority vote of all members of the Corporation. A member may vote by proxy under this Section.

Article IX. Member Bill of Rights.

Section 1. Nature of the Bill of Rights. This Article embodies the core elements of Cooperative governance that, because of their fundamental importance, cannot be amended without the consent of the membership. Sections within this Article may not be amended or repealed except by an affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of the Board of Directors and the approval of two thirds (2/3) of those Members of the Cooperative voting at a Member Meeting on their own behalf in person, by mail, electronically or by any other method authorized by the Board.

Section 2. Voting and Election Safeguards. A Member has the right to fair and open Director elections, with nomination to the Director ballot by petition. Proxy ballots are prohibited for use in any Director election.

Section 3. Open Meetings. A Member has the right to attend every regular, special or called meeting of the Board of Directors and its committees, except for executive sessions as allowed by policy or law. All meetings shall be called with proper notice, and any final action, decision or vote on a matter shall be made in an open meeting.

Section 4. Open Records. A Member has the right, on written request, to examine and copy at the Member’s expense the records of PEC, except those records exempted from disclosure for reasons of privacy, attorney-client privilege, real estate subject matter, personnel subject matter, security or matters that are clearly competitive, when the Board determines in good faith that disclosure presents a compelling risk of likely harm to the Cooperative or its members.

Part III

The amendments to Article IV, Article V and Section 2 of Article VIII and the addition of Article IX have been made in accordance with the Act and have been approved in the manner required by the Act and the governing documents of the Corporation by being approved by majority vote of the Corporation’s members at the annual meeting held on June 19, 2010, at which a quorum was present.

Preamble

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Bylaws as amended Dec. 16, 2013

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. (the "Cooperative") is a democratic organization owned and controlled by its Members (as defined herein), who directly elect the Cooperative’s governing body and who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The Cooperative is committed to serving our communities by providing excellent member services, and safe and reliable energy services at a competitive price.

These Bylaws shall be liberally construed so as to ensure that the Cooperative operates with accountability and transparency to its Members. It is the fundamental philosophy and policy of the Cooperative to conduct its operations with a clear presumption of disclosure to its Members, so that in the face of doubt, openness prevails. Members shall have a special right of access, beyond any right of the general public, to the policies, procedures, information, meetings, and records of the Cooperative.

Article I: Members

Section 1. Membership Procedure. Any individual or entity ("Applicant") with the capacity to enter into legally binding contracts that seeks Electric Service (as defined herein) within the Cooperative’s Service Area (as defined herein) may become a member of the Cooperative ("Member"):

To establish status as a Member of the Cooperative ("Membership"), an Applicant must agree to:

  1. make application for Membership, in whatever form then specified by the Board of Directors;
  2. agree to purchase electric service from the Cooperative ("Electric Service");
  3. pay the Membership Fee described in Section 2 below and any other amounts specified in the Cooperative’s business rules ("Business Rules") and tariff ("Tariff"); and
  4. agree to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative and these Bylaws and any amendments thereto and such Business Rules and Tariff as may from time to time be adopted by the Board of Directors (collectively, the "Governing Documents"). The Governing Documents shall be called to the attention of each Member of the Cooperative by posting in a conspicuous place in the Cooperative’s headquarters office and on the Cooperative’s website.

A husband and wife may jointly become members ("Joint Membership") or convert an individual Membership to a Joint Membership in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section. Holders of a Joint Membership: shall enjoy the rights, benefits, and privileges, and are subject to the obligations, requirements, and liabilities, of being a Member; shall notify the Cooperative in writing of a cessation of marriage or the death of a holder of a Joint Membership; and, shall have a single vote for all matters subject to voting.

Other than a Joint Membership, no Membership may be shared or held by more than one person or entity simultaneously, though the Business Rules and Tariff may allow multiple parties to guaranty payment on an account.

Section 2. Membership Fee. A Membership Fee shall be fixed by the Board of Directors ("Membership Fee"). The payment of the Membership Fee and any other amounts required by the Cooperative’s Business Rules and Tariff shall make the Member eligible for one (1) service connection. Additional fees may be required for each additional service connection requested by the Member, but no further Membership Fee shall be charged and no additional Memberships shall be created by the creation of additional service connections by the Member.

Section 3. Membership Certificates. Membership in the Cooperative shall be evidenced by a certificate of Membership ("Membership Certificate") which shall be in such form and shall contain such provisions as shall be determined by the Board of Directors not contrary to, or inconsistent with, the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative or these Bylaws.

Section 4. Purchase of Services. Each Member shall, as soon as Electric Service shall be available, purchase from the Cooperative such Electric Service, and shall pay therefore at rates that shall from time to time be fixed by resolution of the Board of Directors. Amounts paid in excess of the cost of Electric Service are furnished by Members as capital, and each Member shall be credited with the capital the Member furnished as provided in these Bylaws ("Patronage Capital"). Each Member shall pay such minimum amount per month as shall be fixed by the Board of Directors of the Cooperative, from time to time, regardless of the amount of services used. Each Member shall also pay all obligations that may from time to time become due and payable by such Member to the Cooperative as and when the same shall become due and payable.

Section 5. Non-liability for Debts of the Cooperative. The private property of the Members of the Cooperative shall be exempt from execution for the debts of the Cooperative, and no Member shall be individually liable or responsible for any debts or liabilities of the Cooperative.

Section 6. Expulsion of Members. The Board of Directors of the Cooperative may, by the affirmative vote of not less than five (5) Directors, expel any Member who shall have violated or refused to comply with any of the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative, these Bylaws, the Business Rules or the Tariff adopted from time to time by the Board of Directors. Any Member so expelled may be reinstated as a Member by the vote of five (5) or more of the members of the Board of Directors at any meeting of such Board of Directors. The action of the Board of Directors with respect to any such reinstatement shall be final unless and until a new cause for expulsion arises.

Section 7. Withdrawal of Membership. Any Member may withdraw from Membership upon payment in full of all debts and liabilities of such Member to the Cooperative and upon compliance with such terms and conditions as the Board of Directors may prescribe. The Membership Fee may be refunded to the Member withdrawing from Membership upon payment of all outstanding obligations; the foregoing refund provision shall not apply to Members for whom service has been provided, but who have refused connection.

Section 8. Termination of Membership. Membership in the Cooperative and a Membership Certificate representing the same shall not be transferable, and upon the death, cessation of existence, expulsion or withdrawal of a Member, the Membership of such Member shall thereupon terminate and the Membership Certificate of such Member shall be effectively revoked. Termination of Membership in any manner shall not release the Member from the debts or liabilities of such Member to the Cooperative. When a Membership is a Joint Membership, upon death of either husband or wife, such Joint Membership shall be deemed to be held solely by the survivor with the same effect as though such Membership had been originally issued solely to him or her, as the case may be, and upon the recording of such death on the books of the Cooperative, the Membership Certificate may be reissued to and in the name of such survivor; provided, however, that the estate of the deceased shall not be released from any Membership debts or liabilities to the Cooperative until the satisfaction of such debts or liabilities.

When a Membership is held jointly by a husband and wife, upon legal termination of such marriage, the Membership shall be deemed to be held solely by the spouse continuing to meet the Membership requirements who presents his or her personal affidavit assuming the Membership and responsibility of all debts and liabilities owed to the Cooperative or a court order of similar effect. In the event of the change in a Member’s legal name, an affidavit or court order shall also be required to enact the name change on the Membership roster.

Subject to the payment of all debts and liabilities of a Member to the Cooperative, upon termination of Membership, the Cooperative shall pay to such a Member or the Member’s personal representative, an amount equal to the Membership Fee paid by such Member.

Section 9. Dispute Resolution. A Member shall submit any claim or dispute between the Member and the Cooperative regarding the Governing Documents, the Cooperative’s provision of Electric Service, or other matter to the Board of Directors for resolution before pursuing any other action against the Cooperative, except as provided by law.

Section 10. Membership Lists. The Cooperative shall maintain a record of current Members in a form permitting the Cooperative to alphabetically list the names and addresses and Director Districts of all Members (“Membership List”). Upon twenty-five (25) days prior written notice or request to the Cooperative, and upon providing a sworn affirmation of a proper purpose, as defined by the Board, a Member may inspect or obtain a copy of the Membership List. The Member’s use of the list shall be limited to the proper purpose affirmed by the Member.

Article II: Meetings of Members

Section 1. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Members shall be held on the third Saturday of June at 10:30 am or such other date and time within June each year, as may be designated by the Board of Directors of the Cooperative, at the Cooperative’s Training Center in Blanco County, Texas, or such other place in any county in which the Cooperative provides service as may be designated by the Board of Directors of the Cooperative ("Annual Meeting"). The purposes of the Annual Meeting are to elect Directors and transact such other business as listed in the notice of the Annual Meeting. If the election of Directors shall not be held on the day designated by the Board of Directors for any Annual Meeting, or at any adjournment thereof, the Board of Directors of the Cooperative shall cause the election to be held at a Special Member Meeting (as defined herein) as soon thereafter as may be convenient. Failure to hold the Annual Meeting as designated herein shall not result in forfeiture or dissolution of the Cooperative. At the Annual Meeting, a report shall be provided regarding the activities of the Cooperative during the past year, and audit reports of the accounts, books and financial condition presented to the Board shall be submitted to the Members.

Section 2. Special Member Meeting. A special meeting of the Members ("Special Member Meeting") may be called by the President, or a majority of the Directors, or by a petition signed by at least 10% of the Members ("Member Petition"). A Special Member Meeting shall be held at any place within a county in which the Cooperative provides service, and shall include on the agenda any items listed on the Member Petition or as otherwise specified by the President or a majority of Directors.

Section 3. Notice of Member Meeting. Written or printed notice stating the place, day and hour of an Annual Meeting or Special Member Meeting (each a "Member Meeting") and purpose for which the Member Meeting is called, shall be delivered, either personally or by mail, to each Member not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days before the date of the Member Meeting, by or at the direction of the President, the Secretary, or other persons calling the Member Meeting. If mailed, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail, addressed to the Member at the Member’s address as it appears on the records of the Cooperative with postage thereon prepaid. The failure of any Member to receive notice of any Member Meeting shall not invalidate any action that may be taken by the Members at any such meeting.

Section 4. Agenda, Attendance, and Action at Member Meetings. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, before or at a Member Meeting, the Board of Directors shall determine the agenda, program, or order of business for the Member Meeting. Except as otherwise provided by the Board of Directors, the President shall preside at the Member Meeting and may exercise duties and take actions reasonably necessary for efficiently and effectively conducting the Member Meeting. Members attending the Member Meeting may consider, vote, or act only upon matters listed in the notice of the Member Meeting.

Section 5. Member Quorum. A quorum of Members is five thousand (5,000) Members ("Member Quorum") present in person or casting a vote by mail, electronically or on their own behalf by any other method approved by the Board of Directors. If less than the Member Quorum is present in person or by vote cast by mail, electronically or by other method authorized by the Board of Directors at a Member Meeting, then a majority of Members attending the Member Meeting in person may adjourn the Member Meeting to a date no more than ninety (90) days following the original Member Meeting.

Section 6. Voting. Each Member shall be entitled to one (1) vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at a Member Meeting. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, Members shall be deemed to have approved a matter if: (1) a Member Quorum is present and (2) a majority of the Member Quorum vote in favor of the matter. Except in instances specifically mandated by law or the Articles of Incorporation, a Member may not appoint another individual person ("Member Proxy") to vote on any matter for the Member.

Section 7. Election Service Provider. The Cooperative shall designate an independent election service provider to conduct services as specified in these Bylaws, or otherwise determined by the Board of Directors (the "Election Service Provider").

Section 8. Ballots. At all Member Meetings, a Member may vote by ballot. Members may vote their ballot in person at a Member Meeting or, prior to the Member Meeting, may deliver their ballot to the Election Service Provider either in person, by mail, or, when the option is made available to Members, electronically or by any other method authorized by the Board of Directors. All ballots not cast in person at a Member Meeting must be filed for certification with the Cooperative’s Secretary or Election Service Provider no later than eight (8) days before a Member Meeting to be valid at said meeting. Not less than twenty-five (25) days nor more than thirty (30) days prior to a Member Meeting at which a Director Election is to be held, the Secretary shall deliver, either personally or by mail, a ballot to each Member that is eligible to vote that includes (1) Director Districts scheduled for election by Members; (2) names of all Director Candidates and corresponding Director Districts; and (3) any other matters to be voted on by the Members at the Member Meeting.

Section 9. Record Date. The "Record Date" is the date for determining the total number of Members and Members entitled to: (1) sign any petition, request, demand, consent, appointment, or similar document; (2) receive a ballot, notice of a Member Meeting, or similar document; or (3) vote. If a party is not a Member on the Record Date, then the party may not sign a document, receive a document, or vote. The Record Date for voting at a Member Meeting is the date of the Member Meeting; provided, however, the Board of Directors may fix a different Record Date so long as such date is no more than twenty (20) days before the date a ballot, notice, or similar document is due or required.

Article III: Directors

Section 1. General Powers and Director Districts.

General Powers. The business and affairs of the Cooperative shall be managed by a Board (the "Board of Directors"), consisting of a director (a "Director") from each of the Cooperative’s seven (7) Director Districts (as defined herein), except for such vacancies as are allowed by law or these Bylaws. The Board of Directors shall exercise all of the powers of the Cooperative except such as by law, by the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative, or by these Bylaws are conferred upon or reserved to the Members or otherwise delegated to the Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors shall have the ability to appoint member advisory committees.

Director Districts. Based upon Memberships, Cooperative growth or other equitable considerations determined by the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors shall divide the general area in which the Cooperative provides Electric Service (the "Service Area") into seven (7) districts that equitably represent the Members (the "Director Districts"). As necessary, based upon equitable considerations determined by the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors may revise the Director District boundaries.

Section 2. Qualifications and Terms of Directors.

Qualifications. To be eligible for election as a Director or to remain a Director a person must meet the following qualifications (collectively, the "Director Qualifications"):

  1. Be twenty-one (21) years of age or older;
  2. Have earned a high school diploma from an accredited institution, or obtained state certification through General Educational Development tests (GED), by the date of the Annual Meeting at which the Director is elected;
  3. Be a United States citizen;
  4. Be a Member in good standing of the Cooperative, by having met and adhered to the Cooperative’s payment policies in accordance with credit requirements contained in the Cooperative’s Tariff and Business Rules, as amended from time to time, and any other requirements for membership in good standing established by Board resolution;
  5. While a Director and during the three (3) years immediately prior to becoming a Director, not have been an employee of the cooperative or have a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, parent-in-law, stepchild, grandparent, or grandchild who is or has been an employee or Director of the Cooperative;
  6. Have his or her primary residence receiving continuous electric service for one year in the district for which election is sought. Primary residence shall be determined based on factors including, but not limited to, real property rights, homestead exemption, electricity usage patterns, voter registration location, and address on a driver's license;
  7. Annually complete and sign a conflict-of-interest certification and disclosure form approved by the Board of Directors;
  8. While a Director and during the three (3) years immediately prior to becoming a Director, not have sought to advance or have advanced the individual's pecuniary interest by competing with the Cooperative or by having a financial interest or relationship that would likely impair the ability of the Director to serve the best interests of the cooperative, if that impairment presents a conflict with the interests of the Cooperative;
  9. Not be or have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony pursuant to state or federal laws;
  10. Not currently be a member of the Qualifications Committee described herein;
  11. Not have been previously removed or disqualified as a Director by a Court as provided for under these Bylaws;
  12. Have the capacity to enter into legally binding contracts;
  13. Be willing to devote such time and effort to his or her duties as a Director as may be necessary to oversee the Cooperative’s business and affairs including: except as otherwise provided by the Board of Directors for good cause, beginning with election to the Board of Directors, attend at least seventy-five (75) percent of all regular and special called Board Meetings during each period from Annual Meeting to Annual Meeting; and obtain the Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) designation from NRECA within the first year after election to the Board; attend state and national association meetings and Director continuing education training as needed to maintain current knowledge and improve awareness of potential risks to the Cooperative;
  14. Not be employed by another Director, or be employed by an entity over which another Director exercises substantial control;
  15. Execute and provide the relevant documents, waivers, or other materials reasonably needed to verify satisfaction of these qualifications, including criminal background checks to be performed by the Cooperative. A person subject to this provision shall not be requested or required to provide personal or business tax returns, financial or business records, or non-public, personal details unless legal counsel has justified and certified in writing and the majority of disinterested Qualifications Committee have determined by record vote that conformity with Director Qualifications cannot be determined without such records. If such certification is made and the records are provided, the Cooperative and its agents shall not publicly disclose such records except with the consent of the person providing them, or in the course of a legal proceeding or as required by law;
  16. While a Director, act in good faith and represent the best interests of the cooperative as a whole, representing all members on an impartial basis.

Terms. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, a Director’s term is three (3) years and until a successor Director is elected ("Director Term"). Three years shall be measured as the period from the date of the Director’s election at Annual Meeting until the date of the Annual Meeting in the third year after such Director’s election. A Director Term begins immediately upon adjournment of the Member Meeting at which the Director is elected. A Director Term ends immediately upon adjournment of the Member Meeting at which his or her successor is elected. A Director may not serve more than four (4) consecutive full Director Terms ("Term Limit"). The count of consecutive terms shall be reset to zero (0) upon the expiration of three (3) years from the date a Director ended his or her most recent term. Therefore, a Director disqualified under this provision and who is otherwise qualified is eligible to run as a candidate for a term commencing at least three (3) years after completion of the Director’s last term. Nothing in this section shall affect in any manner whatsoever the validity of any action taken at any meeting of the Board of Directors. Subject to Term Limits, any Director may succeed himself or herself.

Section 3. Nominations.

Petition Process. Nominations for Directors may be made by written petition, in the form promulgated by the Cooperative, executed by fifty (50) or more Members with Voting Residence (as defined herein) within the Director District for which the election is being held ("Director Nomination Petition"). Attached to the Director Nomination Petition shall be: biographical information about the person seeking nomination (“Nominee”) in the form specified by the Cooperative; conflict-of-interest certification and disclosure form approved by the Board of Directors, signed by the Nominee, which certification shall be made available to the Membership along with the Nominee’s biographical information; and a written consent executed by Nominee for the release of background information and conflict of interest certification. The Secretary shall make the form for Director Nomination Petitions available at all district offices and on the Cooperative’s website. The written Director Nomination Petitions and all accompanying materials must be delivered to the Secretary at the Cooperative’s principal office not later than (five) 5 p.m. on the last business day at least seventy-five (75) days prior to the Annual Meeting.

Residence for Nomination Purpose. For purposes of signing a Director Nomination Petition, but not for purposes of establishing Primary Residence for eligibility to serve as a Director, a Member shall be deemed to have residence ("Voting Residence") in the Director District in which the Member uses Electric Service. If a Member uses Electric Service in more than one (1) Director District, the Member shall be deemed to have a Voting Residence in the district in which the Member first used, and continues to use, Electric Service. However, a Member who uses Electric Service in more than one (1) Director District may designate a Voting Residence other than the district where the Member first used Electric Service. Any such designation must be in writing and submitted to the Cooperative.

Qualifications Review Committee.

  1. At least ninety (90) days before any Member Meeting where an election will be held, the Board of Directors shall, appoint, by resolution, a qualifications and election review committee (“Qualifications Committee”) consisting of no less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) members who are not existing Cooperative officers, employees, Directors or known candidates for Directors, or close relatives or members of the same household thereof. The Qualifications Committee shall elect its own chairman and secretary, and shall be dissolved without further action required at the conclusion of the fifth day following the Member Meeting for which the Qualifications Committee was appointed, or upon the conclusion of any business before the Qualifications Committee, whichever is later. The Board may set compensation, reimbursement, allowances for telephonic meetings, and any other terms for the Qualifications Committee not otherwise specified by these Bylaws.
  2. It shall be the responsibility of the Qualifications Committee to verify the qualifications of Director Nominees.
  3. In the exercise of its responsibility, the Qualifications Committee shall have available to it the assistance of staff and the advice of legal counsel provided by the Cooperative, and shall be subject to the limits of Article III, Sec. 2 (o) of these Bylaws.
  4. The Qualifications Committee’s decisions (as reflected by a majority of those actually present and voting) on all matters covered by this Section shall be final.
  5. In all matters, the Qualifications Committee shall assume the truth of matters asserted by Director Nominees, and act accordingly, unless the Committee has identified a reasonable and specific basis for acting otherwise.

Section 4. Election of Directors. The Secretary shall have the names of Director Candidates printed on ballots that shall be used at the Member Meeting at which a Director Election is to be held. The Director District of each Director Candidate shall be printed beside his or her name. All Directors shall be elected by ballot ("Director Election"). The Director Candidate for each directorship receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. In the event of a tie, the Director shall be determined by a drawing by lot to be conducted by the Election Service Provider.

In the event of a tie in a Director Election, in conducting a drawing by lot, a representative of the Election Service Provider will place in a box as many slips of paper as there are nominees in the tie, with a single slip marked "elected" and the remaining slips marked "not elected." In alphabetical order by last name, each of the Director Candidates in the tie shall blindly draw one (1) slip from the box. The Director Candidate drawing the slip marked "elected" shall be elected to the directorship in question.

Section 5. Director Disqualification and Removal Processes

Director Disqualification. If a Director does not comply with any Director Qualification in effect at the time of his or her most recent qualification to be placed on the ballot for election or reelection, then, except as otherwise provided by the Board of Directors for good cause, the Board of Directors may vote to request that the Director resign his or her position as a Director, or face a Court Action to remove the Director based on unmet Director Qualifications. Prior to any such vote, the Board of Directors shall notify the Director in writing of the basis for their request, and provide the Director an opportunity to comment regarding that request. The Director so notified shall have thirty (30) days after the Board of Directors requests his or her resignation to resign or comply with or otherwise meet the Director Qualification. If, thereafter, the remainder of Directors determines by at least two thirds (2/3) vote that the Director in question has refused to resign and is not qualified to serve as a Director, the remainder of Directors may further direct, by at least a two thirds (2/3) vote, that the Cooperative file a lawsuit to remove the Director in the state District Court of Blanco County, or any court of relevant jurisdiction. If such a lawsuit is filed, upon the Court’s finding that a Director is not qualified, the Director shall be removed from office, and that Director’s seat shall be treated as a Vacancy under these Bylaws. Such action does not affect the validity of any previous action by the Board of Directors.

Director Removal by Court Action. If any Director is found by vote of at least two thirds (2/3) of other Directors to have breached a fiduciary duty or other legal duty of the Director to the Cooperative, and it is further found that the breach was or could be materially injurious to the Cooperative (a "Breach of Duty"), that the Board of Directors may direct the Cooperative to file suit against the offending Director to remove that Director from office in the state District Court of Blanco County, or any court of relevant jurisdiction. The lawsuit against a Director may be for an act or omission in the Director’s capacity as a Director, except that this Section does not eliminate or limit the liability of a Director for (a) a breach of the Director’s fiduciary duty to the Cooperative or its Members; (b) an act or omission not in good faith or that involves intentional misconduct or knowing violation of the law; (c) a transaction from which a Director received an improper benefit, whether or not the benefit resulted from an action taken within the scope of the Director’s office; (d)an act or omission for which the liability of the Director is expressly provided for by statute; or (e) an act related to an unlawful distribution to Members. If such a lawsuit is filed, upon the Court's finding that a Breach of Duty occurred a Director shall be removed from office, and that Director's seat shall be treated as a Vacancy under these Bylaws. Such action does not affect the validity of any previous action by the Board of Directors.

Director Removal by Members. A Director may be removed for cause at any time by the Members pursuant to the procedures specified in this Section. Any Member may bring charges, specifying the causes for removal against a Director, by filing such charges in writing with the Secretary together with a petition signed by ten (10) percent of all Members requesting the removal of the Director in question ("Removal Petition"). The Removal Petition shall contain the specific charges of misconduct. The Removal Petition shall be heard and voted upon at the next Member Meeting. The affirmative vote of ten (10) percent of all Members is required to effect such removal. The Director against whom such charges have been brought shall be informed in writing of the charges at least thirty (30) days prior to the Member Meeting. That Director shall have an opportunity at the Member Meeting to be heard in person or by counsel and to present evidence, and the person or persons bringing the charges against him will have the same opportunity. If the removal of more than one Director is sought, a separate vote shall be taken as to each Director. The term "for cause" as used in this Section is defined as malfeasance in office-- that is, the commission of an act which is knowingly unlawful and which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duties, or which constitutes a gross abuse of office amounting to a breach of trust.

Section 6. Vacancies

If one or more vacancy occurs on the Board of Directors, (“Vacancy”), the Board of Directors shall address the Vacancy by any of the following methods:

  1. If there is just one (1) Vacancy, the Board of Directors may leave that seat unfilled until the next Annual Meeting, at which time the Members will elect a Director to fill the unexpired term of the Director’s predecessor; or,
  2. The Board of Directors may call a Special Meeting to conduct a Director Election to fill the unexpired term of the Director whose departure led to each Vacancy; or,
  3. The Board of Directors may appoint a committee consisting of from three (3) to seven (7) Members, each with a Voting Residence in a different Director District ("Search Committee"). No Search Committee Member may be an existing Director or a Close Relative of an existing Director or the Director whose departure created the vacancy. The Search Committee shall accept Director Nomination Petitions as defined in these Bylaws, on a schedule and with a signature requirement as determined by the Board, in no case to exceed the number of signatures required for a Director Candidate in an election. If no such petitions are received for any seat, or if no Nominee submitting a petition meets the Director Qualifications, the Search Committee shall attempt to identify at least one (1) and preferably more than one (1) individual who is qualified and willing to fill that Vacancy (“Committee Nominee”), and is not a member of the Search Committee. The Search Committee shall review all Nominee and Committee Nominee Director Qualifications, including primary residence, and present to the Board of Directors a list of those persons qualified for appointment to fill each Vacancy. The Board of Directors shall then appoint a Nominee or Committee Nominee to fill a Vacancy until the next Annual Meeting, at which time the Members shall elect a Director to serve the unexpired term of the Director whose departure created the Vacancy. If a Search Committee fails to present a Nominee or Committee Nominee for any seat, or if the Board fails to appoint or call a Special Meeting and Director Election fill a Vacancy, the Vacancy shall remain unfilled until the next Annual Meeting, at which time the Members shall elect a Director to fill each Vacancy for the unexpired term of the Director whose departure led to each Vacancy.

 

Catastrophic Loss of Directors. The loss of a majority of Directors arising from an event of natural or human origin shall be deemed a catastrophic loss of Directors. In the event of a catastrophic loss of Directors, the remaining Directors shall appoint, within one hundred twenty (120) days, individuals qualified to serve as a Director pursuant to Section 6 hereof from each of the Districts which suffered a loss of a Director, keeping in mind the principle of equitable geographic representation. Directors so appointed shall serve until the next Annual Meeting, at which time all Board positions so appointed under this Section shall stand for election under the same terms as their respective, deceased predecessors. In the event of a catastrophic loss wherein two (2) or fewer Directors remain, the remaining Directors, or if no Director survives, , the highest-ranking Cooperative employee, shall call a Special Member Meeting within one hundred twenty (120) days of the occurrence of the vacancy to elect the applicable number of Directors to fill the vacant positions in accordance with all provisions of the Bylaws wherein these specially elected Directors) shall serve until the next regularly scheduled Annual Meeting, at which time all appointed positions shall stand for election to the same terms as their respective deceased predecessors.

Quorum and Procedures During Catastrophe. In the event of a catastrophic loss as defined above, the traditional quorum requirements are simplified and expedited temporary election procedures may be adopted pending the installation of new Directors, in order to allow the Cooperative to conduct business. All actions of the Cooperative during this time period shall stand for ratification at the next Board meeting wherein a traditional quorum is present.

Section 7. Compensation. By resolution of the Board of Directors, a fixed sum and reasonable expenses of attendance may be allowed for attendance at each Regular Board Meeting, Special Board Meeting or Member Meeting and for attendance at each committee meeting. By resolution of the Board of Directors, Directors may be allowed a monthly fee and reasonable expenses, which shall not be a salary, for performance of other Board duties.

Section 8. Limiting Liability of Directors; Indemnification

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by the laws of the State of Texas, a Director, manager, officer, employee or person appointed to a Committee under these Bylaws of the Cooperative (“Indemnitee”) shall not be liable to the Cooperative or its Members for monetary damages for an act or omission in that person’s performance of functions for the Cooperative, except that this Section does eliminate or limit the liability of an Indemnitee for (a) a breach of an Indemnities’ duty of loyalty to the Cooperative or its Members, if any; (b) an act or omission not in good faith or that involves intentional misconduct or knowing violation of law; (c) a transaction from which an Indemnitee received an improper benefit, whether or not the benefit resulted from an action taken within the scope of the Indemnitee’s performance of functions for the Cooperative; (d) an act or omission for which the liability of the Indemnitee is expressly provided for by statute; or (e) an act related to an unlawful distribution to Members.
  2. The Cooperative shall indemnify an Indemnitee against the claims of third parties against the Indemnitee for acts done in good faith in the capacity that established the person’s status as an Indemnitee, and shall advance or reimburse his or her expenses of defending such claims, to the fullest extent permitted by the laws of the State of Texas.

Section 9. Subsequent Relationship with the Cooperative. A Director may not be compensated by the Cooperative for employment or otherwise engage in a contractual relationship with the Cooperative for a period of five (5) years after the last day served as a Director.

Section 10. Rules and Regulations. The Board of Directors shall have the power to make and adopt such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative or these Bylaws, as it may deem advisable for the management, administration and regulation of the business affairs of the Cooperative.

Section 11. Accounting System and Reports. The Board of Directors shall cause to be established and maintained a complete accounting system which, among other things, subject to applicable laws and rules and regulations of any regulatory body, shall conform to such accounting system as may from time to time be designated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Financial statements of the Cooperative shall be examined monthly by the Board of Directors at Regular Board Meetings. The Board of Directors shall also after the close of each fiscal year cause to be made a full and complete audit of the accounts, books and financial condition of the Cooperative as of the end of such fiscal year by an independent certified public accountant.

Section 12. Change in Rates. Any change in rates, Business Rules, or Tariff charged by the Cooperative must be approved by the Board of Directors.

Article IV: Meetings of Directors

Section 1. Regular Board Meetings. A regular meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held on the third Monday of each month at the E. Babe Smith Headquarters Building of the Cooperative in Blanco County, Texas, unless another meeting location, time and/or date is set by the Board of Directors ("Regular Board Meeting").

Section 2. Special Board Meetings. Special meetings of the Board of Directors ("Special Board Meetings") may be called by the President or any four (4) Directors. The person or persons authorized to call a Special Board Meeting may fix the time and place for the holding of any Special Board Meeting called by them.

Section 3. Telephonic or Electronic Participation in Board Meetings. For good cause and with approval of the Board of Directors, a Regular Board Meeting or Special Board Meeting (each a "Board Meeting") may be conducted with Directors participating but not physically present but deemed present in person through a means of communication by which all Directors participating in the Board Meeting may simultaneously hear, reasonably and verifiably identify themselves, and generally simultaneously and instantaneously communicate with each other during the Board Meeting. Directors that are not physically present may deliberate and vote on the question of approving telephonic or electronic participation. A vote to approve telephonic or electronic participation in any Board Meeting is exempt from the notice requirements herein specified. Such Board Meeting shall be compliant with the Cooperative’s Open Meetings Policy, and Members shall have the opportunity to monitor the Board Meeting electronically or in person. A Director may be compensated for a Board Meeting at which that Director participated but was not physically present only with Board approval.

Section 4. Notice. Notice of the time, place and purpose of any Regular Board Meeting shall be given at least seventy-two (72) hours previous thereto, by written notice, delivered personally, electronically, or by mail, to each Director at the Director’s last known address. If mailed, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail so addressed with postage thereon prepaid. Meeting notices and agendas will be posted on the Cooperative’s website at least seventy-two (72) hours before each Regular Board Meeting. In an emergency or when there is an urgent necessity, the notice of a Board Meeting or the supplemental notice of a subject added as an item to the agenda for a Board Meeting for which notice has been posted in accordance with this Section is sufficient if it is posted for at least two hours before the Board Meeting is convened. An emergency or an urgent necessity exists only if immediate action is required because of a reasonably unforeseeable situation. The Board of Directors shall clearly identify the emergency or urgent necessity in the notice or supplemental notice under this Section.

Section 5. Board Quorum. Four (4) or more directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board of Directors, except in the case when four (4) or more vacancies exist on the Board, in which case a majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum ("Board Quorum").

Section 6. Executive Committees of the Board of Directors. Notwithstanding the quorum requirements set forth in Article IV, Section 5, two-thirds of the then current members of the Board, pursuant to Texas Utilities Code 161.077, may elect from among its members one or more executive committees, which shall be composed of at least three (3) of the Directors, and may designate one or more of the Directors as alternate members of such executive committees, who may, subject to any limitations imposed by the Board, replace absent or disqualified members at any meeting of such executive committees. Such executive committees may exercise the authority of the Board to the extent provided in the resolutions electing the executive committees, except where action of the Board is required by applicable law or by the Articles of Incorporation. Any member of such executive committees may be removed, for or without cause, by the vote of two-thirds of the then current Directors. If any vacancy or vacancies occur in the executive committees, the vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the Board.

Article V: Officers

Section 1. Board Officers. The officers of the Board of Directors of the Cooperative shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer ("Officers"). The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person.

Section 2. Election and Term of Office. The Officers shall be elected annually by and from the Board of Directors at the first regular meeting of the Board of Directors, or first special meeting of the Board of Directors called for that purpose, held after a Member Meeting at which Directors were elected. Unless removed from office under Section 3 below, each Officer shall hold office until a successor shall have been duly elected. An Officer may hold the same office for no more than two (2) consecutive annual terms.

Section 3. Removal. The Board of Directors may remove an Officer elected by the Board of Directors by an affirmative vote of four (4) or more Directors whenever in its judgment the best interests of the Cooperative will be served.

Section 4. Officer Vacancies. Any vacant Officer position shall be filled by a Director selected by a majority of the Board at the earliest possible date.

Section 5. President. The President shall be the principal executive officer of the Board and shall preside at all Member Meetings and of the Board of Directors; sign any deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, notes, bonds, contracts or other instruments authorized by the Board of Directors to be executed, except in cases in which the signing and execution thereof shall be expressly delegated by the Board of Directors or by these Bylaws to some other officer of the Cooperative, or shall be required by law to be otherwise signed or executed; and in general, perform all duties incident to the office of President and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors from time to time.

Section 6. Vice President. The Vice President shall, in the absence of the President, or in the event of the President’s inability or refusal to act, perform the duties of the President, and when so acting, shall have all the powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the President and shall perform such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Board of Directors.

Section 7. Secretary. The Secretary shall: be responsible for minutes of meetings of the Members and the Board of Directors; be responsible for authenticating the Cooperative’s records; and in general, perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Board of Directors.

Section 8. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Board of Directors.

Section 9. Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors shall select a manager who shall perform the duties of chief executive officer of the Cooperative ("Chief Executive Officer").

Section 10. Bonds. The Cooperative may purchase a bond covering an officer or employee.

Article VI: Contracts, Checks and Deposits

Section 1. Contracts. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the Board of Directors may authorize any Director, the Chief Executive Officer, or any other officer or officers to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name and on behalf of the Cooperative, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.

Section 2. Checks, Drafts. All checks, drafts or other orders for the payment of money, and all notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Cooperative shall be signed by such officer or officers, employee or employees of the Cooperative and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Board of Directors.

Article VII: Nonprofit Operation

Section 1. Interest or Dividends on Capital Prohibited. An electric cooperative shall operate without profit to its Members and on a cooperative basis for mutual benefit of all Members. No interest or dividends shall be paid or payable by the Cooperative on any capital furnished by its Members.

Section 2. Patronage Capital in Connection with Furnishing Electric Service or Other Services. In the furnishing of Electric Service, energy or other services, the Cooperative’s operations shall be so conducted that all Members will through their patronage furnish Patronage Capital for the Cooperative. In order to induce patronage and to assure that the Cooperative will operate on a nonprofit basis, the Cooperative is obligated to account on a patronage basis to all Members for all amounts received and receivable from the furnishing of Electric Service, energy or other services in excess of operating costs and expenses properly chargeable against the furnishing of such services. All such amounts in excess of operating costs and expenses are received with the understanding that they are furnished as capital. The Cooperative is obligated to record and maintain all capital accounts for each Member of such amounts. The books and records of the Cooperative shall be maintained in such a manner that at the end of each fiscal year the amount of capital, if any, so furnished is clearly reflected and recorded to the capital account of each Member, and the Cooperative shall, within a reasonable time after the close of the fiscal year, make available upon request a report as to the amount of capital so credited. All such amounts credited to the capital account of a Member shall have the same status as though they had been paid to the Member in pursuance of a legal obligation and the Member had then furnished the Cooperative corresponding amounts for capital.

If the Board of Directors determines that the financial condition of the Cooperative will not be impaired thereby, the capital then credited to Members’ accounts may be retired in full or in part. The Board of Directors shall determine the method, basis, priority, and order of retirement, if any, for all amounts furnished as capital. In the event of dissolution or liquidation of the Cooperative, after all outstanding indebtedness of the Cooperative shall have been paid, outstanding Patronage Capital shall be retired and paid without priority on a pro-rata basis before any payments are made on account of property rights of Members. If, at any time prior to dissolution or liquidation, the Board of Directors shall determine that the financial condition of the Cooperative will not be impaired thereby, the capital then credited to Members’ accounts may be retired and paid in full or in part.

Regardless of a statute of limitation or other time limitation, the Cooperative may recoup, offset, or setoff an amount owed to the Cooperative by the Member or former Member, including any compounded interest and late payment fee, by reducing the amount of Patronage Capital to be repaid to the Member or former Member by the amount owed to the Cooperative.

As determined by the Board, before the time the Cooperative anticipates normally retiring and paying Patronage Capital, the Cooperative may retire some or all Patronage Capital and pay the net present value of the retired Patronage Capital. If the Cooperative retires and pays the net present value of Patronage Capital to a Member or former Member before the time the Cooperative anticipates normally retiring and paying the Patronage Capital, then the residual amount of Patronage Capital retained by the Cooperative after discounting shall be classified as permanent equity and not distributed to the Member(s), unless upon dissolution of the Cooperative.

Section 3. Carry Over of Losses to Future Years. No allocations will be made to Members’ accounts should the annual determination demonstrate that amounts received from the furnishing of electric or other services were less than operating expenses properly chargeable against the furnishing of such services. The amount by which such expenses exceed such revenues in any annual determination shall be carried forward to the next fiscal year and be used as expenses in the determination of the amount of Patronage Capital assignable to individual Members’ accounts for that year.

Article VIII: Waiver of Notice

Any Member or Director may waive any notice required to be given by these Bylaws, and attendance at any meeting shall constitute waiver of notice of that meeting, unless the person in attendance notifies the presiding officer before the meeting begins that no such waiver is intended.

Article IX: Disposition of Property

Section 1. Board Approval. The Cooperative may, by a vote of five (5) or more Directors, sell, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of or encumber all or substantially all of its property.

The Board may not approve the dissolution or any sale of all or substantially all of the Cooperative’s assets ("Dissolution or Sale") on terms that would benefit any Director more than any similarly situated non-Director Member. The Board of Directors may not disqualify a Director for lawfully opposing a Dissolution or Sale.

Section 2. Membership Approval. The Cooperative may not dissolve the Cooperative or sell or transfer all or substantially all of its assets without the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of all Members of the Cooperative either in person or by Member Proxy.

Section 3. Delegated Approval for Certain Property. The Cooperative may sell, donate, or otherwise dispose of any of its property that is no longer useful, necessary, desirable, profitable, or advantageous in the conduct of the business of the Cooperative.

Article X: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Cooperative shall begin on the first day of January of each year and end on the thirty-first day of December of the same year.


Article XI: Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended or repealed by not less than the affirmative vote of five (5) Directors at any Board Meeting.


Introduction

General Facts

  • As of the end of 2013, PEC provided electricity to 256,072 active accounts throughout 8,100 square miles — an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts.
  • PEC serves more meters than any other electric distribution co-op in the United States.
  • The Co-op had 741 employees at the end of 2013.

PEC Facts for 2013

Active account increase over 2012 8,256
Members 216,586
Miles of line 17,302
Total revenue $597,358,518
Total expenses $509,222,750

2013 Consolidated Financial Information

Total Assets $1,374,213,325
Operating Revenues $597,358,518
Total Power Cost $343,552,629
Operations Expense $31,374,704
Maintenance Expense $17,114,850
Administrative and General Expense $59,617,558
Depreciation Expense $50,539,821
Tax Expense $7,023,188
Interest Expense, net $39,359,981
Net Margin $50,767,343

General Provisions

Download PEC's Business Rules »

These rules will not relieve in any way the Cooperative or member from any of its duties under the laws of the State of Texas or the United States. If any provision of these rules is held invalid, such invalidity should not affect other provisions or applications of these rules that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions are declared to be severable. The purpose of the rules is to establish minimum member service standards the Cooperative will follow in providing electric service. The Cooperative may make exceptions to these rules for good cause.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc., shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, sex, marital status, disability, income level or source of income and shall not unreasonably discriminate based on geographic location.

Definitions

The following words and terms should have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Applicant — A person who applies for service.

(2) Commission — The Public Utility Commission of Texas.

(3) Cooperative corporation — The Cooperative corporation organized and operating under the Electric Cooperative Corporation Act, Texas Utilities Code Annotated, Chapter 161, or a predecessor statute to Chapter 161 and operating under that chapter.

(4) Days — Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term “days” should refer to calendar days.

(5) Electric utility

  1. A person or river authority that owns or operates for compensation in the State of Texas equipment or facilities to produce, generate, transmit, distribute, sell or furnish electricity in the State of Texas. The term includes a lessee, trustee or receiver of an electric utility and a recreational vehicle park owner who does not comply with Texas Utilities Code, Subchapter C, Chapter 184, with regard to the metered sale of electricity at the recreational vehicle park. The term does not include:
    1. A municipal corporation
    2. A qualifying facility
    3. A power generation company
    4. An exempt wholesale generator
    5. A power marketer
    6. A corporation described by the Public Utility Regulatory Act §32.053 to the extent the corporation sells electricity exclusively at wholesale and not to the ultimate member
    7. An electric cooperative
    8. A retail electric provider
    9. The State of Texas or an agency of the state, or
    10. A person not otherwise an electric utility who:
      1. Furnishes an electric service or commodity only to itself, its employees or its tenants as an incident of employment or tenancy, if that service or commodity is not resold to or used by others.
      2. Owns or operates in the State of Texas equipment or facilities to produce, generate, transmit, distribute, sell or furnish electric energy to an electric utility, if the equipment or facilities are used primarily to produce and generate electric energy for consumption by that person; or.
      3. Owns or operates in the State of Texas a recreational vehicle park that provides metered electric service in accordance with Texas Utilities Code, Subchapter C, Chapter 184.
  2. With respect to transmission service and ancillary service, the term includes municipally owned utilities and river authorities that are not otherwise subject to the commission's rate setting authority.

(6) Essential Services — Members whose operations are essential to the safety, health and welfare of the community; including but not limited to hospitals, police stations, fire stations, critical water, wastewater, and communications facilities.

(7) Facilities — All the plant and equipment of the Cooperative, including all tangible and intangible real and personal property without limitation, and any and all means and instrumentalities in any manner owned, operated, leased, licensed, used, controlled, furnished, or supplied for, by, or in connection with the business of the Cooperative, including any construction work in progress.

(8) License — The whole or part of any commission permit, certificate, approval, registration, or similar form of permission required by law.

(9) Member — Any person, firm, corporation or body politic that has applied for service and has paid the Cooperative's membership fee.

(10) Member class — A group of members with similar electric use service characteristics (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial) taking service under one or more rate schedules.

(11) Municipality — A city, incorporated village, or town, existing, created, or organized under the general, home rule, or special laws of the state.

(12) Payment arrangements — A payment arrangement is any agreement between the Cooperative and a member that allows a member to pay the outstanding bill after its due date but before the due date of the next bill.

(13) Person — Any legal or natural person.

(14) Power marketer — A person who becomes an owner of electric energy in the State of Texas for the purpose of selling the electric energy at wholesale; does not own generation, transmission, or distribution facilities in this state; does not have a certificated service area; and who is in compliance with the registration requirements of the Commission.

(15) Premises — A tract of land or real estate including buildings and other appurtenances thereon.

(16) Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) — The enabling statute for the Commission of Texas, located in the Texas Utilities Code Annotated, §§11.001 et.seq.

(17) Qualifying cogenerator — The meaning as assigned this term by 16 U.S.C. §796(18) (C).

(18) Qualifying facility — A qualifying co-generator or qualifying small power producer.

(19) Qualifying small power producer — The meaning as assigned this term by 16 U.S.C. §796(17) (D).

(20) Rate — Includes:

  1. Any compensation, tariff, charge, fare, toll, rental, or classification that is directly or indirectly demanded, observed, charged, or collected by the Cooperative for a service, product, or commodity described in the definition of electric utility in this section; and
  2. A rule, practice, or contract affecting the compensation, tariff, charge, fare, toll, rental, or classification.

(21) Regulatory authority — In accordance with the context where it is found, either the Commission, the governing body of a municipality, or Board of Directors of the Cooperative.

(22) Rule — A statement of general applicability that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedure or practice requirements of the regulatory authority. The term includes the amendment or repeal of a prior rule, but does not include statements concerning only the internal management or organization of the regulatory authority and not affecting private rights or procedures.

(23) Service — The term includes any act performed, anything supplied, and any facilities used or supplied by the Cooperative in the performance of its duties.

(24) Tariff — The schedule of the Cooperative containing all rates and charges stated separately by type of service and the rules and regulations of the Cooperative.

(25) Tenant — A person who is entitled to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others and who is obligated to pay for the occupancy under a written or oral rental agreement.

Request for Service

The Cooperative should initiate service to each qualified member or applicant for service as described in the Tariff within its certificated area in accordance with this section.
  1. The member or applicant grants the Cooperative easement rights and acquires all necessary easements from adjacent landowners on a form acceptable to the Cooperative for its facilities. All costs and expenses, if any, related to the acquisition of easements to serve the member or applicant shall be the responsibility of the member or applicant, including the Cooperative's costs and expenses if the Cooperative participates in the acquisition of the easements through condemnation proceedings.
  2. Applications for new electric service not involving line extensions or construction of new facilities should be connected within two working days after the member or applicant has met the credit requirements as referenced in the rule herein entitled Credit Requirements and complied with all applicable state and municipal regulations.
  3. The Cooperative may require a member or applicant requesting service to satisfactorily establish credit as referenced in the rule herein entitled Credit Requirements, but such establishment of credit should not relieve the member from complying with rules for prompt payment of bills.
  4. Requests for new service requiring construction, such as line extensions, should be completed within 90 days, unless delayed by a cause beyond the reasonable control of the Cooperative, or a time period agreed to by the member or applicant and the Cooperative; and if the member or applicant has met the credit requirements or has made satisfactory payment arrangements for construction charges, and has complied with all applicable state and municipal regulations.
  5. If facilities must be constructed, the Cooperative should contact the member or applicant and give the member or applicant an estimated completion date and an estimated cost for all charges to be incurred by the member or applicant.
  6. The Cooperative should explain any construction cost options such as sharing of construction costs between the Cooperative and the member or applicant following the assessment of necessary line work.
  7. Each individual residential unit in apartment complexes, condominiums, etc., will be separately metered, and shall be subject to all related provisions and fees of the Tariff and the Business Rules.

Refusal of Service

  1. Acceptable reasons to refuse service — The Cooperative may refuse to serve an applicant or member for any of the reasons identified below.
    1. Applicant's facilities inadequate — The applicant's or member's installation or equipment is known to be hazardous or of such character that satisfactory service cannot be given, or the applicant's facilities do not comply with all applicable state and municipal regulations.
    2. Violation of the Cooperative's tariffs — The applicant or member fails to comply with the Cooperative's tariffs pertaining to operation of nonstandard equipment or unauthorized attachments which interfere with the service of others. The Cooperative should provide the applicant notice of such refusal and afford the applicant a reasonable amount of time to comply with the Cooperative's tariffs.
    3. Intent to deceive — The applicant or member applies for service at a location where another member received, or continues to receive, service and the Cooperative bill is unpaid at that location, and the Cooperative can prove the change in identity is made in an attempt to help the other member avoid or evade payment of the Cooperative bill. An applicant or member may request a supervisory review as referenced in the rule entitled Complaints if the Cooperative determines that the applicant or member intends to deceive the Cooperative and refuses to provide service.
    4. For indebtedness — The applicant or member owes a debt to the Cooperative for the same kind of service as that being requested.
    5. Refusal to pay a deposit. Refusing to pay a deposit if applicant or member is required to do so under the Credit Requirements.
    6. Refusal to pay guaranteed amount. Refusing to pay guaranteed amount if member is required to do so under the Credit Requirements.
  2. Applicant's or member's recourse — If the Cooperative has refused to serve an applicant or member, the Cooperative will inform the applicant of the reason for its refusal and the applicant may file a complaint as referenced in the rule entitled Complaints.
  3. Insufficient grounds for refusal to serve — The following are not sufficient cause for refusal of service to an applicant:
    1. Delinquency in payment for service by a previous occupant of the premises to be served; or
    2. Failure to pay the bill of another member at the same address except where the change in identity is made to avoid or evade payment of the Cooperative bill.

Credit Requirements

  1. Credit requirements for permanent residential applicants and members
    1. The Cooperative will require an applicant for residential service or an existing residential member to establish and maintain satisfactory credit as a condition of providing service.
      1. Establishment of credit shall not relieve any member from complying with the Cooperative's requirements for prompt payment of bills.
      2. The credit worthiness of spouses established during shared service in the 12 months prior to their divorce will be equally applied to both spouses for 12 months immediately after their divorce.
    2. An applicant for residential service or an existing residential member can establish satisfactory credit by:
      1. Clearing any unpaid or delinquent balances prior to re-establishing service with the Cooperative; and
      2. Meeting and adhering to the Cooperative's payment policies and/or payment plan such that:
        1. during the most recent 12 consecutive months of service the member is not late in paying a bill more than once;
        2. the member does not have service disconnected for nonpayment; and
        3. the member does not have more than one returned check.
      3. As an applicant, having been a customer of any electric service provider for the same kind of service within the last two years and not having been delinquent more than once in payment of any such electric utility service account in the most recent 12 consecutive months of service and evidenced by a letter of credit history from the applicant's previous electric service provider.
      4. As an applicant, having a credit risk assessment conducted by the Cooperative or on its behalf and receiving a satisfactory credit risk assessment.
      5. If satisfactory credit cannot be established by the residential member using these criteria, the member may be required to pay a deposit pursuant to this section.
  2. Credit requirements for non-residential applicants or members — For non-residential service, if an applicant's or existing member's credit has not been demonstrated satisfactorily to the Cooperative, the applicant or member may be required to pay a deposit in an amount not to exceed one-sixth of the annual estimated bill. Satisfactory credit may be demonstrated by (a) an applicant or member for a period of 24 consecutive non-residential billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of a bill and without having been delinquent in the payment of bills more than once or (b) as an applicant, having been a customer of any electric service provider for the same kind of service within the last two years and not having been delinquent more than once in payment of any such electric utility service account in the most recent 24 consecutive months of service and evidenced either by a satisfactory letter of credit history from the applicant's previous electric service provider or by a satisfactory credit risk assessment conducted by the Cooperative or on its behalf.

  3. Deposits and Guarantee Agreements.
    1. (1) An applicant, who has not previously received service from the Cooperative, will be required to pay
      1. a fixed deposit in the amount of $150 for residential service or $300 for non-residential service in the event the applicant fails to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative when applying for electric service; or
      2. a fixed deposit in the amount of either $75 or $150 for residential service or $300 for non-residential service in the event the applicant fails to either provide a satisfactory letter of credit history from its previous electric service provider or receive a satisfactory credit risk assessment conducted by the Cooperative or on its behalf. The amount of the deposit due will be based on a credit risk assessment.

      (2) An existing member when applying for additional electric service, will be required to pay
      1. a fixed deposit in the amount of $150 for residential service or $300 for non-residential service, in the event the existing member fails to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative; or
      2. a fixed deposit in the amount of either $75 or $150 for residential service or $300 for non-residential service in the event the member failed to satisfactorily demonstrate to the Cooperative the member's creditworthiness or otherwise demonstrated a previous history of neglect to fulfill membership obligations, such as (but not limited to) paying a bill late more than once during the most recent 12 consecutive months of service, service disconnection for nonpayment, failure to meet obligations under a deferred payment agreement, return of a check for insufficient funds, theft of service, meter tampering, safety code violations or fraud. The amount of the deposit due will be based on a credit risk assessment.
      3. If the member applying for additional electric service has less than 12 consecutive months of service, that member may provide a satisfactory letter of credit history from its previous electric service provider or have a credit risk assessment conducted by the Cooperative or on its behalf and receive a satisfactory credit risk assessment.

      (3) An applicant, who previously had service with the Cooperative, or an existing member, each of whom failed to satisfactorily demonstrate to the Cooperative creditworthiness or otherwise demonstrated a previous history of neglect to fulfill membership obligations may be required to pay a deposit (a) in the amount of either $75 or $150 for residential service (the amount of the deposit due will be based on a credit risk assessment) or $300 for non-residential service or (b) in an amount not to exceed one-sixth of the annual estimated bill in the event the applicant or member fails to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative.
    2. If the applicant or existing member already has paid a fixed deposit, the applicant or member may be required to pay an additional deposit up to a total deposit amount not to exceed one-sixth of the annual estimated bill.
    3. This Section shall become effective March 1, 2014.
      Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the applicant or existing member has been determined to be a victim of family violence as defined in the Texas Family Code Section 71.004, such person will not be required to pay either an initial or additional deposit when establishing new service. This determination shall be evidenced by submission to the Cooperative of a certification letter developed by the Texas Council on Family Violence within 10 business days of the application for service. This waiver in Section 400.3(C) shall only be applied towards an initial or additional deposit for a single location for the applicant or existing member unless another certification letter is later provided. Any reconnections after nonpayment will be subject to payment of the past due balance, reconnection fee, deposits and any other fees required.
    4. The Cooperative may refuse to provide service to an applicant or member if the requested deposit is not paid at the initiation of service. The Cooperative may also refuse to reconnect service to an existing member if the requested deposit is not paid upon request.
    5. Guarantees of residential member accounts.
      1. A guarantee agreement between the Cooperative and a guarantor with satisfactory credit must be in writing and shall be for no more than the amount of the initial deposit the Cooperative would require on the applicant's account pursuant to subsection (A) of this section. The amount of the guarantee shall be clearly indicated in the signed agreement. A guarantor can establish satisfactory credit by meeting and adhering to the Cooperative's payment policies and/or payment plan such that: (i) during the most recent 12 consecutive months of service the guarantor is not late in paying a bill more than once, (ii) the guarantor does not have service disconnected for nonpayment; and (iii) the guarantor does not have more than one returned check.
      2. The guarantee shall be voided and returned to the guarantor according to the provisions of Section 400.08.
      3. Upon default by a residential member the guarantor of that member's account shall be responsible for the unpaid balance of the account only up to the amount agreed to in the written agreement.
      4. The Cooperative shall provide written notification to the guarantor of the member's default, the amount owed by the guarantor, and the due date for the amount owed.
      5. The Cooperative shall provide the guarantor a bill which will include the payment due date which will not be less than 16 days after issuance.
      6. The Cooperative may transfer the amount owed on the defaulted account to the guarantor's own service bill provided the guaranteed amount owed is identified separately on the guarantor's bill.
      7. The Cooperative may disconnect service to the guarantor for nonpayment of the guaranteed amount only if the disconnection was included in the terms of the written agreement, and only after proper notice as described by subsection (D) of this subsection.
  4. Deposits for temporary or seasonal service and for weekend residences. The Cooperative will require a deposit sufficient to reasonably protect it against the assumed risk for temporary or seasonal service or weekend residences, as long as the policy is applied in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner. These deposits shall be returned according to guidelines set out in Paragraph 8.

  5. Amount of deposit. The total of all deposits from a member or applicant for service shall not exceed one-sixth of the estimated annual billing; provided however, that for those members or applicants subject to the fixed deposit amount described in Section 3. above, the amount of the deposit shall not be less than the amount of those fixed deposits.
  6. Interest on deposits. The Cooperative shall pay interest on any required deposits at an annual rate at least equal to that set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas on December 1 of the preceding year, pursuant to Texas Utilities Code §183.003 (Vernon 1998) (relating to Rate of Interest). If a deposit is refunded payment of interest shall be made retroactive to the date of deposit.(Effective Sept. 1, 2012)
    1. Payment of the interest to the member shall be made annually or at the time the deposit is returned or credited to the member's account.
    2. The deposit shall cease to draw interest on the date it is returned or credited to the member's account.
  7. Records of deposits.
    1. The Cooperative shall keep records to show:
      1. the name and address of each depositor;
      2. the amount and date of the deposit; and
      3. each transaction concerning the deposit.
    2. The Cooperative shall issue a receipt of deposit to each applicant or member paying a deposit and shall provide means for a depositor to establish a claim if the receipt is lost.
    3. The Cooperative shall maintain a record of each unclaimed deposit for at least four years.
    4. The Cooperative shall make a reasonable effort to return unclaimed deposits.
  8. Refunding deposits and voiding letters of guarantee.
    1. If service is not connected, or is disconnected, the Cooperative shall promptly (1) refund the member's or applicant's deposit plus accrued interest on the balance, if any, in excess of the unpaid bills for service furnished and (2) void and return to the guarantor all letters of guarantee on the account or provide written documentation that the contract has been voided.
    2. When the member has paid bills for service for 12 consecutive residential billings or for 24 consecutive non-residential billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of a bill and without having been delinquent in the payment of bills more than once, or has not had more than one returned check, the Cooperative shall promptly refund the deposit plus accrued interest to the member or credit the amount of the deposit and accrued interest to the member's account or void and return the guarantee or provide written documentation that the contract has been voided. The deposit may be retained if the member (1) does not meet the foregoing refund criteria or (2) failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative. The letter of guarantee may be retained if the member does not meet the foregoing refund criteria.
  9. Re-establishment of credit — A member whose service has been disconnected for nonpayment of bills or theft of service (meter tampering or bypassing of meter) shall be required, before service is reconnected, to pay all amounts due the Cooperative, including reconnection and other applicable fees, and re-establish credit.

Issuance and Format of Bills

  1. Frequency of bills — The Cooperative will issue bills monthly unless service is provided for a period less than one month.
  2. Bill content — Each member's bill will include all the following information:
    1. The due date of the bill.
    2. The number and kind of units metered.
    3. The word "Estimated" prominently displayed to identify an estimated bill.
  3. Estimated bills — The Cooperative may submit estimated bills for good cause provided that an actual meter reading is unavailable.
  4. Record retention — The Cooperative will maintain monthly billing records for each account for at least three years after the date the bill is mailed. The billing records will contain sufficient data to reconstruct a member's billing for a given month. Copies of a member's billing records may be obtained by that member on request.
  5. Transfer of delinquent balances — If the member has an outstanding balance due from another account in the same member class, then the Cooperative may transfer that balance to the member's current account. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the member has an outstanding balance due from an account in a different member class that is a sold proprietorship, the the Cooperative may transfer that balance to the member's current account. The delinquent balance and specific account will be identified as such on the bill.

Spanish Language Requirements

The Cooperative will provide information in English and Spanish and any other language as the Cooperative deems necessary.

Bill Payment and Adjustments

  1. Bill due date — The bill provided to the member will include the payment due date which will not be less than 16 days after issuance. The issuance date is either the postmark date on the envelope or the date posted to the member's account on the Cooperative's web site. A payment is delinquent if not received at the Cooperative by the due date.
  2. Late payment processing fee — The Cooperative may assess a $20.00 processing fee to cover costs associated with delinquent notices.
  3. Penalty on delinquent bills for non-residential service — A penalty of $20.00 or 6%, whichever is greater, may be charged on a delinquent commercial or industrial bill. The 6% penalty on delinquent bills will not be applied to any balance to which the penalty has already been applied.
  4. Bill adjustments — [Amendments shall become effective March 1, 2014.]
    If charges are found to be higher than authorized in the Cooperative's tariffs or if the Cooperative fails to bill a member for services, a billing adjustment will be calculated by the Cooperative and applied in the manner described herein. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any billing adjustments greater than $5,000 may be adjusted to the date of error if identified by the Cooperative.
    1. Overbilling
      1. The correction should be made for the entire period for overbilling for any billing, rate assignment, processing errors or other similar circumstance.
      2. The correction should be made for the entire period for overbilling for any failure to receive meter readings, faulty metering equipment or other equipment error.
    2. Under-billing
      1. The correction may be made for up to 3 months for under-billing for any failure to receive meter readings, faulty metering equipment or other equipment error.
      2. The correction may be made for up to 6 months for under-billing for any billing, rate assignment, processing errors or other similar circumstance.
      3. The correction may be made for the entire period for under-billing for meter tampering, bypass, diversion or other similar circumstance.
      4. A deferred payment arrangement may be available for any period of under-billing except for such periods resulting from meter tampering, bypass, diversion or other similar circumstance.
  5. Disputed bills
    1. If there is a dispute between a member and the Cooperative about a bill for service, the Cooperative will investigate and report the results to the member. If the dispute is not resolved, the Cooperative will inform the member of the complaint procedures outlined in the rule entitled Complaints.
    2. If the member files a complaint with the Cooperative, a member's service will not be disconnected for nonpayment of the disputed portion of the bill before the Cooperative completes its supervisory review and informs the member of its determination.
    3. The member is obligated to pay any billings not disputed and not under review.
  6. Notice of alternate payment programs or payment assistance — When a member contacts the Cooperative and indicates inability to pay a bill or a need for assistance with the bill payment, the Cooperative will inform the member of alternative payment and payment assistance programs.
  7. Residential Members 60 Years or Older — Upon request of a residential member 60 years of age or older, the Cooperative will extend without penalty the payment date of a bill of that member until the 25th day after the date the bill is issued. The Cooperative may require the member requesting an extension to present reasonable proof that the individual is 60 years of age or older.
  8. Deferred payment plans — A deferred payment plan is any written arrangement between the Cooperative and a residential member that allows a member to pay an outstanding bill in installments that extend beyond the due date of the next bill. A deferred payment plan may be established in person or by telephone, and all deferred payment plans will be put in writing.
    1. The Cooperative may offer a deferred payment plan to any residential member who has expressed an inability to pay and meets the criteria specified in the Cooperative's Tariff.
    2. Every deferred payment plan will provide that the delinquent amount may be paid in negotiable installments.
    3. Every deferred payment plan offered by the Cooperative:
      1. Will state in boldface type the following: “If you are not satisfied with this agreement or if agreement was made by telephone, and you feel this document does not reflect your understanding of that agreement, contact the Cooperative immediately. If you do not contact the Cooperative, you may give up your right to dispute the amount due under the agreement except for the Cooperative's failure or refusal to comply with the terms of this agreement.”;
      2. Will state the length of time covered by the plan;
      3. Will state the total amount to be paid under the plan;
      4. Will state the specific amount of each installment;
      5. Will allow the Cooperative to disconnect service if the member does not fulfill the terms of the deferred payment plan, and will state the terms for disconnection;
      6. Will be provided to the member;
      7. Should allow either the member or the Cooperative to initiate a renegotiation of the deferred payment plan if the member's circumstances change substantially during the time of the deferred payment plan; and
      8. Should be limited to one deferred agreement per year.
    4. The Cooperative may decline to offer this plan if, in the Cooperative's judgment, the member is lacking sufficient credit or satisfactory history to warrant further extension of credit or if the member has failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative.
  9. Fixed Payment Plan – This plan allows a member to pay a fixed amount per month based on twelve months total billings divided by 366 days. A true-up and recalculation will be required no more than every 12 months. Upon such true-up and recalculation, any overpayments or underpayments shall either be credited or debited from the account as applicable. The amount of any underpayment will be added to the amounts due. The amount of any overpayment will be deducted from any amounts owed. This plan is applicable to the Residential and Farm/Ranch and Water Well rates only. Members may enroll anytime with participation beginning with the first bill rendered after enrollment. The plan may be canceled by either the member or the Cooperative upon notification to the other party. Upon cancellation the accumulated balance of the member's account shall become due and payable. The Cooperative may decline to offer the Fixed Payment Plan if, in the Cooperative's judgment, the member is lacking sufficient credit or satisfactory history to warrant payment plans or if the member has failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative. (Effective Sept. 1, 2012)
  10. Average Payment Plan – Under this plan, the member's monthly payment is the rolling 12 months average. This plan is applicable to the Residential and Farm/Ranch and Water Well rates only. Members may enroll anytime with participation beginning with the first bill rendered after enrollment. The plan may be canceled by either the member or the Cooperative upon notification to the other party. Upon cancellation the accumulated balance of the member's account shall become due and payable. The Cooperative may decline to offer the Average Payment Plan if, in the Cooperative's judgment, the member is lacking sufficient credit or satisfactory history to warrant payment plans or if the member has failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative.
  11. Credit Card Payment Plan — The credit card payment plan allows residential members to pay their utility bills with an accepted credit card using one of the following options:
    1. To pay automatically, a member can make arrangements by contacting a Cooperative representative and requesting a payment plan be set up, or
    2. To pay as needed, a member can contact a Cooperative representative and initiate the payment transaction. The member will need to indicate the amount of the payment and provide necessary credit card information and authorization.
  12. Bank Draft Payment Plan — The bank draft payment plan allows members to authorize the Cooperative to draft their checking accounts monthly. The amount drafted will be for:
    1. The current bill due, or
    2. The payment due as agreed on the Deferred Agreement.

      The member's checking account will be drafted automatically on the bill due date or on the due date of the Deferred Agreement contract.
  13. Refunds — Upon closure of an account, the account holder will be issued a refund check for credit balances of $5.00 or more. Refunds on credit balances of less than $5.00 will only be issued upon verbal request of the account holder. Any amounts not refunded will be transferred at the end of the calendar year to the Cooperative's county assistance program.

Disconnection of Service

  1. Disconnection policy — If the Cooperative chooses to disconnect a member, it will follow its Tariff and the procedures below, or modify them in ways that are more favorable to the member.
  2. Disconnection with notice — Service may be disconnected after proper notice for any of these reasons:
    1. Failure to pay a bill for Cooperative services or make deferred payment arrangements by the date of disconnection;
    2. Failure to comply with the terms of any payment agreement;
    3. Failure to pay a deposit when required;
    4. Failure to pay a guaranteed amount when required;
    5. Violation of the Cooperative's rules on using service in a manner which interferes with the service of others or the operation of nonstandard equipment, if a reasonable attempt has been made to notify the member and the member is provided with a reasonable opportunity to remedy the situation; or
    6. Paying a delinquent account balance with a check returned to the Cooperative for insufficient funds.
  3. Disconnection without prior notice — Service may be disconnected without prior notice for any of the following reasons:
    1. Where a known dangerous condition exists. Where reasonable, given the nature of the hazardous condition, the Cooperative should post a notice of disconnection and the reason for the disconnection at the place of common entry or upon the front door of each affected residential unit unit as soon as possible after service has been disconnected;
    2. Where service is connected without authority;
    3. Where service was reconnected without authority after termination for nonpayment; or
    4. Where there has been tampering with the Cooperative's equipment or evidence of theft of service.
  4. Disconnection prohibited — Service may not be disconnected for any of the following reasons:
    1. Delinquency in payment for the Cooperative's service by a previous occupant of the premises;
    2. Failure to pay disputed charges, except for the required average billing payment, until a determination as to the accuracy of the charges has been made by the Cooperative and the member has been notified of this determination; or
    3. Failure to pay charges arising from an underbilling due to any faulty metering, unless the meter has been tampered with or unless such underbilling charges as referenced in rule entitled Meter Tampering.
  5. Disconnection due to Cooperative abandonment — The Cooperative will not abandon a member or a certified service area without written notice to its members and all similar neighboring utilities, and approval from the Commission.
  6. Disconnection of energy assistance clients — The Cooperative cannot terminate service to a delinquent residential member for a billing period in which the Cooperative receives a pledge, letter of intent, purchase order, or other notification that the energy assistance provider is forwarding sufficient payment to continue service.
  7. Disconnection during extreme weather — The Cooperative will not disconnect a residential member on a day when:
    1. The previous day's highest temperature did not exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or the temperature is predicted to be at or below that level for the next 24 hours, according to the local National Weather Service (NWS) reports for the designated territory; or
    2. The previous day's highest temperature exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or the temperature is predicted to be at or above that level for the next 24 hours, according to the local National Weather Service (NWS) reports for the designated territory.
  8. Disconnection during weekend — The Cooperative will not disconnect a residential member on a weekend day.
  9. Disconnection of master-metered utilities — When a bill for Cooperative services is delinquent for a master-metered utility:
    1. The Cooperative should send a notice to the member as required. At the time such notice is issued, the Cooperative should also inform the member that notice of possible disconnection will be provided to the utility's members in three days if payment is not made before that time.
    2. At least three days after providing notice to the member and at least four days before disconnecting, the Cooperative should post a minimum of five notices in conspicuous areas of the utility or other public places. Language in the notice should be in large type and should read:
      “Notice to members of (name and address of the utility): the Cooperative's service to this utility is scheduled for disconnection on (date), because (reason for disconnection).”
  10. Disconnection notices — Any disconnection notice issued by the Cooperative to a member will:
    1. Not be issued before the first day after the bill is due, to enable the Cooperative to determine whether the payment was received by the due date.
    2. Be a separate mailing or hand delivered with a stated date of disconnection with the words “disconnection notice” or similar language prominently displayed.
    3. Have a disconnection date that is not less than seven days after the notice is issued.
    4. Be in English and in Spanish.
    5. Include a statement notifying the member that if they need assistance paying their bill by the due date, or are ill and unable to pay their bill, they may be able to make some alternate payment arrangement, establish a deferred payment plan, or possibly secure payment assistance. The notice will also advise the member to contact the Cooperative for more information.

Complaints

Complaints to the Cooperative — A member or applicant may file a complaint in person, by letter, or by telephone with the Cooperative regarding rates, service, or other issues.
  1. If a complaint cannot immediately be resolved by the employee receiving the complaint, the information collected by the employee will be forwarded to a supervisor or manager. The supervisor or manager will review the complaint and related information, and the complainant will be advised of the results within five working days of the complaint.
  2. Service should not be disconnected before completion of the review. If the member chooses not to participate in a review then the Cooperative may disconnect service, providing proper notice has been issued under the disconnect procedures.
  3. Members who are dissatisfied with the supervisory-level review will be informed of their right to file a written complaint with either PEC's Chief Executive Officer or designee of the Chief Executive Officer. Under their direction, a three-member management team will review the complaint and the complainant will be advised of the results within ten days of the complaint.

Information to Applicants and Members

  1. Information regarding rate schedules and classifications and the Cooperative's facilities —
    1. The Cooperative will notify members affected by a change in rates or schedule of classifications.
    2. The Cooperative will maintain copies of its rate schedules and rules in each office where applications are received and such copies are available for inspection.
    3. The Cooperative will maintain maps showing the physical locations of its facilities that includes an accurate description of all facilities (substations, transmission lines, etc.). Each business office or service center will have available maps, plans, or records of its immediate service area, with other information as may be necessary to enable the Cooperative to advise applicants, and others entitled to the information, about the facilities serving that locality.
  2. Membership fees —
    Membership in the Cooperative is required for service. A membership fee will be required with the initial application for service. Membership fees will be set by the Cooperative's Board of Directors and shall be held until the last service connection for a member is terminated. The membership fee will be held in the initial account until that account is terminated. At that time the membership fee will be applied to member's open account or applied to the outstanding account balance of the last open account. Additional fees may be required for each additional service connection requested by the member, but no further membership fee shall be charged and no additional memberships shall be created by the creation of additional service connections by the member. Each legal or natural person or husband and wife pair that is a member of the cooperative shall be entitled to a single membership, no matter how many meters that member has. Refunds on credit balances of less than $5.00 will be issued only upon verbal request of the account holder. Any amounts not refunded will be transferred at the end of the calendar year to the Cooperative's Member Service Assistance Program.
  3. Member information packets —
    1. General information about the Cooperative will be accessible online to all new members or as requested.
    2. This general information will include the following topics:
      1. Services, fees, deposits, and rates;
      2. Payment options;
      3. Conditions of service;
      4. Electrical safety;
      5. Power interruptions; and;
      6. A toll-free telephone number to conduct business or to obtain the hours, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Cooperative's office locations.
  4. Member voting —
    Each member who is receiving service from the Cooperative shall be entitled to one (1) vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at a meeting of the members. At all meetings of the members at which a quorum is present, all questions shall be decided by a vote of a majority of the members voting thereon in person, by mail, or, when the option is made available to members, electronically, except as otherwise provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative, or the Bylaws.

Member Access to Cooperative Records

A Member, on written request, is entitled to examine and copy (at the member's expense), at any reasonable time, the books and records of the PEC.

Requests for information are restricted to Members of PEC, and the Cooperative reserves the right to charge a fee to the Member, payable in part or wholly in advance, if fulfilling the request will require large amounts of employee time.

Most of the information collected, assembled, or maintained in connection with the transaction of PEC business is available to Members, with a few exceptions. Inspection of certain records may be limited or denied in cases including: privacy, attorney-client privilege; real estate subject matter, personnel subject matter, security; or, matters that are clearly competitive, when the Board of Directors determines in good faith that disclosure presents a compelling risk of likely harm to the Cooperative or its members.

This policy does not cover material that is requested as part of a legal proceeding.

All Member requests for information should be directed to: Open Records Request, Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc., P.O. Box 1, Johnson City, TX 78636.

Reliability and Continuity of Service

  1. General —
    1. The Cooperative will make all reasonable efforts to prevent interruptions of service. When interruptions occur, the Cooperative will re-establish service within the shortest possible time.
    2. The Cooperative endeavors to provide continuous electric service but makes no guarantees against interruptions. If continuous service at a constant voltage is required, the member must install the necessary equipment. Should members require three-phase service, they shall be responsible for providing and operating such protective equipment as is necessary to protect their equipment from damage resulting from loss of power to one or more phases. If electric service is interrupted, the member must determine if the equipment and wiring is functioning properly. Cooperative personnel will not make repairs to members' wiring or equipment.
    3. The Cooperative shall not be liable for damages occasioned by interruption, failure to commence delivery, or voltage, wave form, or frequency fluctuation caused by interruption or failure of service or delay in commencing service due to accident to or breakdown of plant, lines, or equipment, strike, riot, act of God, order of any court or judge granted in any granted in any bonafide adverse legal proceedings or action or any order of any commission or tribunal having jurisdiction; or, without limitation by the preceding enumeration, any other act or things due to causes beyond its control, to the negligence of the Cooperative, its employee, or contractors, except to the extent that the damages are occasioned by the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the Cooperative.
    4. The Cooperative will make reasonable provisions to manage emergencies resulting from failure of service, and will issue instructions to its employees covering procedures to be followed in the event of emergency in order to prevent or mitigate interruption or impairment of service.
    5. In the event of national emergency or local disaster resulting in disruption of normal service, the Cooperative may, in the public interest, interrupt service to other members to provide necessary service to civil defense or other emergency service entities on a temporary basis until normal service to these agencies can be restored.
  2. Record of interruption — The Cooperative will keep complete records of sustained interruptions. Where practical, the Cooperative will keep a complete record of all momentary interruptions. These records will show the type of interruption, the cause for the interruption, the date and time of the interruption, the duration of the interruption, the number of members interrupted, the substation identifier, and the transmission line or distribution feeder identifier. The Cooperative will retain records of interruptions for five years.
  3. Notice of significant interruptions —
    1. Significant Interruptions — All interruptions of any classification lasting one hour or more and affecting the entire system, a major division of the system, a community, essential services, service to interruptible members, scheduled interruptions lasting more than four hours that affect members that are not notified in advance, 20% or more of the system's members, or 20,000 members for utilities serving more than 200,000 members. Significant interruptions also include interruptions adversely affecting a community such as interruptions of governmental agencies, military bases, universities and schools, major retail centers, and major employers.
    2. Initial notice — Employees will notify the Chief Executive Officer in a method prescribed by the Chief Executive Officer as soon as reasonably possible after it has determined that a significant interruption has occurred. The initial notice will include the general location of the significant interruption, the approximate number of members affected, the cause if known, the time of the event, and the estimated time of full restoration. If the duration of the significant interruption is greater than 24 hours, the Cooperative will update this information daily and file a summary report.
    3. Summary report — Within three working days after the end of a significant interruption lasting more than 24 hours, a summary report should be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer. The summary report will include the date and time of the significant interruption; the date and time of full restoration; the cause of the interruption, the location, substation and feeder identifiers of all affected facilities; the total number of members affected; the dates, times, and numbers of members affected by partial or step restoration; and the total number of member-minutes of the significant interruption (sum of the interruption durations times the number of members affected).
  4. Emergency Operations Plan — The Cooperative will maintain a general description of its emergency operations plan. The Cooperative's emergency plan will include, but need not be limited to, the following:
    1. A registry of essential services directly served by the Cooperative. This registry will be updated as necessary, but not less often than annually. The description will include the location of the registry, how the Cooperative ensures that it is maintaining an accurate registry, how the Cooperative will provide assistance to essential services members in the event of an unplanned outage, how the Cooperative intends to communicate with the essential services members, and how the Cooperative is training its staff with respect to serving critical members and loads.
    2. A communications plan that describes the procedures for contacting the media and members and essential services directly served by the Cooperative as soon as reasonably possible, either before or at the onset of the emergency. The communications plan will also address how the Cooperative's telephone system and complaint handling procedures will be augmented during an emergency, and;
    3. Priorities for restoration of service.

Meter Requirements

  1. Use of meter — All electricity consumed or demanded by the member will be charged for by meter measurements, except where otherwise provided for by the applicable rate schedule or contract.
  2. Installation — The Cooperative will provide, install, own, and maintain all meters necessary for the measurement of electric energy to its members.
  3. Standard type — All meters will meet industry standards. Special meters used for investigation or experimental purposes are not required to conform to these standards.
  4. Advanced Metering Opt Out Program — The Advanced Metering Opt Out Program only applies to residential accounts (other than residential accounts with interconnection agreements). A member may request to opt out from use of the Cooperative's advanced meter at a service location. The Cooperative may grant such request subject to certain qualifications and conditions as described herein. The Cooperative reserves the right to deny any such request for participation in the Advanced Metering Opt Out Program in the event a service location has repetitive collection disconnects, any threats of violence at the location, or otherwise.

    Any member requesting to opt out from the advanced meter used by the Cooperative will also be charged a meter exchange fee and monthly meter reading fees, each fee as outlined in the Cooperative’s Tariff. Any member participating in the Advanced Metering Opt Out Program for new service locations will be required to pay the Cooperative’s establishment fee as outlined in the Cooperative’s Tariff for each location.

    If for any month a meter is unable to be read by the Cooperative, the monthly fees will apply and the usage for that month will be estimated based on the member’s previous usage. Any under-billing or overbilling resulting from such estimate will be adjusted after the meter is read.

    Members participating in the Advanced Metering Opt Out Program will not be offered billing cycle options and will be billed according to an established PEC meter reading route schedule.
  5. Location of meters —
    1. Meters and service switches in conjunction with the meter will be installed in accordance with the latest revision of American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Incorporated, Standard C12 (American National Code for Electricity Metering), and will be readily accessible for reading, testing, and inspection, where such activities will cause minimum interference and inconvenience to the member.
    2. Member will provide, without cost to the Cooperative, at a suitable and easily accessible location:
      1. Sufficient and proper space for installation of meters and other apparatus of the Cooperative;
      2. Meter board;
      3. Meter loop;
      4. Safety service switches when required; and
      5. An adequate anchor for service drops.
    3. Where the meter location on the member's premises is changed at the request of the member, or due to alterations on the member's premises, the member will provide and have installed at their expense, all wiring and equipment necessary for relocating the meter.
  6. Accuracy requirements —
    1. No meter that violates the test calibration limits as set by the American National Standards Institute, Incorporated will be placed in service or left in service. Whenever on installation, periodic, or other tests, a meter is found to violate these limits, it will be adjusted.
    2. Meters will be adjusted as closely as practicable to the condition of zero error.

Meter Records

The Cooperative will keep the following records:
  1. Meter equipment record — The Cooperative will keep a record of all of its meters, showing the member's address and date of the last test. For special meters used for investigation or experimental purposes, the record will state the purpose of the investigation or experiment.
  2. Records of meter tests — All meter tests will be properly referenced to the meter record provided in this section. The record of each test made on member's premises or on request of a member will show the identifying number and constants of the meter, the standard meter and other measuring devices used, the date and kind of test made, who conducted the test, the error (or percentage of accuracy) at each load tested, and sufficient data to permit verification of all calculations.

Meter Readings

  1. Each meter should clearly indicate the units of service for which charge is made to the member. Meters shall be read at regular monthly intervals.
  2. Each member participating in the Advanced Metering Opt Out Program will be charged a fee each month for non-standard manual meter readings by the Cooperative and for processing of such readings for each service location.
  3. If for any month a meter is unable to be read by the Cooperative, the monthly fees will apply and the usage for that month will be estimated based on the member’s previous usage. Any under-billing or overbilling resulting from such estimate will be adjusted after the meter is read.

Meter Testing

  1. Meter tests prior to installation — No permanently installed meter should be placed in service unless its accuracy has been established. If any permanently installed meter is removed from actual service and replaced by another meter for any purpose, it should be properly tested and adjusted before being placed back in service unless such meter has been tested in the last 12 months.
  2. Testing of meters in service — Meter test periods for all types of meters will conform to the latest edition of American National Standards Institute, Incorporated (ANSI) Standard C12 unless specified otherwise by the Cooperative.
  3. Meter tests on request of member —
    1. The Cooperative will, upon the request of a member, test the accuracy of the member's meter.
    2. If the meter has been tested by the Cooperative, or by an authorized agency, at the member's request, and within a period of four years the member requests a new test, the Cooperative will make the test.
    3. Following the completion of any requested test, the Cooperative will advise the member of the date of removal of the meter, the date of the test, the result of the test, and who made the test.

Adjustments Due to Meter Errors

  1. If any meter is found to be not in compliance with the accuracy standards, readings will be corrected and adjusted bills may be rendered for the period of overbilling or under-billing as described herein in "Bill Payments and Adjustments.".
  2. No refund is required from the Cooperative except to the member last served by the meter prior to the testing.
  3. If a meter is found not to register for any period, the Cooperative should estimate and charge for units used, but not metered for the period of under-billing as described herein in "Bill Payment and Adjustments." The estimated charge should be based on amounts used under similar conditions during the period preceding or subsequent to the period the meter was found not to register, or during corresponding periods in previous years.

Meter Tampering

Meter tampering, bypass or diversion will be defined as tampering with the Cooperative's meter or equipment, bypassing the same, or other instances of diversion, such as physically disorienting the meter; attaching objects to the meter to divert or bypass service; inserting objects into the meter; and other electrical and mechanical means of tampering with, bypassing or diverting electrical service. Meter tampering is a criminal offense.

Interconnection Meters and Circuit Breakers

The Cooperative should ensure that all instruments and meters are maintained as may be necessary to obtain full information as to purchases, unless this information is metered and furnished by the electric utility supplying the energy. Any interconnection with the Cooperative must be in accordance with the Cooperative's Small Power Producer Interconnection Policy and only after execution of the Cooperative's Agreement for Interconnection.

Member Service Option (Discontinued effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Adopted 06-15-2009;
Amended 08-16-2010; 09-20-2010; 12-20-2010; 09-19-2011; 05-21-2012; 04-15-2013; 01-21-2014; 03-17-2014; 04-21-2014

Tariff for Electric Service

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This document includes:

  • Rate Schedules
  • Service Policy
  • Line Extension Policy
  • Credit Requirements and Deposits
  • Fee Schedule

Capital Credits Policy

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I. Objective

The objective of this Capital Credits Policy (“Policy”) is to state the general policy of Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. (“Cooperative”) for allocating and retiring capital credits.

II. Policy

The Cooperative will allocate and retire capital credits in a manner that permits the Cooperative to comply with all applicable laws, all restrictions imposed by its debt financing covenants, the Cooperative Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, is fair to the Cooperative’s members and former members, and is reasonable to maintain a healthy financial state.

III. Expectations

  1. Board approval. The Cooperative will allocate and retire capital credits in the manner, method, timing and amount as described in this policy and as approved by the Board.

  2. Net margin allocations. Each member purchasing electricity from the Cooperative will receive an allocation of the net margins as adjusted for the net change in accrued unbilled revenue, made by the Cooperative during the fiscal year. Such allocation shall be made pro rata based upon the dollar amount of electricity purchased by the member during the year over the total amount of electricity purchased by the members. Prior to the allocation, the billing records shall be adjusted for each member and in total for negative total of purchases during the fiscal year so that members do not receive a negative allocation of the net margins.

  3. Net loss allocations. If the Cooperative has a loss in a given year, that loss will not be allocated to members. Instead, that loss will be rolled forward and combined with the positive net margins in the succeeding year(s) and any remaining net margins will then be allocated to the members.

  4. General capital credit retirements. General retirements will be correlated to the assumptions and limitations contained in an Equity Management Plan to be approved annually. This correlation serves as the basis for a Board affirmative determination as to whether or not a retirement may result in an adverse impact to the Cooperative. The Board shall make this affirmative determination prior to any retirement. All retirements must comply with restrictions placed on PEC by its lenders, its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and state and federal law.

    Each year, subject to the Board’s determination, the Cooperative will implement its general retirement strategy with the following principles in mind:
    1. Retire total allocation of capital credits to the estates of deceased members that have come to the attention of the Cooperative. (See description below for Special Capital Credit Retirements).
    2. Consider other special retirements for members that are corporate entities no longer in existence, inactive and delinquent accounts.
    3. Approximately one-half of the general capital credits retirement will be from the oldest outstanding year(s) in which allocations have been made that have not yet been retired.
    4. The remainder of the general retirement of capital credits shall be made available from the most recent year(s) for which allocations have been made, and may be made at a discounted rate. (See description below for Discounted Retirements).

  5. Special Capital Credit Retirements. The Cooperative may retire capital credits outside the normal schedule for retirements under the following circumstances. For each of the following, the Board may annually set limits, either individually by member or in the aggregate, for the cash amounts that may be paid in the fiscal year:
    1. Estates
      The Cooperative may specially retire capital credits when the Cooperative receives proper notification that a member or former member who is a natural person has died. Upon request by the appropriate representative of the member and upon receipt of appropriate documentation, the Cooperative will pay the estate at a discounted rate as a Discounted Retirement as described in F. below.

    2. Non-Natural Memberships
      The Cooperative may specially retire capital credits when the Cooperative receives proper notification of the dissolution, liquidation, or cessation of existence of an entity member or former member. Upon request of the appropriate representative of the entity and receipt of appropriate documentation, the Cooperative may pay the entity its remaining capital credits as a Discounted Retirement as described in F. below. A non-natural entity that has dissolved or otherwise ceased existence for the purposes of reorganizing will not be eligible for a special distribution under this section.

    3. Inactive Accounts
      The Cooperative may specially retire capital credits of a former member when the member’s account has been inactive for a period of no less than five years. Any special retirements under this provision shall be made as a Discounted Retirement as described in F. below.

  6. Discounted Retirement. If the Board so directs, the Cooperative will pay the discounted, net present value of the capital credits. Any member or former member may refuse and elect to defer such discounted retirement until such date as the distribution at full value would otherwise occur. The amount of the discounted distribution will be calculated using a discount rate that equals the Cooperative’s weighted cost of capital and taking into account the date that the distribution would have occurred based on an approximate thirty-year schedule of retirement. This method of calculation will apply to both general and special retirements made prior to the general retirement schedule which may be subject to a discounted rate. While the Cooperative will seek to maintain an approximate 30 retirement schedule, the actual discount period shall be the number of years of unretired patronage capital, including amounts assignable to the patrons, for the most recently ended fiscal year.

  7. Recoupment: If a member or former member has a balance due to the Cooperative, the Cooperative shall apply part or all of the capital credits being retired to the member’s (or former member’s) account, unless other arrangements for payment have been made by the member.

IV. Limitations

  1. Forfeiture of capital credits. The Cooperative shall not enter into any agreements under which a member or former member forfeits the right to the allocation or retirement of capital credits. The discounting of capital credits as provided for in this Policy shall not be deemed a forfeiture.

  2. Member classes. If the Board approves, the Cooperative may allocate or retire capital credits to similar classes of members or former members under different manners, methods, timing, and amounts, as long as the Cooperative, based on reasonable and fair distinctions, allocates and retires capital credits to similar classes, members and former members using the same manner, method, timing, and amount; provided that the Cooperative may discount capital credits as described above.

  3. Notice of Allocation. The Cooperative shall notify each member in writing of the amount allocated to the member for the preceding fiscal year within eight and one-half months following the end of the fiscal year.

  4. Method of payment. The Cooperative will retire capital credits to members either by cash, check or by bill credits, whichever the Board of Directors determines will be most effective and in the Cooperative’s best interest. Former members may be notified in writing of the retirement of their capital credits prior to issuance of a check to confirm the location of the former member.

  5. Minimum Amount. The Cooperative shall not retire and pay capital credits in an amount less than ten dollars ($10.00), unless the retirement and payment is for all remaining capital credits allocated to a former member. This section shall not apply to discounted distributions for the most recent years retired as part of the general distribution strategy.

  6. Records. The Cooperative will keep complete records of the amount of unretired capital credits that have been allocated to each member and former member, along with a record of the retirements to that member representing the five years preceding the oldest outstanding unretired year. This information will be available upon request to each member.

  7. Unclaimed capital credits. If a member/former member fails to cash or claim a capital credit retirement check, then the Cooperative shall send a notice to the member’s or former member’s most current address listed on the Cooperative’s records calling this failure to the member’s attention. If the member or former member has not contacted the Cooperative after 45 days from the date of the first notice, a second notice will be sent; provided, however, the first notice was not returned to the Cooperative as non-deliverable without a forwarding address.

    Former members may be notified of a retirement prior to the issuance of a check in order to confirm the new location of the former member. If there is no response from the former member, the failure to respond to the notice of retirement will be treated the same as the failure to cash or claim a check for the purposes of the Cooperative’s unclaimed property responsibilities. If the notice is returned to the Cooperative as non-deliverable without a forwarding address, the second notice is not required and no further action is necessary.

    If the capital credits remain unclaimed after three years, the distribution may be delivered in accordance with Section 74.3013 of the Property Code to a scholarship fund, to an economic development fund and to an energy efficiency assistance fund, each as further described and to the limits described in such Section 74.3013 of the Property Code. Otherwise, such amounts will be reported and remitted to the State Comptroller’s Office in accordance with current State of Texas unclaimed property laws.

V. Responsibility

  1. Implementation of Policy. The Cooperative’s Chief Executive Officer is responsible for implementing this policy and for developing the practices and procedures necessary to allocate and retire capital credits according to this policy.

  2. Recommendations to the Board. The Cooperative’s Chief Executive Officer is responsible for: (1) recommending to the Board the manner, method, timing, and amount for allocating and retiring capital credits; and (2) when changes are believed to be in the best interest of the Cooperative and its members and former members, recommending to the Board revisions to this policy.

  3. Education and Communication. The Cooperative’s Chief Executive Officer is responsible for developing and implementing a program to (1) educate employees and members about the role of Capital Credits in the cooperative business model and (2) effectively inform employees and members about annual allocations and retirements.

  4. Review and Approval by Board. The Board is responsible for: (1) reviewing, discussing, and evaluating the Chief Executive Officer’s recommendations regarding the allocation and retirement of capital credits; (2) approving or proposing changes to these recommendations; (3) reviewing, discussing, and evaluating this policy every year; (4) reviewing, discussing, and evaluating the Chief Executive Officer’s s recommendations for revising this policy; (5) approving and directing revisions to this policy.

  5. Compliance with Policy. The Board is responsible for the Cooperative’s compliance with this policy.

Amended and Restated Dec. 20, 2010
Effective Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Implementation Date: April 1, 2011
Amended: Sept. 19, 2011; Sept. 15, 2014

Decorum Policy

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1. General

  • 1.1. As a Member-owned Cooperative, Member participation is valued and respected and individuals should be allowed to state opinions. Any business meetings or functions of the Cooperative whether conducted on or off premises shall be conducted in a professional and courteous manner. For the purposes of this Policy, Participants collectively includes Cooperative Board Directors, employees, Members or any other attendees. This Policy applies to all Participants at any Cooperative business meeting or function.
  • 1.2. Participants in any business meeting or function shall maintain an environment free of abusive, slanderous, or bullying behavior. To protect the security and safety of persons attending such meetings, all Participants shall respect an individual’s physical space and refrain from any form of physical intimidation or abuse. Any behavior demonstrating or threatening violence, attack, or physical abuse is not tolerated.
  • 1.3. Directors and Employees shall maintain order and preserve the decorum of any business meeting or function conducted on or off the Cooperative premises.
  • 1.4. Meeting Participants may not display placards, bumper stickers, signs or other campaigning, or political advocacy materials within the premises of a meeting or function, other than those materials displayed on the individual Participants’ body or clothing. Campaigning and Electioneering for PEC elections is governed by the Cooperatives Election Policy and Procedures.
  • 1.5. Meeting Participants shall refrain from disruptive behavior. Distracting, irrelevant or unrelated subject matter, personal or character attacks, or improperly sidetracking the attention of other Participants are examples of disruptive behavior.

2. Board of Directors’ Meetings

  • 2.1. The Presiding Officer, or responsible employee shall maintain order and preserve the decorum of the meeting; rule upon points of order, points of procedure, points of privilege, and points of personal privilege; shall determine the time, manner, order, and recognition of persons with the right to speak; shall ascertain that all persons who wish to speak have been given an opportunity to express that interest in speaking; shall ascertain when Directors or Members are ready to vote, and shall then put the matter to a vote discussion, or an end; shall rule whether a motion, proposed amendment, or action is in order; and shall call a Director or Participant to order to maintain decorum and to safely conduct business.
  • 2.2. Each Board Director shall cooperate with the Presiding Officer in preserving order and decorum, and no Participant shall, by conversation or otherwise, delay or interrupt the proceedings of the Board, nor disturb any person while speaking.
  • 2.3. The Board shall comply to the extent possible with the rules of decorum during its discussions or debates as adopted and as described herein and in conjunction with Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, (10th ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2000), p 21-24 and 379-382, and 470-471, which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • 2.4. All Participants wishing to address the Board during the designated portion of a Board meeting shall sign a registry identifying themselves prior to speaking, and shall open their remarks by stating their name and whether they are a Cooperative Member. Time allotted by the Board for each speaker cannot be shared or allotted with other speakers. The allotted time shall include and commence from the beginning of the speaker's remarks and include any time that passes during questioning or colloquy between the speaker and the Board. Additional time may be granted to a person by the Board President, or upon a majority vote of the Board.
  • 2.5. When any Member or Participant wishes to provide written or demonstrative materials to the Board or others, such Member or Participant must, prior to the meeting’s start, provide the information to the Board Secretary or their designee for distribution.
  • 2.6. Participants shall refrain from disruptive behavior. Distracting, irrelevant or unrelated subject matter, personal or character attacks, speaking out of turn, approaching or standing at the Board meeting dais without the permission of the Presiding Officer, or improperly sidetracking the attention of other Participants are examples of disruptive behavior.

3. Violations of Policy

  • 3.1. When Member or Participant behavior repeatedly violates this Policy, is severe, or threatens physical safety or property, the Presiding Officer or responsible Cooperative employee may remove the Member or Participant from PEC premises, meetings, functions, or discussions.
  • 3.2. Upon repeated or severe violations of this Policy, the Presiding Officer, CEO, or responsible Cooperative employee may prohibit a person from attendance at PEC meetings, functions or discussions. The duration of the prohibition shall be based upon the severity and nature of the violations.
  • 3.3. To protect the safety and security of persons and property, the Presiding Officer or CEO may take all necessary actions to investigate and make determinations about violations of this Policy.
  • 3.4. The Presiding Officer or CEO is authorized, on behalf of the Cooperative, to seek appropriate law enforcement assistance and to seek other action as each may determine necessary to enforce this Policy.

Adopted March 15, 2010
Amended: Sept. 15, 2014

Election Policy

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The Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. (“PEC” or “the Cooperative”) and its Board of Directors (“Board”) recognize that matters put to a vote of Members (“PEC Elections”) are a cornerstone of PEC’s compliance with the Cooperative Principle of Democratic Member Control.

The Board recognizes that consistent, credible PEC Elections are essential to maintaining Member confidence in PEC, and the key vehicle by which Members hold Directors accountable and influence the direction of the Cooperative, both through election of Directors (“Director Election”) and elections on issues of importance to the Cooperative (“Non-Director Election”). It is the policy of the Board that PEC Elections shall be administered in as impartial a manner as possible, utilizing the services of an independent, third-party (“Election Service Provider”) who will certify the accuracy of voting. PEC shall seek to maximize Member involvement and empowerment of Members in the electoral process through direct means, including the use of the Qualifications Committee called for in the PEC Bylaws. The Cooperative will, through its governing documents, policies and practices, encourage candor and maximum disclosure of actual and potential conflicts of interest by Candidates for PEC Director positions, including incumbent Directors. And, as a corollary to its Election vigilance, the Cooperative will provide robust Director removal and replacement mechanisms to address breaches of fiduciary duties by Directors.

PEC further recognizes that the Internal Revenue Service has identified meaningful Democratic Member Control as a requirement for the tax exemption granted to PEC and other electric cooperatives.

For the foregoing reasons, the Board has retained the oversight of PEC Elections. In furtherance of the Board’s oversight of PEC Elections, this Election Policy (“Election Policy”) and accompanying Election Procedures (“Election Procedures”) are intended to ensure that PEC Elections are conducted in a fashion that maximizes and exemplifies Democratic Member Control. A copy of this Election Policy and the Election Procedures shall be included in materials made available to persons running in a Director Election (“Candidates”).

PEC shall seek to increase voter awareness and turnout in PEC Elections through educational efforts, communications, programs and effective use of technology. All PEC Elections shall be conducted in a manner that is uniform, impartial and fair to all Candidates and positions that are subject to vote.

This Policy shall be read in conjunction with and incorporates by reference sections dealing with Elections within the Texas Electric Cooperative Act (Texas Utilities Code Chapter 161), the Member Bill of Rights and other sections of the PEC Articles of Incorporation and PEC Bylaws.

Adopted Nov. 19, 2012
Amended Jan. 21, 2014; Sept. 15, 2014; Oct. 20, 2014; Dec. 8, 2014

Extreme Weather Disconnection Policy

PEC's policy, outlined in the Cooperative's Business Rules, is not to disconnect any residential member for nonpayment on a day when:

  • The previous day's highest temperature did not exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or the temperature is predicted to be at or below that level for the next 24 hours, according to the local National Weather Service (NWS) reports for the designated territory; or
  • The NWS issues a heat advisory for any county in the relevant service territory, or when such an advisory has been issued on any one of the previous two calendar days.

This policy applies year-round and benefits all residential members, regardless of medical status or income level.

Members experiencing financial troubles are encouraged to call Pedernales Electric before they miss a payment. PEC representatives work with members on a case-by-case basis to determine if alternate payment or billing options might help.

If necessary, members may request a deferred payment agreement. Members who meet certain payment criteria may request a deferred payment agreement if required identification information is provided.

Line-Extension Policy

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300 Line Extension Policy

300.1 General Policy

The Cooperative extends its distribution facilities to members or applicants in accordance with the following line extension provisions. Each provision classifies the predominant type of electric service/use anticipated on member’s or applicant's premises and specifies conditions under which a line extension may be made. For each location where electric service is desired, member’s or applicant's classification involves an evaluation of the type of installation and its use. member’s or applicant's classification shall be determined by the Cooperative. In the event that the classification assigned by the Cooperative is incorrect based upon member’s or applicant's subsequent actual use of the installation then the Cooperative may alter member’s or applicant's classification and apply the correct line extension classification, making appropriate adjustment to the member’s or applicant's account or billing.

Service will not be provided and no work to extend service to the applicant’s or member's delivery point shall be performed until the applicant or member has paid any and all fees or charges associated with the provision of service. This includes membership fees, establishment fees, facilities charges, deposits, and/or system impact fees.

300.2 Permanent Overhead Residential, Farm, and Ranch Service

The Cooperative will construct a new overhead distribution extension consistent with the Cooperative’s current specifications to serve a permanent residential installation under the following provisions:

  1. Applicability.

    To qualify as an extension to a permanent residential installation the location where member or applicant is requesting service shall comply with the following provisions:

    1. be a permanent installation. To qualify as a permanent location, the applicant will either have a definite plan for or has commenced the construction of the building or other permanent facilities stipulated in the application by installing a water well or slab/foundation.
    2. be a single or multi-family residence.
    3. if located within a residential subdivision or multi-family residential development, the developer must have complied with the residential development line extension policy of the Cooperative and paid all aid to construction required therein.
  2. Point of Delivery.

    The Cooperative extends its electric facilities only to the Point of Delivery (as defined in Section 100(4) of this Tariff). Member or applicant shall install and be solely responsible for wiring of the installation and all service entrance wiring through the weatherhead and the meter base to customer’s main disconnect switch or service center.

  3. Facilities Charge.
    1. The Cooperative shall estimate the cost for the line extension based on current unit material and labor costs according to the Cooperative’s current standards and specifications. The estimated cost is the total cost of all construction including not only the labor and materials used in constructing the extension, but also engineering, right-of-way acquisition and clearing, and all other costs directly attributable to the extension.
    2. There will be no charge to the member or applicant for the first $2000.00 of estimated cost of making the extension and such amount shall be the Cooperative’s obligation. The member or applicant shall be required to pay as aid to construction the estimated cost of the extension in excess of such amount.
  4. Routing.
    1. The line extension shall be constructed along the most direct route. Any deviation from the most direct route shall be at the Cooperative’s sole discretion.
    2. In all cases, the line extension shall be constructed on dedicated rights-of-way or on a route covered by an easement on the Cooperative’s standard form.
    3. Any and all right-of-way clearing shall be performed to the Cooperative’s specifications. The estimated cost of the clearing shall be included in the estimated cost of the line extension. At the option of the member or applicant and with the agreement of the Cooperative, the applicant may perform the clearing or hire separately a contractor to perform the clearing, provided it is performed in a timely manner and to the Cooperative’s specifications.
  5. System Impact Fee.

    A non-refundable charge of $200.00 will be collected for extending service to a new location. This amount represents a contribution in aid of construction toward the Cooperative’s System Cost associated with substation and distribution backbone facilities and is in addition to any amount due for the line extension.

300.3 Other Residential, Farm, and Ranch Overhead Service Extensions

The Cooperative will construct a new extension of its overhead system to serve other residential installations under the following provisions:

  1. Applicability.

    To qualify as an extension to other residential class installations, the location where the member or applicant is requesting service shall:

    1. be a residence or dwelling unit not qualifying as a permanent installation; or
    2. be a barn, shop, water well, gate opener, or other service that is not used for any commercial purpose.
  2. Point of Delivery.

    The Cooperative extends its electric facilities only to the Point of Delivery (as defined in Section 100(4) of this Tariff). Member or applicant shall install and be solely responsible for wiring of the installation and all service entrance wiring through the weatherhead and the meter base to member’s or applicant's main disconnect switch or service center.

  3. Facilities Charge.
    1. The Cooperative shall estimate the cost for the line extension based on current unit material and labor costs for the same type of construction in the most recent data available. The estimated cost is the total cost of all construction including not only the labor and materials used in constructing the extension, but also engineering, right-of-way acquisition and clearing, and all other costs directly attributable to the extension.
    2. There will be no charge to the member or applicant for the first $800.00 of estimated cost of making the extension and such amount shall be the Cooperative’s obligation. The member or applicant shall be required to pay as aid to construction the estimated cost of the extension in excess of such amount.
  4. System Impact Fee.

    A non-refundable charge of $200.00 will be collected for extending service to a new location. This amount represents a contribution in aid of construction toward the Cooperative’s System Cost associated with substation and distribution backbone facilities and is in addition to any amount due for the line extension

300.4 Other Overhead Line Extensions

The Cooperative will construct a new extension of its overhead distribution system to serve all other permanent installations under the following provisions:

  1. Applicability.

    To qualify for an extension under this section 300.4, the location where member or applicant is requesting service shall:

    1. be a permanent installation, and
    2. be classified as commercial, industrial, or public building installation; and
    3. if located within a commercial development, the developer must have complied with the commercial development line extension policy of the Cooperative and paid all aid to construction required therein.
  2. Point of Delivery.

    The Cooperative extends its electric facilities only to the Point of Delivery (as defined in Section 100(4)) of this Tariff). Member or applicant shall install and be solely responsible for wiring of the installation on member’s or applicant's side of the point of delivery.

  3. Facilities Charge.
    1. The Cooperative shall estimate the cost for the line extension based on current unit material and labor costs for the same type of construction. The estimated cost is the total cost of all construction including not only the labor and materials used in constructing the extension, but also engineering right-of-way acquisition and clearing, overhead, and all other costs attributable to the extension.
    2. A contribution in aid of construction for provision of electric service is required if the estimated annual revenue from member or applicant, excluding purchased power cost, is less than the revenue requirement associated with the Cooperative’s system and direct investment costs of providing service to member or applicant. The amount of the customer’s contribution in aid of construction shall be determined by the following formula. If the amount calculated below is zero or negative, no contribution in aid of construction is required for provision of electric service.

      Cooperative’s Allowable Investment (CAI) = Annual Revenue / Return Factor
      Total Project Cost (TPC) = Direct Cost + System Cost
      Member’s/Applicant's Contribution = TPC - CAI

      Where:

      Direct Cost = The cost of distribution or transmission facilities necessary to provide electric service to the member or applicant, determined by estimating all necessary expenditures, including, but not limited to overhead distribution facilities, metering and rearrangement of existing electrical facilities. This cost includes only the cost of the above-mentioned facilities that are necessary to provide service to the particular customer requesting service and does not include the costs of facilities necessary to meet future anticipated load growth, or to improve the service reliability in the general area for the benefit of existing and future customers.

      System Cost = Cooperative’s average allocated investment costs and rate base items associated with transmission backbone facilities, distribution substation facilities and distribution backbone facilities as determined from the Cooperative’s most recent cost of service study.

      Annual Revenue = Annual revenue from the member or applicant computed using estimated billing units less the estimated annual cost of purchased power.

      Return Factor = The fixed charge rate, including O&M, Depreciation, Taxes and a return on investment, necessary to convert an annual revenue stream to the total revenue associated with the life of the project.

    3. For members or applicants with loads greater than 1000 kW the Cooperative shall exercise prudent judgment in determining the conditions under which a specific line extension will be made and shall view each case individually. The Cooperative shall analyze costs to provide service and base facilities charges on the rate of return generated by the rate design. Special contractual arrangements will be made with the member or applicant and may include contribution in aid of construction in advance of construction or as a monthly facilities charge, special contract minimums, special service specifications, special contract terms greater than 5 years, or other arrangements or conditions deemed reasonable by the Cooperative. All amounts paid to the Cooperative as contribution in aid of construction shall be non-refundable.
  4. Contract Term.

    Where a line extension is required to provide service, the Cooperative may require member or applicant to sign an Agreement For Electric Service or a term of up to 5 years, provided, however, that an agreement for a longer term may be required in accordance with Section 300.4(C)(3) above.

  5. System Impact Fee.

    A non-refundable charge of $200.00 will be collected for extending service to a new location. This amount represents a contribution in aid of construction toward the Cooperative’s System Cost associated with substation and distribution backbone facilities and is in addition to any amount due for the line extension.

300.5 Residential Developments

  1. Applicability.

    The Cooperative will construct a new extension of its overhead distribution system to provide service within residential developments under the following conditions:

    1. The development is a platted, recorded residential subdivision to be primarily used or developed for permanent single or multi-family residential dwelling units;
    2. The land developer shall comply with all applicable provisions of the Service Rules and Regulations of the Cooperative;
    3. All Cooperative facilities will be installed in recorded public or private easements along streets or public rights-of-way deemed suitable by the Cooperative;
    4. Cooperative facilities will not be installed along the backs of lots or in areas deemed inaccessible by the Cooperative;
    5. The developer provides at no cost to the Cooperative:
      1. Right-of-way easements and covenants on owner’s property that are satisfactory to the Cooperative;
      2. Site plans (streets, wet utilities, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and landscaping plans, etc.), notice of construction start dates and construction schedules that are reasonable and industry typical for the type of work to be performed.
      3. Survey points for grades, lot corners, street ROW, and other locations reasonably necessary for installation of the electric system.
  2. Facilities Charge.
    1. The Cooperative shall estimate the cost for the electric facilities adequate to serve all prospective members in the development. These facilities will include primary and secondary conductors, and any electric equipment, and devices required for service to the development. The estimate for these facilities will be based on current unit material and labor costs for the same type of construction in the most recent data available. The estimated cost is the total cost of all construction including not only the labor and materials used in constructing the extension, but also engineering, right-of-way acquisition and clearing, and all other costs directly attributable to the extension. The estimate will not include costs for voltage transformation or services.
    2. The developer will bear the cost of the facilities, identified in paragraph B.1 of this section, required for the distribution system within the subdivision. Each member or applicant for residential service within the subdivision shall receive service under the provisions of section 300.2 of this policy and shall be responsible for any contributions in aid of construction and any system impact fees required by the provision of such service.
    3. Any commercial facilities associated with the development such as offices, clubhouses, laundry facilities, etc. shall be separately considered under the provisions of section 300.4. The developer or member or applicant for such service shall be responsible for any contributions in aid of construction and any system impact fees required by the provision of such service.
    4. Any undue cost experienced by the Cooperative during the construction of the distribution system within the subdivision to placement of obstacles by the developer or home builder will be paid by the developer, home builder, member or applicant.
    5. All amounts paid to the Cooperative for construction shall be non-refundable.
    6. All Cooperative facilities required within the limits of the subdivision will be installed on a schedule set by the Cooperative based on the necessary load requirements but prior to the provision of service to individual applicants.

300.6 Commercial Developments

  1. Applicability.

    The Cooperative will construct a new extension of its overhead distribution system to provide service within commercial developments where developer requests electric infrastructure to be installed in advance of development of a site or lot by a member or applicant, under the following conditions:

    1. The development is a platted commercial development with sites or lots for multiple members or applicants to be primarily used or developed for permanent commercial, industrial, retail, and/or office use;
    2. The land developer shall comply with all applicable provisions of the Service Rules and Regulations of the Cooperative;
    3. The developer will provide at no cost to the Cooperative:
      1. Right-of-way easements and covenants on owner’s property that are satisfactory to the Cooperative;
      2. Site plans (streets, wet utilities, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and landscaping plans, etc.), notice of construction start dates and construction schedules that are reasonable and industry typical for the type of work to be performed.
      3. Survey points for grades, lot corners, street ROW, and other locations reasonably necessary for installation of the electric system.
    4. Line extensions to each member or applicant within the development will be according the terms and conditions in section 300.4 – Other Line Extensions.
  2. Facilities Charge.
    1. The Cooperative shall estimate the cost of the electric infrastructure adequate to serve all prospective members within the development. This will be determined in advance of development of a site or lot by a member or applicant based on current unit material and labor costs for the same type of construction. The estimated cost is the total cost of all construction including not only the labor and materials used in constructing the extension, but also engineering right-of-way acquisition and clearing, overhead, and all other costs attributable to the extension.
    2. The developer will be required to pay in advance 100% of the estimated actual cost of such electric infrastructure. The Cooperative at its sole discretion may accept other guarantee or contractual arrangement in lieu of cash payment.

300.7 Underground Service

  1. The following provisions for the extension of underground service to individual members/applicants or residential or commercial developments are in addition to the standard provisions relating to overhead service.
  2. Underground Service to Individual Members or Applicants:
    Underground electric primary and secondary lines to serve members or applicants may, by special arrangement with the Cooperative, be provided subject to the above conditions. In addition, when receiving underground service, the member will be responsible for providing all trench and associated backfill, concrete work associated with padmounted gear, and all conduit and its installation.
  3. Underground Service to Subdivisions or Commercial Developments:
    Where a developer requests the construction of underground electric facilities within a platted subdivision or commercial development, the developer shall bear the cost of installing the underground electric system adequate to serve all prospective members who may require electric service from said underground system. The developer shall be responsible for providing all trench and associated backfill, concrete work associated with padmounted gear, and all conduit and its installation.
  4. Where the design of the development is such that switchgear are required for proper and safe operation of the distribution system, the developer will bear the cost of the switchgear. Where switchgear are installed solely for the convenience of the Cooperative, such as to provide flexibility in serving load outside of the development, then the Cooperative shall bear the cost of such switchgear.
  5. In all cases, underground secondary service lines from a meter to the member’s main disconnect switch or service center shall be installed and maintained by the member and the Cooperative shall have no responsibility or liability in connection therewith.

300.8 Temporary Service

In any circumstance where the need for electric service is temporary the member or applicant shall pay 100 % of the estimated cost of construction plus the cost of removal.

300.9 Area Lighting

The Cooperative will provide secondary service conductor to serve an area lighting fixture without charge to the member or applicant. Member or applicant will pay in advance as non-refundable aid to construction the estimated cost of any additional facilities.

300.10 Line Clearance

The Cooperative will assist in the transportation of oversized objects through the area or in the construction of buried pipelines or other objects with the Cooperative’s right-of-way by temporarily de-energizing Cooperative facilities or temporarily relocating or raising electric facilities provided that the Cooperative receives compensation for all costs incurred.

Costs incurred shall include labor, materials used, engineering, right of way acquisition and clearing, and vehicles or equipment used including mileage if applicable.

300.11 Ownership of Distribution Facilities

The Cooperative shall retain the ownership of all material and facilities installed by the Cooperative, developer, or applicant for the distribution of electric energy whether or not the same have been paid for by the member. All lines and facilities constructed or installed by the Cooperative are the property of the Cooperative

300.12 No Refund of Aid to Construction

Payments necessary for construction of facilities which will be used to deliver electric energy to the applicant or member are contributions in aid of construction and are not refundable.

300.13 Relocation of Facilities

  1. The Cooperative will relocate its facilities on member’s or applicant's premises at member’s or applicant's request provided member or applicant has (1) provided a satisfactory easement for the new facilities; and (2) paid in advance the estimated cost of the removal of the old facilities plus the estimated cost for the construction of the new facilities.
  2. If the Cooperative determines it is necessary to move its facilities because member or applicant fails or refuses to allow the Cooperative access to Cooperative’s facilities at any time then member or applicant may be billed the estimated cost of relocation.
  3. The Cooperative will replace an existing overhead electric line with an underground line upon request of a member or applicant, land owner, or other party, provided, however, that Cooperative has
    1. determined in its sole discretion that such replacement does not adversely impact electric service reliability or the Cooperative’s operating efficiencies,
    2. received an adequate easement(s), in a form acceptable to the Cooperative, for the construction, installation, maintenance, operation, replacement and/or repair of the underground facilities, at no cost to the Cooperative, and
    3. received payment in advance of the commencement of such replacement for all costs of removal of the overhead facilities and the full amount of the Cooperative’s estimated cost for the construction and installation of the new underground facilities.

300.14 Formula for Calculating Contribution in Aid of Construction

The amount of the contribution in aid of construction for electric service is determined by the following formula. If amount calculated below is zero or negative, no contribution in aid of construction is required for provision of electric service.

Cooperative's Allowable Investment = Annual Revenue / Return Factor
Total Project Cost = Direct Cost + System Cost
Member/Applicant Contribution = Total Project Cost - Cooperative's Allowable Investment

Where:

Direct Cost = The cost of distribution or transmission facilities necessary to provide electric service to member or applicant, determined by estimating all necessary expenditures, including, but not limited to, metering, services, transformers, and rearrangement of existing electrical facilities. This cost includes only the cost of the above-mentioned facilities that are necessary to provide service to the particular customer requesting service and does not include the costs of facilities necessary to meet future anticipated load growth, or to improve the service reliability in the general area for the benefit of existing and future customers.

System Cost = Cooperative's average allocated investment costs associated with member's or applicant's on-peak and off-peak demands as approved in Cooperative's most recent rate case for the appropriate class of member or applicant. Investment cost accounts considered in determining the allocated investment costs are those applicable 300 series FERC accounts and other rate base items, including plant held for future use, cash working capital, materials and supplies, prepayments, customer deposits, reserve for insurance and other cost-fee capital.

Annual Revenue = Estimated annual revenue from member or applicant computed from estimated demand and kWh, excluding fuel cost and sales tax.

Return Factor = Fixed charge rate, including O&M, taxes, insurance, necessary to convert an annual revenue stream to the total revenue associated with estimated life of project.

300.15 Status of the Policy

The Line Extension Policy is subject to change by the Board of Directors.

Adopted Sept. 19, 2011

Member Assistance Policy

Download PEC's Member Assistance Policy »

RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE COOPERATIVE,
That to provide financial assistance to members of the Cooperative, the Cooperative will allocate an amount annually to the Member Assistance Program (MAP) with the following guidelines:

Agencies

  • Participating Community Action agencies, other qualified organizations, and county agencies will qualify members seeking assistance consistent with Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program requirements.
  • PEC funds will be available to members whose income is less than 250% of the published Federal Poverty Level.
  • Each qualifying member will be limited to a maximum of $500 per calendar year.
  • PEC will provide each agency with a report that includes details on each pledge to a member, identifies apparent exceptions to standard rules; the percentage of the total allocation distributed each month, and the balance amount of funds remaining for each agency.
  • The agency will provide to PEC its distribution notification on the PEC pledge form, which confirms that the member has met the specified qualifications, attested to with an agency representative’s signature on the appropriate line.
  • PEC will contact each agency at least once a month to facilitate communication between the agencies and the Cooperative to optimize the benefit to our members in providing financial assistance. PEC will also communicate with staff administering the program to review the effectiveness of the program and to resolve any issues.
  • PEC reserves the right to deny participation in the program to any member perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate fraud against the Cooperative, for example: meter tampering, providing false identification information, owing a debt to the utility on a closed account, returned checks, etc.
  • Agencies have the right to deny participation in the program to any member who perpetrated fraud against their agency or is not willing to participate in programs required to support self-sufficiency.
  • MAP distributions are limited to members only. Therefore, funds can only be used for the person whose name is on the account.
  • MAP distributions are limited to current account usage and billing only.
  • MAP distributions may not be used towards membership fees, deposits or meter tampering fees.
  • MAP funds will be allocated to the agencies annually with the caveat that PEC will assess agency use of funds on a quarterly basis, with the possibility of redistributing these limited funds to the best advantage of our members.
  • PEC reserves the right to refer MAP recipients for an energy audit, if appropriate.
  • PEC will assist members qualified to receive MAP assistance by adapting collection guidelines:
    • Suspending disconnection up to five business days on accounts MAP agencies are assisting
    • Waiving deposits, reconnect fees, establishment fees, and current billing late fees
    • Deposit waivers are limited to once per member. If the member’s account requires a deposit for any reason after one has been waived, the deposit will not be waived again.

Private Charities

In an effort to facilitate assistance for low income members, PEC will accept member qualification from private charities/assistance sources (PS) who agree to abide by the following guidelines. Members meeting these qualifications will be granted the same adaptations to our collection practices allowed to members qualified for our Member Assistance Program.

PS agrees to verify the members’ identity and need for assistance by requiring the following documents:

  • Photo ID (drivers’ license, military ID, etc.)
  • Social Security Card & Social Security Numbers for ALL household members
  • Proof of income for the past 30 days for anyone living at the residence (check stubs, Social Security [SSI and/or Disability] award letters for current year, unemployment benefits, veterans’ benefits, child support, workers’ comp, TWC registration printout, TANF award documentation, etc.)
  • Proof of 10% loss of income/resources in last 60 days

The PS will verify that the member’s income is less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

At the PS’s request and with member’s authorization, PEC will provide the member’s current utility bill and a cash transaction sheet showing the billing and payment history for at least the past twelve months.

If the PS advises PEC that they are satisfied that the member qualifies for assistance, PEC will authorize collection adaptations on a case-by-case basis, with the understanding that the member will be submitting an application to the appropriate MAP agency.

Owing a debt to the utility on a closed account

While the goal of PEC’s Member Assistance Program (MAP) is to help the less fortunate members of our Co-op keep their power on, PEC must balance fiscal stewardship with helping those in need. PEC contracts with a debt collection agency and closed accounts turned over to them need to be addressed in a way compatible with our contract. If the member (or their spouse) has one closed, unpaid account that has gone to the collection agency, PEC will allow them to participate in the MAP under the following conditions:

  • The member must contact the collection agency and set up payment arrangements on the old debt within five business days
  • After PEC verifies with the collection agency that arrangements have been made, PEC will apply the pledged MAP funds to the member’s current account
  • The member must keep their payment arrangements with the collection agency

    Before additional MAP funds are applied, PEC will verify with the collection agency that arrangements are being kept

  • Members who reach their MAP limit and subsequently fail to keep payment arrangements with the collection agency will be unable to participate again in the program until the old debt is paid in full
  • PEC will notify the appropriate MAP agency when a member is not eligible to participate in the MAP because of old, unpaid debt to PEC

Updated collections processes have revealed numerous instances of members or their spouse with more than one old, unpaid debt to PEC, an indication of evading or avoiding paying that debt by opening a new account at a different address or under a different name. A member (or their spouse) with more than one closed, unpaid account is ineligible for MAP participation until all the balances are paid in full. PEC will notify the appropriate MAP agency when a member is not eligible to participate in the MAP because of old, unpaid debt to PEC.

Veterans' Burn Victim Assistance

In 2013, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 981, enabling utilities to assist severely burned war veterans with their high electric bills during hot Texas summers. PEC recognizes the hardship that climate can pose to these individuals, who may suffer a decreased ability to regulate internal body temperature. In appreciation of the sacrifices made on our behalf by these veterans, PEC wishes to assist them through our MAP.

  • PEC will administer the documents and funds for this portion of the MAP internally, so recipients can work directly with the utility.
  • The recipient must be a military veteran, and must be able to provide a medical doctor’s written certification that he or she has significantly decreased ability to regulate his or her body’s core temperature because of severe burns received during armed conflict or in combat.
  • Certification of continuing medical eligibility may be required every 12 months to continue program participation.
  • MAP funds can only be applied to the PEC account at the recipient’s current primary residence.
  • Current MAP participation policies shall apply to the recipient and the account.
  • The program does not exclude the recipient from disconnection for non-payment, according to the program policies.
  • To enroll, an applicant should submit a written request to participate, along with the required doctor’s certification and evidence of military veteran status to the Member Services Administrator by fax at (830) 868-4767 or by email to map@peci.com.

BOARD ADOPTED: Dec. 20, 2010
AMENDMENTS: Sept. 19, 2011, May 21, 2012, Oct. 21, 2013

Open Meetings Policy

Download PEC’s Open Meetings Policy »

Section 1. Open Meetings Requirement

A Member has the right to attend every regular, special, or called Meeting of the Board of Directors (Board) and Board Committees (Committees), except for Executive Sessions as allowed by this policy or by law. All meetings shall be called with proper notice, and any final action, decision, or vote on a matter shall be made in an Open Meeting.

Section 2. General Provisions

A “Meeting” means a Board Meeting or Committee Meeting. A “Board Meeting” means a deliberation between a quorum of the voting Board of Directors or between a quorum of the voting Board of Directors and another person, during which Cooperative business or policy over which the Board of Directors has responsibility is discussed or considered or during which the Board of Directors takes formal action. The term “Board Meeting” includes attendance at a Committee Meeting by a quorum of the Board. A “Committee Meeting” means a deliberation between a quorum of a Committee or between a quorum of the Committee and another person during which Cooperative business or policy over which the Committee has subject-matter jurisdiction is discussed or considered, or during which the Committee takes a formal vote. A quorum of a Committee shall be a majority of the Committee. The terms “Board Meeting” and “Committee Meeting” do not include the gathering of a quorum of the Board of Directors or a Committee at a social function, or the attendance by such a quorum at a regional, state, or national convention or workshop, ceremonial event, or press conference, if formal action is not taken and any discussion of PEC business is incidental to the social function, convention, workshop, ceremonial event, or press conference. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Member Meeting as defined in the Bylaws shall not be considered a Board Meeting or Committee Meeting. A Board Member’s telephonic attendance at a Meeting shall count towards a quorum. An “Open Meeting” means a Meeting open to members of the Cooperative; an “Executive Session” means a Meeting to which members do not have access.

Section 3. Open Meetings Training

Each Director shall complete a course of training regarding the responsibilities of the Board of Directors and its members under this section, not later than the 180th day after the date the Director assumes responsibilities as a member of the Board of Directors. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and any staff member recommended by the CEO shall also complete the training, no later than the 180th day after their date of hire with the Cooperative. The General Counsel shall ensure that the training is made available. The failure of one or more members of the Board of Directors to complete the training required by this section does not affect the validity of an action taken by the Board of Directors or a vote taken by a Committee.

Section 4. Board Meeting Records

The Board and its Committees shall prepare and keep minutes and/or make a recording of each Open Meeting of the body. The minutes must state the subject of each deliberation; and indicate each vote, order, decision, or other action taken. The minutes and/or recordings of an Open Meeting shall be available for inspection and copying by members on request to the Board Secretary or the Secretary’s designee. Upon prior request by any Director, the CEO shall provide a recording of any Committee Meeting to that Director. Notwithstanding the Cooperative's Records Management Policy and Retention Schedule, any recording of a Committee Meeting shall be retained for at least one year after the Committee Meeting.

A member in attendance may record all or any part of an Open Meeting by means of a tape recorder, video camera, or other means of audio or visual reproduction. The Board of Directors and its Committees may adopt reasonable rules to maintain order at a Meeting, including rules relating to the location of recording equipment and the manner in which a recording is conducted if applicable. A rule adopted by the Board of Directors may not prevent or unreasonably impair a member from exercising a right granted in this section.

Section 5. Notice of Meetings

  1. Posting
    The Board of Directors shall give written notice of the date, hour, and place of all Board Meetings. The notice of a Board Meeting must be posted in a place readily accessible to the members at all times for at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of the Meeting. The Board of Directors will post the Board Meeting notice physically on a bulletin board in a place convenient to the members at the Cooperative’s headquarters and at each of the district offices, as well as on the Cooperative’s web site.

    Committees shall give notice of the date, hour and place of all Committee Meetings by posting such notice on the Cooperative’s website at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of the Meeting. PEC shall provide a copy of any Meeting notice to a member upon request by the member.

  2. Recess
    If the Board of Directors or its Committees recess an Open Meeting to the following regular business day, they are not required to post notice of the continued Meeting if the action is taken in good faith and not to circumvent this section. If an Open Meeting is continued to the following regular business day and, on that following day, the Board of Directors or its Committees continue the Meeting to another day, notice must be given as required by this section of the Meeting continued to that other day.

  3. Emergency
    In an emergency or when there is an urgent necessity, the notice of a Board Meeting or the supplemental notice of a subject added as an item to the agenda for a Board Meeting for which notice has been posted in accordance with this Section 5 is sufficient if it is posted for at least two hours before the Meeting is convened. An emergency or an urgent necessity exists only if immediate action is required because of a reasonably unforeseeable situation. The Board of Directors shall clearly identify the emergency or urgent necessity in the notice or supplemental notice under this section. The Board Secretary or the Secretary’s designee will post the revised agenda on the Cooperative’s web site and physically at the Cooperative’s headquarters and at each of the district offices at least two hours before the Board Meeting convenes.

  4. Not on Agenda
    If, at a Meeting of the Board of Directors, a member of the Cooperative or of the Board inquires about a subject for which notice has not been given as required by this Section 5, the notice provisions of this Section 5 do not apply to: (1) a statement of specific factual information given in response to the inquiry; or (2) a recitation of existing policy in response to the inquiry. Any deliberation of, or decision about, the subject of the inquiry shall be limited to a proposal to place the subject on the agenda for a subsequent Meeting.

Section 6. Exceptions to Requirement That Meetings Be Open: Executive Sessions

An Executive Session may be held as allowed by law or the Articles of Incorporation. In executive session, the Board of Directors or its Committees may conduct a private consultation with its attorney, invited staff, consultants, or any other person whose presence the Board of Directors deems necessary. In the event of a dispute regarding participation in any executive session of any non-director attendee, a majority vote of the Board of Directors shall determine participation eligibility of attendees. Executive sessions may be held for the following reasons;

  1. Legal Matters
    The Board of Directors may discuss legal matters or seek the advice of their attorney on legal matters. Legal consultation includes, but is not limited to, advice about anticipated or pending litigation, settlement offers, concerns reported under the Cooperative's Whistleblower Policy, and interpretations of the law.

  2. Real Estate
    The Board of Directors or its Committees may deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if deliberation in an Open Meeting could have a detrimental effect on the Cooperative.

  3. Contracts
    The Board of Directors or its Committees may deliberate business and financial issues relating to a contract being negotiated if deliberation in an Open Meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the Cooperative.

  4. Personnel
    The Board of Directors or its Committees may deliberate the Cooperative’s personnel issues or to hear a complaint or charge against a Director or Cooperative employee or consultant. However, this subsection does not apply if the Director or employee who is the subject of the deliberation or hearing requests a public hearing.

  5. Competitive Matters
    The Board of Directors or its Committees may deliberate “Competitive Matters,” meaning commercial information and utility-related matters that the Board, in good faith, determines are related to the Cooperative’s competitive activity that would, if disclosed, give an advantage to individuals or entities who have sought or are likely to seek business or the dissolution, takeover or sale of PEC (“Competitors”) or would adversely affect PEC’s ability to competitively purchase goods and services.
    (Click here to review the Designation of Competitive Matters)

  6. Security
    The Board of Directors or its Committees may conduct an Executive Session to discuss security issues relating to security of the electrical system including, but not limited to, security personnel, security devices, security audits and cyber security.

Section 7. Executive Session Procedures

Before an Executive Session is held, the Board of Directors or its Committees will first convene in an Open Meeting for which notice has been given as provided by Section Five and during which the presiding Director announces that an Executive Session will be held and identifies the subsection(s) under which an Executive Session is held. A final action, decision, or vote on a matter deliberated in an Executive Session under Section 6 may only be made in an Open Meeting that is held in compliance with the notice provisions of Section Five.

The Board Secretary or the Secretary’s designee will make and keep a written record of the proceedings of each Executive Session of a Board Meeting. The record will include a statement of the subject matter of each deliberation, and an announcement by the presiding Director at the beginning and the end of the Board Meeting indicating the date and time. Notwithstanding the Cooperative's Records Management Policy and Retention Schedule, the record will be preserved for at least six years after the Board Meeting. No attendee of executive session shall be allowed to make any audio, pictorial, or video recording of any portion of an executive session. No Director shall be allowed to duplicate, transmit, or distribute any executive session materials. The Board Secretary or the Secretary’s Designee will be the custodian of any materials distributed during executive session and shall be responsible for collecting the materials at the end of the session. The Secretary or the Secretary’s Designee shall see that duplicate copies are destroyed and original documents are maintained in accordance with the Cooperative’s Record Management Policy. Upon request, and with advanced scheduling coordinated through staff and with notification provided to all Directors, any Director may inspect onsite at the Cooperative’s Headquarters, original documents or electronic records from executive session archives but in no case shall a Director be allowed to photograph, video, duplicate, transmit, record, distribute, or otherwise image or reproduce any executive session materials. All executive session materials shall remain in the control of the Custodian. In the event that executive session materials are provided in advance of executive session meetings via email or hard copy such documentation shall be noted as "confidential" and may not be duplicated, recorded, transmitted, emailed, or otherwise distributed. Nothing in this policy shall limit the ability of the Board by majority vote to release documents or materials, in part or in whole, previously determined to be confidential.

Section 8. Superseding Law

This Policy shall be applied and interpreted according to, and shall not supersede, any court order, or state or federal law.

Adopted Sept. 20, 2010
Amended: Sept. 20, 2010; Dec. 19, 2011; March 25, 2014

Open Records Policy

Requests for PEC records under our Open Records Policy are restricted to PEC members and should be submitted by e-mail to OpenRecords@peci.com or in writing to:

Open Records Request
Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 1
Johnson City, Texas 78636-0001


Download PEC’s Open Records Policy »

Section 1: Right to Records

A Member has the right, on written request, to examine and copy at the Member’s expense the records of Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. (PEC), except those records exempted from disclosure for reasons of:

  1. Privacy
    The release of records sought to be inspected would unduly infringe upon or invade the privacy of any person, including, without limitation, individual member information (other than materials distributed in accordance with the Cooperative’s Membership List Policy) or information pertaining to concerns reported under the Cooperative's Whistleblower Policy.

  2. Attorney-Client Privilege
    The records sought to be inspected deal with:

    1. Information pertaining to litigation or settlement negotiations, until the litigation is complete or a settlement is finalized by a final disposition of the proceeding and all appeals are exhausted or foreclosed by law, and the Board is aware of the conclusion.

    2. Information that if released, would violate the privilege of confidential communication between the Cooperative and its attorneys, including, without limitation, information pertaining to concerns reported under the Cooperative's Whistleblower Policy, or that is protected by court order.

  3. Real Estate Subject Matter
    The records sought to be inspected deal with information relating to the location, appraisal, lease or purchase of real property, until the announcement of the project or the formal award of contracts for the property.

  4. Personnel Subject Matter
    The records sought to be inspected deal with personnel information the disclosure of which would violate the law or constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, including salaries of any at-will employee except as required by law to be publicly reported.

  5. Security Matters
    The records sought to be inspected deal with the security of the Cooperative’s electrical system, including, without limitation, information pertaining to concerns reported under the Cooperative's Whistleblower Policy.

  6. Competitive Matters
    The records sought to be inspected deal with:
    "Competitive Matters," meaning commercial information and utility-related matters that the Board of Directors in good faith determines is related to the Cooperative’s competitive activity that would, if disclosed, give an advantage to individuals or entities who have sought or are likely to seek business or the dissolution, takeover or sale of PEC (“Competitors”) or would adversely affect PEC’s ability to competitively purchase goods and services and further for which the Board determines in good faith that disclosure presents a compelling risk of likely harm to the Cooperative or its members.
    (Click here to review the Designation of Competitive Matters)

Section 2: Member Complaints

If a member is aggrieved by an action of PEC under this Policy, the member may file a written complaint with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). No later than the 20th day after the date the CEO receives such a complaint, the CEO shall take corrective action regarding the complaint, or shall explain to the member in writing the grounds for declining to take corrective action.

Section 3: Superseding Law

This Policy shall be applied and interpreted according to, and shall not supersede, any court order, or state or federal law.

Adopted Aug. 18, 2008
Amended: Sept. 20, 2010; Dec. 19, 2011

Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

Download PEC's Privacy and Confidentiality Policy »

  1. Objective

    To establish fair information principles for Pedernales Electric Cooperative (“The Cooperative”) in carrying out its responsibility to respect the privacy and confidentiality of member information.

  2. Policy
    1. Notice
      1. The Cooperative discloses to its members its policies and practices for the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of identifiable information about its members.
      2. The Cooperative collects and maintains appropriate information about its members as a routine part of its operations.
      3. When providing electricity and related services, the Cooperative may collect and maintain personal information from members, including name, address, address history, telephone number, Social Security number, credit information, and payment and usage history. Usage history may include information on a member’s property and appliances, service history, and information maintained for meter reading purposes (e.g., warning about a dog in the yard or gate lock combination).
      4. Membership and governance activities may result in the maintenance of capital and patronage account information for members and former members.
      5. The Cooperative may survey a sample of its members to collect information to identify needs or improve service.
      6. This notice describes generally the Cooperative’s privacy and confidentiality policies. The policy is not a formal limitation on the ability of the Cooperative to use, manage, and disclose its records as the Cooperative determines to be necessary, appropriate, or as required by law. It is subject to change without notice.
    2. Trust
      1. General Practices: The Cooperative maintains information about members for purposes that are suitable to its operations and management. Information is collected only through lawful and fair means and for appropriate purposes. The Cooperative is committed to maintaining accurate, complete, timely, relevant, and appropriate information about members as necessary for the purpose for which the information is to be used.
      2. Access: The Cooperative generally permits its members to access records about themselves that are used by the Cooperative to provide service, for billing, and to manage capital accounts. Any person who wants to identify personal records maintained by the Cooperative or access the records:

        Open Records Request
        Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.
        P.O. Box 1
        Johnson City, Texas 78636-0001

    3. Security
      1. The Cooperative maintains member information with technical, administrative, and physical safeguards to protect against loss, unauthorized access, destruction, misuse, modification, and improper disclosure. No record or computer system can ever be fully protected against every possible hazard. The Cooperative provides reasonable and appropriate security to protect against foreseeable hazards.
      2. Any employee or contractor of the Cooperative who fails to comply with these rules may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
    4. Use and Disclosure
      1. The Cooperative uses and discloses identifiable information about members in defined and responsible ways [in order to carry out its operations]. This section describes how identifiable information about members may be used and disclosed.
      2. Records may be disclosed to affiliates or contractors hired by the Cooperative to assist in carrying out operations, such as service, billing, and management functions including legal, election, audit, and collection services.
      3. Member information may be disclosed to and shared with commercial and consumer credit reporting agencies for credit-related activities (e.g., the reporting of bad debts).
      4. Records may also be compiled in aggregate form for Cooperative management activities.
      5. Records may be disclosed when required by law, such as in response to a search warrant, subpoena or court order. The Cooperative may use and disclose records for investigations into employee misconduct or for law enforcement investigations related to our business. Disclosures may also be made when appropriate to protect the Cooperative’s legal rights or during emergencies if physical safety is believed to be at risk. The Cooperative will take reasonable steps to limit the scope and consequences of any of these disclosures.
      6. Records about a member may be disclosed at the request of or with the permission of the member. Records about a member will not be disclosed under the Cooperative’s Open Records policy without the permission of the member.
      7. Records about a member may be disclosed to the extent otherwise allowed by law to a person with a superior property interest in the premises at which service is being provided (e.g., a landlord), in order to prevent waste or harm to those premises.
      8. Membership lists of the Cooperative may be disclosed to a member of the cooperative in connection with Cooperative election activities, as allowed by the Cooperative’s Membership List Policy. The Cooperative may undertake a mailing on behalf of and at the expense of a third party but will not disclose the mailing list to the third party, except as allowed by the Cooperative’s Membership List Policy.
      9. The Cooperative does not sell, rent, loan, exchange, or otherwise release mailing lists or telephone lists of members, except as allowed by the Cooperative’s Membership List Policy.
    5. Questions and Disputes

      Questions about the policy may be directed to:

      Open Records Request
      Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.
      P.O. Box 1
      Johnson City, Texas 78636-0001

      Any disputes over access, correction, or other matters may also be directed to that office. The Cooperative will do its best to resolve any questions or problems that arise regarding the use of member information.

  3. Responsibility
    1. The board shall ensure that this policy reflects current practices for personal information about members.
    2. The General Manager shall ensure that this policy is adhered to.

Adopted April 20, 2009
Amended Dec. 14, 2009

Rate Policy

Download PEC's Rate Policy »

PURPOSE:

To set forth policy relating to the development and implementation of electric rates that matches the strategic objectives of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.

POLICY:

  1. Commitment to Rate Design
    1. It is the policy of the Board of Directors of Pedernales Electric Cooperative to develop electric rates that allow the Cooperative to provide low-cost energy services that are reliable, cost based, considerate of the environment and maintain the Cooperative’s financial strength.
  2. Basic Fundamentals
    1. The Cooperative will prepare revenue requirements and cost-of-service studies as required to have information needed to develop rates.
    2. Rates will be developed and implemented that:
      1. Allocate cost across rate classes in an equitable manner
      2. Minimize subsidies between classes. (Exceptions may occur due to a specific strategic initiative such as providing a low-income rate.)
      3. Phase out subsidies within a class
      4. Generate margins adequate to meet annual lender requirements and long-term financial objectives as per the Cooperative’s equity management plan
      5. Coordinate local distribution rates with the rates of the Cooperative’s power suppliers
  3. Environmental Commitment
    1. Develop and implement rates that encourage energy conservation and efficiency
    2. Promote the use of renewable resources
    3. Develop effective demand-side management programs
  4. Technology
    1. Invest in technologies that:
      1. Allow the Cooperative to communicate to members the Cooperative’s current cost of energy
      2. Implement demand-side management programs
      3. Enhance member service and reliability
  5. Monitoring

    Management should be held accountable for implementing rates as approved by the Board of Directors and routinely report to the Board as to the need to adjust rates to account for changes in cost of strategic initiatives.

Adopted July 18, 2011

Resource Planning Policy

Download PEC's Resource Planning Policy »

This policy governs PEC’s planning for and procurement of resources to meet its requirements for energy services.

POLICY

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative will provide reliable energy services – electricity and other services – using a “least cost” mix of resources to meet the demand for energy on its system. In furtherance of this policy PEC will plan for and select supply and demand resources according to a Board-approved “integrated resource plan” developed every three years.

PEC will develop and implement best practices in integrated resource planning so that the full range of energy resources, including power purchases, energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy sources, cogeneration and other distributed energy resources are evaluated and procured on a consistent, integrated and competitive basis. PEC shall also seek and consider member input in developing its integrated resource plan.

Integrated Resource Plan

The integrated resource plan will describe the portfolio of energy resources that PEC plans to use in order to meet current and future needs for energy at the lowest reasonable cost to PEC members. To determine the lowest reasonable cost the PEC will consider:

  1. All direct costs of an energy resource over its available life, including the cost of production, distribution, transportation, utilization, and waste management.
  2. In addition to direct costs the Cooperative shall consider:
    1. the effect on the rates and bills of different types of members;
    2. the uncertainty of costs related to future fuel requirements, regulatory compliance and other risk factors;
    3. the appropriate mix of cost-effective energy resources including fueled and non-fueled resources such as renewable resources, power purchases, distributed generation, energy efficiency measures and a mixture of short-term and long-term contracts; and
    4. the cost of compliance with all applicable federal, state and local environmental laws, rules, and orders;

IRP Content

The integrated resource plan shall consider:

  1. A range of forecasts of future energy demand, including load forecasts, growth projections and economic data analysis;
  2. An assessment of commercially available energy efficiency and demand side management measures and practices, including energy management;
  3. An assessment of currently employed and new policies and programs needed to ensure that the energy resources are developed;
  4. An assessment of a wide range of conventional and commercially available nonconventional distributed generating technologies;
  5. An assessment of distribution and transmission system capability and reliability;
  6. A comparative evaluation of energy supply resources (including transmission and distribution), distributed energy resources, and improvements in efficiency;
  7. Integration of the demand forecasts and resource evaluations into a long-range (e.g., at least ten years; longer if appropriate to the life of the resources considered) integrated resource plan describing the mix of resources that is designated to meet current and projected future needs for energy services at the lowest reasonable cost to Cooperative members;
  8. consideration of pilot projects for implementation and analysis;
  9. proposed requests for proposals demand side or supply side resources, or both; and
  10. input from its wholesale power suppliers.

Adopted Dec. 20, 2010

Rights-of-Way Policy

PEC employees use rights-of-way to access the Cooperative’s electric lines on private property. Properly cleared and accessible rights-of-way help us provide the quick response to service issues and high level of reliability that our members deserve.

As a condition of receiving electric service, all members grant easement rights to the Cooperative at no cost. This gives PEC the right to clear and maintain rights-of-way and to construct, operate and maintain any facilities required to furnish electric service. It also grants PEC the right to replace, rebuild or remove these facilities, along with the right to serve other members from them. The majority of PEC’s use of rights-of-way will be in routine maintenance of its facilities.

To learn more about how PEC governs and maintains rights-of-way, visit our Power & Safety section.

Service Policy

At Pedernales Electric, it’s our priority to provide members with the most helpful and reliable services. Our Service Policy explains topics such as how to become a member, payment and service options and fees. For more information about our services, call our toll-free number: 1-888-554-4732.

200 Service Policy

200.1 Condition of Service

The Cooperative’s Service Policy applies to all locations within its service area, according to the type of service delivered and subject to the provisions of the Cooperative’s rates and Line Extension Policy.

The Cooperative will provide electric service to all applicants within its service area, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The applicant pays a membership fee and any other amounts, including any deposits, required by the Cooperative’s rules, including amounts required by the Credit Requirements and Deposits Policy.
  • The applicant is not delinquent on a past or present account.
  • The applicant accepts the terms for membership and rules for service, and provides the Cooperative with information reasonably required to verify the identity of the applicant.
  • The applicant grants the Cooperative easement rights and acquires all necessary easements from adjacent landowners on a form acceptable to the Cooperative for its facilities. All costs and expenses, if any, related to the acquisition of easements to serve the applicant shall be the responsibility of the applicant, including the Cooperative’s costs and expenses if the Cooperative participates in the acquisition of the easements through condemnation proceedings.
  • Service can be supplied from existing Cooperative lines or the Cooperative can build new power lines according to the Line Extension Policy.
  • Pedernales Electric Cooperative provides standard electric service from overhead lines. Underground electric service may be available at the sole option of the Cooperative. Service is provided at one rate, at one point of delivery, with one meter, at one of the Cooperative’s standard voltages. Non-standard service may be available if requested but only if the Cooperative determines such service is feasible, and the applicant agrees to pay any additional cost to the Cooperative for delivering such non-standard service.
  • The applicant provides a meter loop conforming to the Cooperative’s standards and the National Electrical Code.
  • The applicant’s installation and equipment must not be hazardous or of such type that satisfactory service cannot be given.
  • Temporary service will be billed on the applicable rate. Before the Cooperative provides temporary service, the applicant must pay the estimated cost to the Cooperative of installing and removing these facilities.

200.2 Membership Fee

Membership in the Cooperative is required for service. Membership fees will be set by the Cooperative’s Board of Directors and shall be held until the last service connection for a member is terminated. Termination of membership does not release a member or member’s estate from debts owed the Cooperative.

200.3 Establishment Fee

A non-refundable $75.00 fee will be collected for connecting service and/or transferring account information. This fee is in addition to the membership fee and other fees required.

200.4 Same-Day Service Fee

If service is available at a location and a request for same day connection is made on Monday through Friday or on Saturdays or Sundays, a $250.00 non-refundable fee will be collected. This fee is in addition to the membership fee, establishment fee, deposits, if any, and other fees required.

Service reconnections after non-payment will not be performed after normal business hours unless the Cooperative determines otherwise. In the event any service reconnections after non-payment are performed after normal business hours on Monday through Friday or on Saturdays or Sundays, a non-refundable same-day service fee of $250 will be required to be paid prior to reconnection. This fee is in addition to the past due balance, reconnection fee, deposits and any other fees required.

200.5 Service to Rental Locations

Owners, operators, landlords or lessors who provide lease or rented units and require continued service during periods of vacancies shall be required to make application for electric service for each leased or rented unit and shall be subject to the conditions of service set forth in the Cooperative’s Membership Application and Certificate. Owners, operators, landlords or lessors shall be obligated to pay for such service but shall not be required to pay an establishment fee each time a vacancy occurs.

Upon sale of property, the owners, operators, landlords or lessors are responsible for notifying the Cooperative to update the account status. Until a change is requested, the owners, operators, landlords or lessors is responsible for all bills.

200.6 Real Estate Show Fee

Temporary residential service will be provided for a non-refundable fee of $50.00 per day, four day maximum, to show residential property to potential buyers or renters. A membership fee will not be required. A Same Day Service Fee may also apply.

200.7 Continuity of Service

The Cooperative endeavors to provide continuous electric service but makes no guarantees against interruptions. If continuous service at a constant voltage is required, the member must install the necessary equipment. Should members require three-phase service, they shall be responsible for providing and operating such protective equipment as is necessary to protect their equipment from damage resulting from loss of power to one or more phases. If electric service is interrupted, the member must determine if the equipment and wiring is functioning properly. Cooperative personnel will not make repairs to members’ wiring or equipment.

The Cooperative shall not be liable for damages occasioned by interruption, failure to commence delivery, or voltage, wave form, or frequency fluctuation caused by interruption or failure of service or delay in commencing service due to accident to or breakdown of plant, lines, or equipment, strike, riot, act of God, order of any court or judge granted in any bona fide adverse legal proceedings or action or any order of any commission or tribunal having jurisdiction; or, without limitation by the preceding enumeration, any other act or things due to causes beyond its control, to the negligence of the Cooperative, its employee, or contractors, except to the extent that the damages are occasioned by the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the Cooperative.

200.8 Service Monitoring (DISCONTINUED EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013)

200.8.5 Advanced Metering Opt Out Program

The Advanced Metering Opt Out Program only applies to residential accounts (other than residential accounts with interconnection agreements). A member may request to opt out from use of the Cooperative's advanced meter at a service location. The Cooperative may grant such request subject to certain qualifications and conditions.

  1. Meter Exchange Fee
    A $75 meter exchange fee will be charged for any meter exchange at any service location already equipped with an advanced meter.  Any member participating in the Advanced Metering Opt Out Program for new service locations will be required to pay the Cooperative’s establishment fee as outlined in the Cooperative’s Tariff for each location.
  2. Meter Readings
    Each member participating in the Advanced Metering Opt Out Program will be charged a fee of $30.00 each month for non-standard manual meter readings by the Cooperative and for processing of such readings for each service location. An additional $1 per mile charge for service locations further than 20 miles from nearest area office will apply.

    If for any month a meter is unable to be read by the Cooperative, the monthly fees will apply and the usage for that month will be estimated based on the member’s previous usage.  Any under-billing or overbilling resulting from such estimate will be adjusted after the meter is read.

200.9 Meter Tampering

A member’s account will be debited a $500.00 fee plus estimated energy consumed where meter tampering occurs.

200.10 Billing

Bills will be sent to members each month. Bills are due upon receipt and will become delinquent if not paid by the due date shown on the bill. Bills are not considered paid until Pedernales Electric Cooperative receives the payment. Accounts not paid by the due date may be assessed a $20.00 Late Payment Processing Fee. Any governmental entity asserting eligibility to be billed under Texas Government Code Chapter 2251 may file a written notice asserting their eligibility, and the Cooperative will determine whether the entity is subject to that statute. Bills to all non-residential accounts other than state agencies or other governmental entities that the Cooperative has approved as being subject to Texas Government Code Chapter 2251, may be assessed a Late Payment Processing Fee of $20.00 or 6% of the unpaid balance, whichever is greater, if not paid by the due date. All bills rendered to state agencies or other governmental entities that the Cooperative has approved as being subject to Texas Government Code Chapter 2251, shall be in accordance with that statute. Bills will be calculated under the appropriate rate schedule. If the Cooperative finds that an account is being billed incorrectly, the account will be corrected immediately for future billings and the member will be notified.

200.11 Under-billing and Overbilling

If charges are found to be higher than authorized in the Cooperative’s tariffs or if the Cooperative fails to bill a member for services, then a billing adjustment will be calculated by the Cooperative and applied in the manner described herein. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any billing adjustments greater than $5,000 may be adjusted to the date of error if identified by the Cooperative.

  1. Under-billing
    1. If the member’s account is under-billed because of failure to receive meter readings, faulty metering equipment or other equipment error resulting in unreported use, the Cooperative will estimate the unbilled amount and adjust the member’s bill accordingly, up to 3 months.
    2. If the member’s account is under-billed because of billing, rate assignment, processing errors or other similar circumstance resulting in unreported use, the Cooperative will estimate the unbilled amount and adjust the member’s bill accordingly, up to 6 months.
    3. If the member’s account is under-billed because of meter tampering, bypass, diversion or other similar circumstance resulting in unreported use, the Cooperative will estimate the unbilled amount and adjust the member’s bill accordingly for the entire period of unreported use.

    A deferred payment arrangement may be available for any periods of under-billing except for such periods resulting from meter tampering, bypass, diversion or other similar circumstance.

  2. Overbilling
    1. If the member’s account is overbilled because of billing, rate assignment, processing errors or other similar circumstance, the Cooperative will adjust the member’s bill accordingly for the entire period of overbilling.
    2. If the member’s account is overbilled because of failure to receive meter readings, faulty metering equipment or other equipment error, the Cooperative will adjust the member’s bill accordingly for the entire period of overbilling.

200.12 Payment

All bills for electric service are payable by mail, in person at any Cooperative office, or via any of the payment options offered by the Cooperative. The Cooperative may discontinue service to members who fail to pay for service within seven days from the date of the delinquent notice. Members may make arrangements with the Cooperative for payment of delinquent accounts so that they will not be disconnected for non-payment. If the Cooperative dispatches a service representative to collect a delinquent bill, a $75.00 Collection Fee will be included in the collection amount. Failure to pay a service representative the full amount owed at the time may result in immediate disconnection of service. If the member’s service is disconnected, a reconnection will not be made until the account is paid in full and a reconnection fee together with a deposit is paid and when applicable a same day service fee. Under no circumstances will the Cooperative be liable for losses incurred resulting from the disconnection of service due to a member’s failure to pay for electrical service or any other reason for disconnection required by the Cooperative’s policies.

200.13 Payment Options

  • Deferred Payment Arrangement: A deferred payment arrangement is an agreement between the Cooperative and the Residential, Farm/Ranch, or Water Well member by which a delinquent account may be paid in installments that extend beyond the due date of the next bill. A member who is unable to pay his or her delinquent account and has not been delinquent on more than once in the last 12 months may be offered a deferred payment arrangement. The member must pay the current bill each month, plus the agreed upon portion of the amount deferred. Failure to fulfill the terms of the agreement will result in discontinuance of service and all amounts owed become due immediately. The Cooperative may decline to offer this plan if, in the Cooperative’s judgment, the member is lacking sufficient credit or satisfactory history to warrant further extension of credit or if the member has failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative.
  • Fixed Payment Plan: This plan allows a member to pay a fixed amount per month based on twelve months total billings divided by 366 days. A true-up and recalculation will be required no more than every 12 months. Upon such true-up and recalculation, any overpayments or underpayments shall either be credited or debited from the account as applicable. The amount of any underpayment will be added to the amounts due. The amount of any overpayment will be deducted from any amounts owed. This plan is applicable to the Residential and Farm/Ranch and Water Well rates only. Members may enroll anytime with participation beginning with the first bill rendered after enrollment. The plan may be cancelled by either the member or the Cooperative upon notification to the other party. Upon cancellation the accumulated balance of the member’s account shall become due and payable. The Cooperative may decline to offer the Fixed Payment Plan if, in the Cooperative’s judgment, the member is lacking sufficient credit or satisfactory history to warrant payment plans or if the member has failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative. (Effective Sept.1, 2012)
  • Average Payment Plan: Under this plan, the member’s monthly payment is the rolling 12 months average. This plan is applicable to the Residential and Farm/Ranch and Water Well rates only. Members may enroll anytime with participation beginning with the first bill rendered after enrollment. The plan may be cancelled by either the member or the Cooperative upon notification to the other party. Upon cancellation the accumulated balance of the member’s account shall become due and payable. The Cooperative may decline to offer the Average Payment Plan if, in the Cooperative’s judgment, the member is lacking sufficient credit or satisfactory history to warrant payment plans or if the member has failed to provide complete, accurate and verifiable identification information when requested by the Cooperative.
  • Credit Card Payment Plan: The credit card payment plan allows residential members to pay their utility bills with an accepted credit card using one of the following options:
    1. To pay automatically, a member can make arrangements by contacting a Cooperative representative and requesting a payment plan be set up, or
    2. To pay as needed, a member can contact a Cooperative representative and initiate the payment transaction. The member will need to indicate the amount of the payment and provide necessary credit card information and authorization.
  • Bank Draft Payment Plan: The bank draft payment plan allows members to authorize the Cooperative to draft their checking accounts monthly. The amount drafted will be for:
    1. The current bill due, or
    2. The payment due as agreed on the Deferred Agreement.

    The member’s checking account will be drafted automatically on the bill due date or on the due date of the Deferred Agreement contract.

200.14 Interconnection

Any interconnection with the Cooperative must be in accordance with the Cooperative’s Interconnection Policy for Small Generators and only after execution of the Cooperative’s Agreement for Interconnection.

200.15 Discontinuance of Service

Service may be disconnected for any of the following reasons:

  • The member in whose name the account is established may request disconnection
  • The member’s account is delinquent and unpaid.
  • If the member pays a delinquent account balance with a check returned to the Cooperative for insufficient funds.
  • Failure to comply with the terms of any payment agreement.
  • Failure to pay a deposit when required.
  • Failure to pay guaranteed amount when required.
  • Where the Cooperative discovers that service is being obtained in any unlawful manner.
  • Where a known dangerous condition exists for as long as it exists.
  • If the member’s use of electric service interferes with the service of other members.
  • If required by the lawful ordinance of a municipality having authority to order such disconnection.

200.16 Reconnection Fee

The Cooperative will assess a $100.00 fee for reconnection after non-payment. Service reconnections after non-payment will not be performed after normal business hours unless the Cooperative determines otherwise. In the event any service reconnections after non-payment are performed after normal business hours on Monday through Friday or on Saturdays or Sundays, a non-refundable same-day service fee of $250 will be required to be paid prior to reconnection. This fee is in addition to the past due balance, reconnection fee, deposits and any other fees required.

200.17 Disputed Bills

In the event of disputes between a member and the Cooperative regarding any bill for electric service, the Cooperative will investigate the circumstances and report the results to the member. If the dispute remains, the member may meet with a Cooperative representative to resolve it. If unresolved, the member will be advised of the Member Complaints procedures of the Cooperative. Members are obligated to pay billings that are not disputed.

200.18 Member Complaints

The Cooperative has established procedures to address all complaints from members. Complaints will be investigated and the results will be reported to the complainant. If dissatisfied, the complainant may file a written complaint with either the Cooperative’s General Manager or Assistant General Manager. The complainant will be advised of the results within 10 days of the complaint.

Service should not be disconnected before completion of the review. If the member chooses not to participate in a review, the Cooperative may disconnect service, provided proper notice has been issued under the disconnect procedures.

200.19 Returned Check/Denied Bank Draft/Denied Credit Card

The member’s account will be debited for the amount of each returned check, plus a $30.00 fee. If an account is setup for automatic payment by credit card or bank draft and then is denied, the member’s account will be debited for the denied amount, plus a $30.00 fee. If the member pays a delinquent account balance with a check returned to the Cooperative for insufficient funds the account will be disconnected.

200.20 Member Voting

Each member who is receiving service from the Cooperative shall be entitled to one (1) vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at a meeting of the members. At all meetings of the members at which a quorum is present, all questions shall be decided by a vote of a majority of the members voting thereon in person, by mail, or, when the option is made available to members, electronically, except as otherwise provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation of the Cooperative, or the Bylaws.

200.21 Member Access to Cooperative Records

A member, on written request, is entitled to examine and copy (at the member's expense), at any reasonable time, the books and records of the PEC.

Requests for information are restricted to members of PEC, and the Cooperative reserves the right to charge a fee to the member, payable in part or wholly in advance, if fulfilling the request will require large amounts of employee time.

Most of the information collected, assembled, or maintained in connection with the transaction of PEC business is available to members, with a few exceptions. Inspection of certain records may be limited or denied in cases including: privacy, attorney-client privilege; real estate subject matter, personnel subject matter, security; or matters that are clearly competitive, when the Board of Directors determines in good faith that disclosure presents a compelling risk of likely harm to the Cooperative or its members.

This policy does not cover material that is requested as part of a legal proceeding.

All member requests for information should be directed to:

Open Records Request
Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 1
Johnson City, TX 78636

200.22 Account Research Services

When records are requested by subpoena, a fee of $40.00 per hour may be charged to the requestor.

200.23 Easement Release

The Cooperative will assess a $300.00 fee for processing an Application for Easement Release.

200.24 Switchover Policy

In cases where electric service is being provided to a member by the Cooperative and the member requests disconnection of electric service to obtain electric service from another utility certified to the area, the following rules shall apply:

The member shall request the Cooperative, in writing, to disconnect electric service from the desired location.

The member shall pay the following charges prior to disconnection:

  • A charge of $100.00 to cover labor and transportation costs involved in the disconnection.
  • A charge for distribution facilities rendered idle as a result of the disconnection and not useable elsewhere on the system based on the original cost of such facilities less accumulated depreciation, salvage, and any previous contribution in aid-to-construction.
  • A charge for the labor and transportation costs involved in removing any idle facilities. This charge will only apply if removal is requested by the disconnecting member, if removal is required for safety reasons, or if the salvage value of the facilities does not exceed such removal costs.
  • All charges for electric service up to the date of disconnection.

Upon payment of the above charges, the member shall receive a paid receipt from the Cooperative for presentation to the connecting utility.

The member shall be advised that the connecting electric utility may not provide service to said member until such connecting utility has evidence that the member has paid all charges provided for under this tariff.

200.25 Status of the Policy

The Service Policy is subject to change by the Board of Directors.

Adopted June 15, 2009
Amended: Aug. 16, 2010; Sept. 20, 2010; Dec. 20, 2010; April 18, 2011;
Sept. 19, 2011; May 21, 2012; May 20, 2013; Aug. 19, 2013; Jan. 21, 2014;
March 17, 2014; April 21, 2014; Sept. 30, 2014

Whistleblower Policy

To report a concern, call 1-888-703-0187 or visit alertline.com.

Download PEC’s Whistleblower Policy »

  1. Purpose

    To ensure that the Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Inc. (the "Cooperative" or "PEC") maintains a whistleblower mechanism for individual employees, vendors, members, or any stakeholder (each of whom may be a "Whistleblower" under this Policy) to report workplace issues of suspected (a) fraud, and waste, (b) unlawful or unethical behavior, (c) improper accounting practices, or (d) acts of financial malfeasance (each individually a "Concern"). The Whistleblower program is one of the tools for the Board of Directors to carry out its monitoring and oversight responsibility to protect the integrity of the Cooperative.

    All persons, including PEC employees, are encouraged to report all issues or Concerns to PEC management; however, this Policy exists as a method for the Board to ensure that all persons may report any Concern for independent inquiry.

  2. Policy

    It is the Cooperative's policy that no retaliation shall occur against any Whistleblower who reports a Concern. Any Whistleblower who is a Cooperative employee has an obligation to report any Concern in accordance with this Whistleblower Policy. It is also the policy of the Cooperative that the identity of any Whistleblower will be kept confidential in accordance with Section II.E of this Policy. The Cooperative shall retain one or more independent third-parties necessary for intake of Concerns through a Whistleblower Hotline (defined below) and to perform all investigation, reporting, and any other administrative tasks associated with the Whistleblower function (each a "Whistleblower Administrator").

    Matters that the Whistleblower Administrator deems significantly related to management or supervision of an individual employee by PEC shall be handled by PEC Human Resources as described below. Matters reported to the Whistleblower Administrator that are Human Resources grievances will be forwarded to the Cooperative's Human Resources department. Conversely, any Concern reported to Human Resources may be forwarded to the Whistleblower Administrator.

    1. No Retaliation

      This policy is intended to encourage and enable Whistleblowers to raise Concerns for prompt investigation and appropriate action. No Whistleblower who is a PEC employee who in good faith reports a Concern shall be subject to retaliation in any form for making the report. If a PEC employee who reports a Concern is found to be in violation of PEC policy or workplace rules, corrective action for that wrongdoing is not prohibited retaliation. An employee who retaliates against any person who has made a good faith report about a Concern is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

    2. Reporting Concerns

      The Whistleblower Administrator performing the administrative function shall maintain a toll-free telephone number and website (collectively the "Whistleblower Hotline") that can be used by any Whistleblower to report a Concern. The Cooperative shall prominently display this contact information on its internal Intranet website and its external Cooperative website.

      All Concerns reported through the Whistleblower Hotline will be accepted and administered by a Whistleblower Administrator. A Concern received by any means by Directors, General Counsel, or any PEC employee shall be forwarded immediately to the Whistleblower Administrator.

      Certain Concerns will require immediate action by the Whistleblower Administrator, General Counsel, or PEC management, as deemed necessary by the Whistleblower Administrator, and may include:

      1. Threat of violence or physical harm to any person;
      2. Threat of business interruption; or
      3. Notice of a high-risk incident expected to happen within the next 24 hours.

      In such cases, the Whistleblower Administrator, General Counsel, or PEC management, as deemed necessary by the Whistleblower Administrator, shall take any actions deemed necessary to immediately protect the safety, health and resources of the Cooperative.

    3. Handling of Reported Concerns

      1. Intake and Review of Concern: Upon receipt of a reported Concern, the Whistleblower Administrator shall review the report and determine whether the report or portions of the report is appropriate for referral to PEC Human Resources or other management for handling. The Whistleblower Administrator may consult the General Counsel and PEC Legal Management (collectively "PEC Counsel") to make a determination. When the Whistleblower Administrator determines that referral is appropriate, referral shall be made through PEC's Legal Management.
      2. Investigation Procedure: All Concerns will be investigated and reported by a Whistleblower Administrator and will be dealt with in a timely manner, with a sense of fairness, completeness, and in a confidential manner. Timeliness is fact and circumstance dependent and could involve an extended period of inquiry, investigation, and reporting. The investigative process must be adequate to protect the confidentiality of the Whistleblower while gathering information necessary to resolve complaints or allegations. Every stage of the whistleblower process shall be coordinated through PEC Counsel, including but not limited to any requests made to the Cooperative for records, scheduling interviews with Cooperative employees or other assistance by the Cooperative with any investigation. PEC Counsel together with the Whistleblower Administrator will address (a) how information is to be received through the Whistleblower Hotline, (b) how information is to be distributed from the Whistleblower Hotline, and (c) how records of complaints and investigations are to be maintained. The Whistleblower Administrator will determine which reported complaints are Concerns that will be investigated under this policy and which cases are not properly the subject of the Whistleblower Policy and will be forwarded to PEC management.

        In the event a Concern implicates the General Counsel or PEC Legal Managment, the Board shall appoint an independent third-party who is not implicated in the Concern to coordinate the investigation with the Whistleblower Administrator. In the event a Concern implicates the Whistleblower Administrator, the General Counsel shall conduct the investigation, using independent third-parties if necessary. In the event both the General Counsel and Whistleblower Administrator are implicated in the Concern, the Concern shall be forwarded to the Board for appointment of an independent third-party to investigate the Concern.
      3. Follow-Up with Whistleblower: The Whistleblower will be informed of the progress. Upon conclusion of the investigation, Whistleblower will be informed of the outcome. Information will be made available to the Whistleblower in a timely manner unless: (a) the Whistleblower reported the Concern anonymously and left no means for follow-up, (b) indicates his or her preference not to be informed, (c) reporting would be detrimental to the Whistleblower, the Cooperative or the investigation, or (d) there are other sound reasons not to inform the Whistleblower. The Whistleblower Administrator must provide sufficient information to the Board for any case of (c) and (d) above where there may be good cause to not inform the Whistleblower. The Board will make the final determination in such cases. The Whistleblower Administrator, with assistance from the General Counsel if needed, is responsible for informing the Whistleblower if the Concern has been settled or closed. Timeliness is fact and circumstance dependent and could involve an extended period of inquiry, investigation, and reporting.
      4. Follow-Up with Subject(s) of Whistleblower Concern: The subject of a Whistleblower Concern will be informed of the outcome of the investigation in a timely manner unless: (a) the Concern has been reported to law enforcement, (b) the subject indicates a preference not to be informed, (c) reporting would be detrimental to the Whistleblower, the Cooperative or the investigation, or (d) there are other sound reasons not to inform the Whistleblower. The Board will make the final determination in such cases. The Whistleblower Administrator, with the assistance of the General Counsel, if needed, is responsible for informing the subject(s) of the Whistleblower Concern if the Concern has been settled or closed.
      5. Report of Criminal Activity: If the Whistleblower Administrator discovers evidence of criminal activity, such evidence will be immediately reported to PEC Counsel and if PEC Counsel agrees the evidence is indicative of criminal activity, PEC Counsel shall immediately report such evidence to appropriate law enforcement or regulatory authority. The Whistleblower Administrator and PEC Counsel, in conjunction with law enforcement, shall determine whether the investigation should continue and how communication about the investigation should occur.
      6. Cooperation: All Whistleblowers (if they have disclosed their identity), Cooperative employees, and Cooperative Board Directors who may be the subject of an investigation or who may have relevant knowledge concerning an investigation shall provide reasonable cooperation with the investigation of Concerns, which may include steps such as personal interviews, reasonable requests for and review of documents, and requests for written statements signed by the Whistleblower and others. The cooperation of a Whistleblower (if they have disclosed their identity), Cooperative employee, or Cooperative Board Director is not reasonable if the Whistleblower Administrator is not able to obtain information sufficient to conduct a full and fair investigation of Concerns as a result of the same individual's conduct, including his or her refusal to participate in a personal interview, to comply with a reasonable request for and review of documents, and/or to comply with a request for a written statement signed by the individual. A Cooperative Board Director who fails to provide reasonable cooperation in the investigation of Concerns by the Whistleblower Administrator has failed to adhere to Article III, Section 2 of the Bylaws. Where confidentiality is necessary to preserve the integrity of an investigation (for example, to prevent destruction or falsification of evidence, protect witnesses or potential witnesses, maintain the attorney/client privilege, or prevent a cover-up), Whistleblowers, Cooperative employees, and Cooperative Board Directors interviewed during an investigation may be instructed to not discuss the investigation, including any interviews or document requests, with anyone unless specifically instructed to do so by the Board or its Whistleblower Administrator or otherwise required by law.
    4. Acting in Good Faith

      Anyone reporting a Concern must act in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information provided in a reported Concern indicates suspected (a) fraud, and waste (b) unlawful or unethical behavior, (d) improper accounting practices, or (e) acts of financial malfeasance. Allegations by employees which are made maliciously, or with knowledge of their falsity, will be treated as a serious disciplinary offense for employees and subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

    5. Confidentiality

      Whistleblower Administrator Reports of Concerns, and any investigation materials, working papers, or reports regarding Concerns, shall be kept confidential under the Cooperative's Open Records Policy consistent with the need to protect the Whistleblower from reprisal and the need to conduct an adequate investigation. The Whistleblower has the option to report a Concern anonymously. However, anonymity may limit the Whistleblower Administrator's ability to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. If a Whistleblower provides his or her identity to the Whistleblower Administrator, the Whistleblower Administrator shall not disclose the identity to anyone, including the Board of Directors, other than PEC Counsel , or his designee, unless (a) the Whistleblower consents, in advance, to such disclosure or voluntarily reveals their identity or (b) disclosure is necessary in order to take any disciplinary action against the Whistleblower if it is found that the Whistleblower violated Section II.D of this policy.

      The Board of Directors may release, as the Board deems necessary, a final report or portions of a final report of the Whistleblower Administrator by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

      This section on Confidentiality does not apply when providing notice to law enforcement.

  3. Responsibility

    The Board of Directors shall ensure that this Policy is implemented by the General Counsel, PEC Legal Management and the Chief Executive Officer. It is the responsibility of all Directors, officers, and employees to comply with this Policy and report Concerns in accordance with this Policy. The Board is responsible for ensuring that all reported Concerns are adequately investigated and resolved or brought to conclusion. All actions shall be tracked appropriately from intake to corrective action or completion.

    The Whistleblower Administrator conducting the investigation, with assistance from the General Counsel, will provide a report on each investigation to the Board of Directors upon completion of the investigation. The report will include the Whistleblower Administrator's finding and may include any recommendations the Whistleblower Administrator feels are warranted as a result of the investigation. When appropriate, the Whistleblower will provide specific recommendations for PEC management follow-up and remedial or corrective action.

    When PEC management is responsible for remedial or corrective action based on a Whistleblower Concern, a copy of the Whistleblower Administrator's final report to the Board, as de-identified for privacy and process integrity by the Whistleblower Administrator, may be provided to Cooperative management in order to implement remedial or corrective action.

    A Whistleblower Administrator shall ensure all information gathered for Whistleblower issues shall be maintained in a secure environment and be retained in accordance with PEC Records Management Policy and Retention Schedule or as otherwise specified by the Board. Access to these records will be restricted to only those authorized by the Board or PEC Counsel and in accordance with the Cooperative's Open Records Policy. Cooperative employees who violate the confidentiality of Whistleblower information will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    The Board shall review this Policy on an annual basis at its October regular Board meeting.

Adopted Dec. 16, 2008
Amended: June 15, 2009; March 15, 2010; April 19, 2010; Oct. 17, 2011; Oct. 15, 2012; Aug. 19, 2013; Oct. 20, 2014

Resources


Articles of Incorporation

Download PEC’s Articles of Incorporation

PEC Bylaws

Download PEC's Bylaws

Annual Report

Download PEC’s 2013 Annual Report

Business Rules

Download PEC’s Business Rules

Tariff

Download PEC's Tariff for Electric Service

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Document Archive

Find more PEC documents in the Document Archive