Terms and conditions of Rely-a-BillSM
2016-2017 program year
1. We Energies’ Rely-a-Bill is regulated by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). Rely-a-Bill is subject to the Rely-a-Bill program tariff provisions (available at we-energies.com) on file with the PSCW. The rate schedule provides a fixed amount for monthly natural gas bills, which is guaranteed for a 7 percent program fee.
2. Participants pay a fixed natural gas bill for 12 months. End-of-year balance is $0. If you enroll, you pay your Rely-a-Bill amount for 12 months. During the program year, your Rely-a-Bill amount will not increase. At the end of the program year, there are no balances to carry forward due to natural gas price changes or temperature conditions causing natural gas use increases. Substantially warmer than normal winter temperatures may result in a refund to Rely-a-Bill customers (see section 11). You must participate in the program for 12 months. To prevent an exit fee and early termination adjustment, you must participate at the same service address with the same natural gas use patterns and keep your payments current (see sections 7 and 9). In the event We Energies must change your bill due date during the program, your payment amount may be prorated. At the end of the program year, you will receive a new Rely-a-Bill amount (calculation description in section 5) prior to the start of the new program year. You will be renewed automatically unless you notify We Energies before the due date of your first new Rely-a-Bill amount that you want to end participation with the new program year. Rely-a-Bill is not a good option if you move during the program year.
3. Limited eligibility and enrollment. Residential customers are eligible if they have sufficient natural gas use data that is predictable with respect to temperatures and meet We Energies credit and program requirements. Enrollment is available to a limited number of customers who enroll by, and remain enrolled through, Oct. 24, 2016, or such other time as We Energies determines.
4. Rely-a-Bill is a voluntary service option and is different from other service options, including Budget Billing. Rely-a-Bill has no price or use adjustments. Depending on actual temperatures and natural gas prices during the year, you may or may not save money under this service compared to standard service or Budget Billing. For example, if winter temperatures are normal or warmer and/or natural gas prices are lower than expected, you likely would pay more under Rely-a-Bill than under other service options. However, you likely would pay less under Rely-a-Bill if temperatures are colder than normal and/or natural gas prices are higher than expected. Because past natural gas bills are not accurate predictors of future bills, comparing last year’s bills with your Rely-a-Bill quote may not be useful.
Comparison between Rely-a-Bill and standard rates for an average We Energies customer
|Heating season Nov.-Mar.||Temperatures percentage +/– normal||Natural gas prices standard rate low per therm||Natural gas prices standard rate high per therm||Natural gas prices Rely-a-Bill per therm (all year)||Average Rely-a-Bill customer annual total on Rely-a-Bill||Average Rely-a-Bill customer annual total on standard rate||Average Rely-a-Bill customer $ difference||Average Rely-a-Bill customer % difference|
|2013-2014||25% colder||$0.7315||$1.3351||$0.7857||$1,083||$1,167||- $84||- 8%|
|2015-2016||13% warmer||$0.6535||$0.7424||$0.7354||In progress||In progress||In progress||In progress|
5. Rely-a-Bill covers all natural gas charges, which include natural gas and delivery costs, monthly fixed charges and program fee. Your Rely-a-Bill amount will depend on your historic natural gas use pattern. First, we analyze how much natural gas you use at different temperatures. Then, we use the normal temperatures in your area to project your natural gas use for each of the next 12 months. Finally, we lock in a fixed price of gas and add the Rely-a-Bill program fee to provide you with a fixed and guaranteed amount. The Rely-a-Bill program fee equals 7 percent of natural gas charges. This program fee is an additional charge to what you would pay under other service options.
6. Rely-a-Bill does not include state and local taxes, which will be billed as applicable. Charges for other utility services, such as electricity, are not covered by your Rely-a-Bill.
7. Maintaining historic natural gas use patterns. Increased natural gas use due to cold temperatures is expected and covered under this service. However, customers agree to continue to use natural gas as they have in the past. A requirement of Rely-a-Bill is that you do not greatly increase your nontemperature-related natural gas use. Examples that can cause great impact on nontemperature use include increasing your living space or changing your thermostat setting to one higher than used in the past. If your nontemperature-related use increases by 10 percent or more, then We Energies may notify you. We Energies has the right to remove you from Rely-a-Bill if the increases continue for two consecutive months. If you are removed from the program for this reason, an exit fee and early termination adjustment will apply as outlined in section 9. We Energies will NOT remove you from the program without giving you prior notification and a chance to adjust your natural gas use.
8. Conservation incentives and discounts. If you install certain conservation improvements, you may be eligible for a discount in your monthly Rely-a-Bill amount. The conservation measures and discounts are: 10 percent discount for installing a qualifying furnace or boiler; 5 percent discount for installing a qualifying indirect water heater; and 10 percent discount for installing qualifying insulation and air sealing. In instances where multiple conservation improvements are installed, the maximum total discount is 15 percent during one program year. If you install a qualifying conservation improvement prior to March 1 of the current program year, you will receive the discount for the remainder of the current program year. If you are accepted for re-enrollment in the next program year and install a qualifying improvement between March 1 and the end of the current program year, you will receive the discount for the entire term of the next program year. To qualify for these discounts on your Rely-a-Bill, you must meet certain criteria established by the Focus on Energy (Focus) program, as described below. (Focus is Wisconsin’s program to help residents and businesses install cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.) To receive the discount for a furnace, boiler or indirect water heater, you must provide a paid invoice or other documentation acceptable to Focus, and the equipment must qualify for a Focus Residential Incentive at the time of installation. To receive the Rely-a-Bill discount for insulation and air sealing, you must complete a Focus Home Performance with ENERGY STAR assessment and install the insulation and air sealing improvements, which must qualify for Focus financial incentives at the time of installation. Contact Focus at Focusinfo@focusonenergy.com or 800-762-7077.
9. We Energies will remove you from the program if you move. We Energies has the right to remove you from the program if you allow your bill to become delinquent or increase your nontemperature-related use by 10 percent or more for two consecutive months (see section 7). If you are removed from the program because you move, allow your bill to become delinquent or increase your non-temperature-related use (described in section 7), you will incur a $50 exit fee and an early termination adjustment. The early termination adjustment is the difference between the amount paid on the Rely-a-Bill and an amount calculated by multiplying your actual use while enrolled times the total fixed unit price (plus an increase in surcharges/rates if applicable) used to calculate your Rely-a-Bill quote plus the monthly fixed charges (which all customers pay) for the months you were on the program. If you are removed from the program early in the program year, the early termination adjustment is likely to be a payment you owe We Energies. If you are removed late in the program year, you may be due a credit. We Energies may allow you to leave the program without an exit fee under hardship conditions. However, you still would be responsible for the early termination adjustment.
10. Rely-a-Bill is a 12-month agreement. When enrolling, you agree to participate in the Rely-a-Bill program for 12 months. You may opt out of the 2016-2017 program year without an exit fee or early termination adjustment before the due date of your first Rely-a-Bill. If you opt out of the program before this date, you will be billed for natural gas use under the standard service option as if you were never enrolled in the program.
11. The PSCW has capped Rely-a-Bill program revenue at $60 per program participant over what they would have paid under normal rates, to address billing effects of warmer than normal winter temperatures. The refund is determined by comparing the average revenue per Rely-a-Bill customer with the average revenue per standard-rate customer. If the difference is greater than $60, a refund is required. Should warmer than normal winter temperatures create this situation, Rely-a-Bill participants who remain enrolled for the entire program year will receive a refund proportional to their Rely-a-Bill charge.