The service policy has been adopted by the Board of Trustees and approved by the membership.  It sets out the condition of electrical service and some of the rules and regulations associated with receiving electrical service from the cooperative.  Below is a summary of the service policy. For a complete copy of the service policy and membership By-Laws, please contact Marias River Electric Cooperative.

1. Application for Service

New consumers can receive service by becoming a member of the cooperative and signing the cooperative's standard application or service contract form.  This can best be done by coming into the office at 910 Roosevelt Hwy., Shelby, MT, and in some cases can be handled by mail.  The cooperative may require separate applications or contracts for different classes of service or at different locations.  The consumer may also need to furnish necessary easements, right of ways, and permits if line extensions are necessary.

2. Deposits

The cooperative may require a cash deposit, not to exceed 1/6 of the consumer's estimated annual bill, to guarantee payment of bills.  A deposit may not be required if the prospective consumer has an established credit history with the cooperative or can provide a satisfactory credit rating.

3. Available Service

The voltage, phase and capacity of the cooperative's facilities vary in different locations.  Also the type of service under different rate schedules varies, so the consumer should consult with the cooperative prior to the installation of equipment or construction of new services to assure the proper voltage and capacity is available.  This will result in the lowest possible operating cost to the consumer.

4. Customer Wiring and Equipment

It is the consumer's responsibility to provide protective equipment such as fuses, circuit breakers, and relays adequate to protect equipment and appliances.  Where three phase equipment is used, it shall be the consumer's responsibility to protect equipment against phase failure and over and under voltage and amperage conditions.

5. Point of Delivery

The point of delivery is that point on the consumer's premises, where the cooperative terminates its service wires either on a building or premises, and the consumer's wires are connected to the cooperative's wires.  All wiring and equipment exclusive of the cooperative's meter and metering equipment beyond this point shall be installed and maintained by the consumer.

6. Billing

The cooperative will render monthly bills to consumers whose meters are read by the cooperative.  Bills are due and payable when rendered and are delinquent ten (10) days thereafter.  For consumers who self read and self bill, the meter reading date is the first day of each month and consumers are allowed until the 15th of the month to transmit the reading and payment to the cooperative.  If self read meter readings are not received by the cooperative for 3 consecutive months, a reading may be secured and a minimum charge of $20.00 will be made for each meter read.

7. Discontinuance of Service by the Cooperative

The cooperative may refuse to connect or may disconnect service for failure to pay charges for electric or merchandise service when due, for violation of rate schedule or contract provisions, meter tampering, or for theft and illegal diversion of current.

8. Service connections and disconnections

No service connections and disconnections shall be made after regular working hours (8:00AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday) unless there exists an emergency situation.  If a consumer requests a connection or disconnection after regular working hours, the consumer will be required to pay the actual cost to the cooperative for work performed.

9. Outage calls

The cooperative will, as soon as service interruptions are known, be responsible for promptly making repairs to the cooperative's equipment which impairs service to its consumers or results in a hazardous condition.  When trouble calls are made at a consumer's request and it is determined that the cause is due to failure of consumer owned equipment or wiring, a charge of not less than the actual labor cost will be made.

10. Temporary Service

When temporary electrical service is required for construction or other purposes, all material and labor for installation and removal of facilities shall be charged to and paid by the consumer.

11. Line Extensions

In general, a line extension is considered to be any installation of facilities necessary to provide service to a proposed permanent load.  Each extension should be reviewed to determine its feasibility and what actions may be necessary to accomplish construction.

  1. Marias River Electric Cooperative (MRE) reserves the right to determine the feasibility of installing electric facilities based on terrain, soil conditions, safety, sound engineering practices, accessibility, and future maintenance.  MRE shall cooperate with applicants to determine if acceptable locations and routes can be established for the installation of electric facilities.  The applicant shall agree to pay the costs of professional engineering or consulting services that MRE determines are necessary to develop a work plan for installation of electric facilities.  MRE reserves the right to deny an applicant’s request for installation of electric facilities if acceptable locations and routes of the facilities cannot be established and agreed upon by MRE and the applicant.

  2. The Cooperative will determine the cost of a line extension in accordance with standard engineering cost estimating procedures prior to construction.  Transformers and selected metering equipment will not be included in the estimated cost.  Estimates will be valid for 90 days under normal conditions.

  3. The applicant shall be responsible for procurement and fees for all necessary easements, special use permits, or other land use rights for the extension and shall furnish them to the Cooperative before construction commences. 

  4. Prior to construction of a project, applicants are required to pay a contribution in-aid-of construction.  It is the policy of the Cooperative to share a portion of the cost of new line extensions to serve permanent loads.  Prior to construction of a new service, the cooperative shall prepare an estimate of the cost of construction.  The Cooperative will contribute up to a maximum of $2000 toward the cost of a new service.  All costs in excess of $2000 will be paid as contribution in-aid-of constructions by the applicant. 

  5. For temporary extensions of less than twelve (12) months duration, applicants shall pay the total cost of installation and the estimated cost of removal with credits allowed for salvage values.  All charges shall be paid prior to installation.

  6. When line extensions for non-domestic accounts are required, applicants will contribute 100% of the estimated construction costs prior to construction as a contribution in-aid-of construction.

  7. For line extensions that exceed 300 feet in length, the Cooperative may require a minimum revenue agreement in addition to the contribution in-aid-of construction.

  8. For line extensions less than 300 feet, a service agreement must be executed for a period of five (5) years.  If the extension exceeds 300 feet, the period shall be ten (10) years.

  9.  All new service installations must remain active for the duration of the service agreement.  Members who disconnect prior to the end of the service agreement will be charged a minimum monthly fee for the prorated months of the service agreement not connected.  The minimum monthly fee will be as designated on the service agreement or the applicable rate the member is classified.

  10. Contributions in-aid-of construction shall not be deemed to vest either interest or individual ownership in any portion of the new facilities on behalf of the applicant.  All facilities installed pursuant to this policy shall be and remain the property of the Cooperative.

12. Idle Service

It is the cooperative's policy to retire facilities that have not been used for a period of time.  If these facilities are requested to be left in place for future use, adequate compensation from the consumer shall be paid to the cooperative for retaining the idle facilities.  The fee for retaining idle services, depend on the amount of line involved.  Please contact the cooperative for costs.

13. Underground Service

The cooperative will supply at its own expense, overhead service only.  If the consumer desires underground service, he may install such service at his own expense and the underground cables and wires so installed shall be the property of the consumer and maintained by him.  Please contact the cooperative for primary (high voltage) line extensions.