CHAPTER XV. UTILITIESCHAPTER XV. UTILITIES\ARTICLE 3. ELECTRICITY

This article shall hereinafter be referred to as the St. John Electrical Code.

(Code 1984, 4-401)

The rates, rules and regulations hereinafter named shall constitute and be considered a part of the contract with every person within the city limits and within a three-mile radius thereof, who is supplied with electrical energy from the electrical system of the light department of the city and every person hereinafter called the consumer who accepts and uses electrical energy shall be held to have consented to be bound thereby, and no electrical energy shall be furnished by the light department except in accordance with this article. Wherever in this article the word department is used, it shall be construed.to mean the light department of the city.

(a)   Any person using electrical energy from the department without paying therefor, or who shall be found guilty of breaking the seal of any meter or switch, or who shall install wiring, make connections, or attach wires or any electrical devise or appliances to wires in a manner so that electrical energy may be used without being supplied under the terms of this article, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined a sum of not more than $500.

(b)   Any person who shall be found guilty of defacing, injuring or destroying or in any manner limiting the use of availability of any pole, wire, insulator, fixture, lamp, meter or any property of the light department of the city, or who shall erect signs on the property of the department without permission, shall upon conviction of such ac be fined not more than $500.

(c)   All contracts for electric service must be made in the name of the head of the household, firm, or corporation using the established spelling of that person’s or firm’s name. Attempts to obtain service by the use of other names, different spellings or by substituting other persons or firms will be considered a subterfuge and service will be denied. If service has been discontinued because of nonpayment of bills or any unpaid obligation, and service again has been obtained through subterfuge,  misrepresentation,  or fraud,  that  service will  be  promptly disconnected, and the whole or such part of the security deposit as may be necessary to satisfy the unpaid obligations hall be retained by the city and credited to the proper account.

(Code 1984, 4-402)

All applications for electrical service shall be made in writing upon a contract blank furnished by the department stating fully and truly the purpose for which the services are required and accepting the terms of this article, and any amendments thereto, as a part of the terms of the contract between the applicant and the department of the city.

(a)   The department will run its service wires for electric light and power to the nearest point of any customer’s buildings. No person shall make any connections of or to the department’s wires without authority from the electrical department. The department shall cause to be billed to any customer for whom an electrical service connection is made an amount equal to the cost of all material used in making the connection including but not limited to the wire, meter, socket, and other such electrical appliances and appurtenances as may be used in the making of the connection but in no event shall the amount of the connection fee be less than $10.

(b)   The rates of the department are based upon the supply of service to the entire premises through single delivery and metering point. Separate supply for the same consumer at any other points will be separately metered and billed.

(c)   The department may accept as Application for Service or enter into a contract with any prospective secondary voltage service customer whose premises are outside of the departments network of distribution lines or whose request is for a three phase service not already available for the sale of electric power under the following conditions:

(1)   If the department is satisfied that the amount of power to be used will justify the construction of a line to the point of delivery and the installation of a suitable transformer and meter by the department, the cost of the line and the transformer and meter shall be borne by the department, provided the customer will obtain for or grant to the department an easement, if needed, for the extension of such line by the department and extension thereof in the future over the consumer’s premises.

(2)   If the department is not satisfied that the estimate of the amount of power to be used will justify the construction of a line to the point of delivery and the installation of a suitable transformer and meter by the department, the department shall require the payment of a minimum monthly bill that will justify the required investment, or the payment of an equitable portion of the construction of the line and of the cost of installation of the transformer and meter; provided however, that the line, transformer and meter shall always be and remain the property of the department, and that the consumer will obtain for or grant to the department an easement, if needed, for the extension of such line by the department as well as any extension thereof to supply other customers.

(Ord. 882)

With the exception of authorized  municipal franchise  holders, consumers shall not be  permitted to dispose of the power taken under their application for contract for resale to any other party or to the general public.

(a)   There shall be no sub metering for resale, or allocation of energy cost, such as in multiple dwelling units where the dwelling units are combined and fed through one meter.

(Code 1984, 4-404)

Service may be supplied to consumers not coming within the scope of the regular rate schedules of the department; provided, that such service shall be covered by separate contract and shall be approved by the governing body. 

(Code 1984, 4-405)

(Code 1984, 4-406; Ord. 815; Code 1999; Ord. 988; Code 2015)

Whenever electric service has been disconnected for nonpayment or fraudulent use, a charge for reconnection shall be added to the customer's bill and shall be paid prior to reconnection of electric utilities. For a first-time reconnection as provided herein, the customer shall pay a reconnection fee of $25.00. Any subsequent reconnection shall result in a fee increase of $25.00 per reconnection not to exceed $100.00. The city shall charge for restoring of electric service outside of normal business hours a fee of $25.00 in addition to the normal business hour reconnection fee as  provided herein.

(Ord. 903; Ord. 1035)

Meters will normally be read each month and the day of the month for reading any meter will be as closely as possible be on the same day each month.

(a)   The department will read meters at least once every three months where auto transportation is required for such readings. In the months where meters are not read, meter readings will be estimated by the department and bills will be rendered on the basis of these estimated readings.   However, if a consumer desires to submit the meter readings by postcard and will do so in time for billing, the department will provide the postcards for this purpose.

(b)   The department may estimate the meter readings for fractional month’s use and render bills based on these estimated meter readings.

(c)   The department may estimate meter readings where its reader is unable to gain access to the premises to read the meter on his or her regular meter trip.

(d)   In the event of appreciable error of any estimated bill, the department will revise such estimate on the basis of the best evidence available; provided, that this error has been called to the department’s attention within a reasonable period of time.

(Code 1984, 4-408)

The department shall exercise diligence and care to furnish and deliver a continuous supply of electric energy to the consumer, but will not be liable for interruption or shortage of supply due to accident or conditions beyond the department’s control.  In the event of such interruption or shortage the department shall not be liable for any loss or damage occasioned thereby, nor shall such interruption or shortage constitute a branch of its contract. The city shall not be liable in case of damage to property, appliances, articles or materials in the process of manufacture or development because of interruptions of service caused by windstorms, lightning, voltage surges, strikes, riots, or other causes beyond the control of the department.

(Code 1984, 4-409)

In order to prevent damage to the departments equipment and impairment of its service, the consumer shall give the department notice before making any additions in excess of 10 percent to his or her connected load so that the department, at its option, may provide such facilities as may be necessary for the furnishing of increased service. Such additions include, but are not limited to, electric heating. Current in phase wires of services shall be balanced as closely as practical with installed equipment. Installation of equipment causing large unbalance will be subject to approval of the electrical department.

(Code 1984, 4-410)

The availability of service for the equipment to be used shall be determined from the department before proceeding with the wiring or the installation of equipment.

(a)   The department shall have the right, but shall not be obligated, to inspect electrical installations at any time, and it reserves the right to reject any wiring or equipment not in accordance with its standards.   Such inspection, or failure to inspect, or to reject shall not render the department, its agent, or employees, liable or responsible for any loss, damage, or accident resulting from defects in the customer’s  installation  of any electrical equipment, or for an violation of the application of contract of which these conditions are a part. (The consumer shall permit the entrance on his or her premises  to identified  employees  of  the department at all reasonable hours for all purposes related to the department business.)

(Code 1984, 4-411)

Overhead service drops will be run and attached to the building by the department, except that anchor bolts to which the service drops will be attached on brick, brick veneer, and concrete or masonry buildings will be furnished and installed by the consumer. The point of service attachment on the buildings shall be at least 10 feet above finish grade. Where necessary, approved structures to support service conductors and for reinforcement of a building structure to provide adequate anchorage for service drop conductors shall be provided by contractor or owner. 

(Code 1984, 4-412)

The applicant shall determine from the department the location of the service entrance and metering equipment for overhead services, and any wiring installed without first determining service entrance and/or meter locations as covered above is done at the risk of having to change the service location to conform with the requirements of the department.

(a)   All service entrances will be so located that the service wires installed by the department will reach the service entrance by attachment at one location only on the building.

(b)   All service entrance conductors must be installed in rigid conduit or electrical metallic tubing as approved by the National Electrical Code.

(c)   No service connection will be made if any of the following conditions are present until the proper corrections have been made or advance approval shall have been secured in writing from the head of the electrical department:

(1)   If service wires are not coded;

(2)   If there are water pipes or water pipe fittings in the service entrance;

(3)   If service entrance is too low;

(4)   If service switch is not of a type approved for this purpose;

(5)   If service”-’itch is exposed to the weather and not enclosed in a rain-tight factory-made cabinet;

(6)   If unused openings in the meter base or enclosure are not properly closed; nontamperable plugs shall be used;

(7)   If a building is moved to a new location and the service entrance and/or provisions for metering do not comply with applicable wiring codes and these regulations; and

(8)   Any other conditions which the department deems unsafe.

(d)   Any commercial electrical user who utilizes underground wiring shall have a main disconnect on the power pole before beginning the underground wiring run. In addition, there shall be a disconnect located at the meter (meters) on the outside of the building.

(e)   No more than one set of service entrance conductors, installed in one conduit or raceway, will be connected to any one service drop except by special permission from the department.

(f)    Where the service entrance conduit is extended through the roof and used as an anchorage for the service drop conductors, a minimum of two inch rigid conduit shall be used. Service mast for residential single family occupancy shall extend not less than 18 inches from the roof to the top of the weather head. Consult the department for requirements on service mast for commercial or industrial service.

(Code 1984, 4-413; Ord. 813, Sec. 1)

Meter bases or meter enclosures shall be located at such height that the center of the meter when installed will not be more than seven feet, or less than six feet, from the ground, on accessible permanent platform or landing.

(a)   Meters or metering equipment shall be placed in such location that allows free access for installing, removing, testing and reading.

(b)   Meters will not be installed in locations subject to vibrations, condensation, where live steam or hot liquids are used, or where similar conditions exist which would adversely affect such devices. Metering equipment shall not be installed over open pits, moving machinery, accessible wells or hatchways, and there shall be at least three feet of unobstructed space between the nearest point of the metering equipment and any such openings, obstructions, or safety hazards. Metering equipment shall not be so located as to be in the path of water from eaves, rain spouts, etc.

(c)   Metering for residential loads shall, in all cases, be on the outside of the building and shall not be installed under any type porch, breeze way, shelter, or in an enclosure.

(d)   That from and after the effective date hereof, at all service entrances and meter installations, whether new construction or rewiring, where it is necessary to rewire the service entrance or meter loop that will receive electric current from the electric distribution system of the city, there shall be a weatherproof master disconnect mounted without additional breakers in the same box on the outside of the building.

(e)   Metering equipment for commercial or industrial service shall be installed on the outside of the building, except where prior approval by the department has been granted.

(f)    Where a subdivision of the service requires the use of more than one meter, the meters shall be grouped.

(g)   Secondary circuits of instrument transformers will not be run in the same conduit or raceway with any other conduits.

(h)   When any changes, alterations or additions are made in the consumer’s premises that violate these requirements, the consumer shall pay the cost of relocating the metering equipment.

(i)    That when in the rewiring of an existing residence it becomes necessary to change out or rewire the meter loop or service entrance in any way, before the service will be reconnected the service entrance and equipment shall have a weather proof master disconnect with a service capacity of not less than 60 amperes for a three wire service and shall be mounted on the outside of the building together with the metering equipment and the service shall be properly grounded. Wire size and fittings for the service shall be in conformity with the National Electrical Code.

(Code 1984, 4-414)

All meters will be of the socket type.

(a)   Single Phase:

(1)   Single phase circuits of 200 amperes or less connected load, serving residential single family occupancy will be metered with self-contained socket type meters. For loads in excess of 200 amperes connected, or for circuits serving multiple occupancy dwellings, consult the department for metering requirements.

(2)   Single phase circuits of 200 amperes or less connected load, and under 300 volts serving commercial or industrial consumers, will be metered with self-contained socket type meters. For loads in excess of 200 amperes connected, consult the department for metering requirements. All sockets for single phase meters will be of a type approved by the department.

(b)   Three Phase: All three phase service, of 300 volts or less and connected A9ad of 200 amperes or less, will be metered through self-contained meters. Loads in excess of 200 amperes, or utilizing potentials above 300 volts, will be metered through instrument transformers, and contractor or owner shall consult the department for metering requirements. The following regulations shall apply to all three phase metering:

(1)   All sockets for three phase meters will be of a type approved by the department.

(2)   On four-wire delta connected secondaries, the high leg shall be identified by color, Red.

(Code 1984, 4-415)

All instrument transformer enclosures, meter enclosures, and conduits or raceways for meter wiring will be furnished and installed by the consumer, and will be of a type approved by the department. All metering equipment shall be installed on the line side of the service equipment except:

(a)   When the subdivision of the service equipment and metering is such that a main disconnection means is required, the connection of each meter to the _main disconnecting means shall then be made direct or through a bus; and

(b)   When meters are installed in a special factory built switchboard, the department shall be consulted for metering requirements in each installation.

(Code 1984, 4-416)

No wiring shall be attached to the department owned poles except by special permission from the department, and any wiring thus attached shall be done strictly in accordance with the department drawings and specifications. Secondary circuits of instrument transformers will not be run in the same conduit or raceway with any other circuits. All meter loop wiring and all other wiring on the line side of the metering equipment, except the service drop, shall be entirely enclosed in rigid metal enclosures or rigid conduit, and all such enclosures or raceways shall be provided with a suitable device for sealing. 

(Code 1984, 4-417)

Nothing in these rules shall be construed as placing upon the department any responsibility for the condition of main entrance of the consumer’s wiring current consuming devices or other equipment, and the department shall not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting from defects in the consumer’s installation and shall not be held liable for damage to persons or property arising from the use of the service on the premises of the consumer.

(Code 1984, 4-418)

(a)   Service provided will be alternating current at a regulated frequency of 60 cycles.

(1)   The character of service available at any particular location should be ascertained by inquiry at the department’s office.

(2)   Single-phase loads, when supplied at 120/240 volts must be reasonably balanced as between the two sides of the service with respect to the neutral wire.

(3)   Single. Phase loads with a service switch capacity of 400 amperes or less at 240 volts normally will be supplied through one main meter. Where such switch is in excess of 400 amperes, the department shall be consulted regarding metering requirements and related facilities, including switches and circuits.

(4)   Three-phase service will be supplied at 240’Volts; through three wires; loads supplied from such service shall be reasonably balanced.

(5)   The department will supply service at higher voltages only when, in its opinion, the size or special character of the load, or the location thereof, warrants the supplying of such service at higher voltages.

(b)   Lighting load used for illumination must be supplied under the appropriate schedule.

(1)   Lighting load shall normally be supplied through three wires at 120/240.

(2)   When gaseous tube lighting equipment or system or systems of any types are to be served under the domestic .or commercial schedules, the department will require that the consumer provide at his or her expense power factor corrective apparatus to increase the operating power factor of each complete system to not less than 90 percent (lagging or leading). Such correction will be required when the total connected tube rated load is 2KW or greater.

(c)   Motor loads may be served under any rate schedule which provides for service to power for general purposes, but subject to any limitations as to individual capacity and other conditions specified in such schedule, and subject to other applicable provisions of rules and regulations.

(1)   Single phase service generally will be supplied for lighting and motor installations aggregating 10hp or less in which the largest piece of equipment is six hp or less. Except as otherwise provided or permitted under the following provisions, such service generally will be at 240 volts, and any number of motors may be connected to a service supplying light or power.

(2)   Any single-phase motor having locked-rotor current not exceeding 55 amperes, and full load running current not exceeding 14 amperes, (nominal 3/4 horsepower), may be operated at 120 volts.

(3)   Any single phase motor up to and including five hp having a locked-rotor current not exceeding 116 amperes, and full load running current not exceeding 28 amperes may be operated at 240 volts, and single-phase motor with a rating in excess of the above shall not be connected to the department lines without the permission of the electrical department.

(4)   Any motor causing objectionable voltage fluctuations which operates on a service which also supplies lighting, shall be changed to operate on a higher voltage and other suitable means employed to reasonably reduce the objectionable voltage fluctuations.

(d)   Three-Phase Service. Three-phase service generally will be supplied for motor installations aggregating more than 10 hp. Such services generally will not be otherwise limited as to capacity either of individual motors or of the installation in aggregate. The department may, however, require that large installations be served from transformer stations located on premise of consumers. Service will generally be at 240 volts.

(Code 1984, 4-419)

The electrical department shall be contacted and approval obtained prior to installation as to how all motors in excess of 25 hp shall be started, either two stage starting or reduced voltage.  

(Code 1984, 4-420)

(a)   Commercial Power User shall mean separately metered commercial users who is such separately metered power solely for the operation of electrical motors.

(b)   Commercial User shall man and include the following:

(1)   Hotels and motels.

(2)   All business, professional and commercial enterprises.

(3)   All churches, schools, public and private organizations and clubs, and public buildings.

(4)   Whenever a private residence is regularly and predominately used to offer services or items for sale to the public, the residence is a commercial user.

(5)   The Residential User rate is not available to residential  premises regularly and predominately used for commercial purposes; however, if the user’s wiring is so arranged that electric service for residential and commercial uses can be metered separately then the residential rate applies to that portion used for residential purposes. Whenever such situations exist, the customer must submit to an annual inspection to determine if any portion of the commercial use is being metered at a residential rate.

(c)   Residential User shall mean all metered connections for single and multi­family residences not hereinafter defined as a Commercial User.

(Code 1984, 4-429)

(a)   Any user may have his or her service disconnected without charge Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If a disconnection is desired at any other time, a charge of $10 must be paid in advance.

(b)   In the event the same user orders a disconnect and a reconnect of electric service at the same premise within a period of 12 months the department shall collect as a reconnecting charge the sum of such minimum bills as would have occurred during the  period of disconnection.

(Code 1984, 4-430)

Effective with billings to all consumers subsequent to September 1, 2011, all electric energy purchased from the City by residential users shall be billed at the following rate:

First 100 kWhs per billing month - $0.089 per kWh

All additional kWhs - $0.1055 per kWh

Plus applicable fuel adjustment

Minimum charge is $6.00 per meter and service charge per month as provided by section 15-327.

(Code 1984, 4-431; Ord. 967; Ord. 1008; Ord. 1036)

Effective with billing to all consumers subsequent to September 1, 2011, all electric energy purchased from the City by commercial user shall be billed at the following rate:

All kWhs - $0.1055 per kWh

Plus applicable fuel adjustment

Minimum charge is $9.00 per meter and service charge per month as provided by 15-327.

(Code 1984, 4-433; Ord. 967; Ord. 1008; Code 2015)

Effective with billings to all consumers subsequent to May 1, 2016, all electric energy purchased from the City by commercial or residential users, who have requested and been approved, for service through the City’s Interconnect Policy with supplemental generators such as wind turbines or diesel generators shall be billed at the following rate:

First 100 kWhs per billing month - $0.089 per kWh

All additional kWhs - $0.1055 per kWh

Plus applicable fuel adjustment.

In any billing month where the energy produced exceeds the energy consumed by customer during the billing month, City agrees to net energy produced within the current billing period with no carryover to other months in accordance with the Net Metering Policy.

MINIMIUM CHARGE is $30.00 per meter and service charge per month as provided by section 15-327

(Code 1984, 4-435, Ord. 1008; Code 2015; Ord. 1036)

The rates for energy for retail rate schedules shall be adjusted up or down by $0.0001 per kWh (KWH) for each $0.0001 increase or decrease in the average cost of energy per kWh as computed by the following formula:

Where:

ECA = Energy Cost Adjustment rate.

P = The actual total purchased power cost x 1.11 for the previous twelve months.

U = The actual total kWhs purchased or generated over the previous twelve months.

R = Total cost of power during base period.

(Code 1984, 4-436; Ord. 967; Ord. 1008; Code 2015)

Effective with billings to all residential consumers subsequent to March 1, 2012, a monthly electric meter and service charge of $6.00 per meter used by the consumer will be charged to each monthly billing statement.

Effective with billings to all commercial consumers subsequent to March 1, 2012, a monthly electric meter and service charge of $9.00 per meter used by the consumer will be charged to each monthly billing statement.

Effective with billings to all commercial and residential consumers utilizing a bi-directional meter subsequent to May 1, 2016, a monthly electric meter and service charge of $30.00 per meter used by the consumer will be charged to each monthly billing statement

(Code 1984, 4-437; Ord. 967; Ord. 1008; Code 2015; Ord. 1036)

All rates established by this article shall apply to users both inside and outside the city limits. All users shall be billed in accordance with section 15-306.

(Code 1984, 4-438)

(a)   There is hereby adopted, and incorporated by reference, the Net Metering Policy and Procedures for Customer Owned Renewable Energy Resources, dated April 14, 2016.

(b)   Net Metering Customer Generators must meet all the applicable requirements of the City’s Interconnection Standards for Parallel Installation and Operation of Customer-Owned Electric Generating Facilities in addition to the requirements of the Net Metering Policy and Procedures for Customer-Owned Renewable Energy Resources.

(Ord. 1005; Code 2015; Ord. 1036)