New shutoff rules for Sturgis utilities

Sturgis city commissioners have amended shutoff rules for city utilities to conform to new technology and state law.
With the installation of new “smart meters,” the city will have the capability to remotely turn on and shut off electric and water utilities. The city must make at least two attempts to contact delinquent customers at least one day before shutoff is planned.
The amendments say shutoff for non-payment will be postponed if a certified medical emergency exists or the customer is an eligible low-income user who enters into a Winter Protection Payment Plan and seeks emergency energy assistance.
Michigan law prohibits utility shutoff for any delinquent customer during the heating season, defined as Nov. 1 to March 31. During the cooling season, delinquent senior citizens may not have their electric shut off if the temperature is forecast to reach 95 degrees or more on the day scheduled for shutoff or the following day.

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