20.30.02.02

.02 Establishment of Credit.

A. Except as provided in §C of this regulation, a utility may require each applicant for residential service to establish credit in compliance with the methods and procedures listed in §B of this regulation.

B. Methods of Establishing Credit.

(1) In order to establish credit, a utility may require an applicant for residential service to demonstrate good paying habits by showing that the applicant:

(a) Was a customer of a Maryland utility within the preceding 2 years;

(b) Does not currently owe any outstanding bills for utility service to a utility doing business in Maryland;

(c) Did not have service discontinued for non-payment of a utility bill during the last 12 months that service was provided; and

(d) Did not on more than two occasions during the last 12 months that service was provided, fail to pay a utility bill when it became due.

(2) In addition to demonstrating good paying habits under §B(1), a utility may require an applicant for residential service to satisfy any one of the following in order to establish credit:

(a) Certifying continuous employment for 3 years with current employer;

(b) Showing the ownership of or a contract for the purchase of the dwelling unit for which service is requested and either occupying it or intending to occupy it as the applicant's personal place of residence;

(c) Furnishing a guaranty satisfactory to the utility to secure payment of bills for the service requested in an amount not to exceed the amount of the cash deposit under Regulation .04 of this chapter; or

(d) Otherwise establishing credit satisfactory to the utility in conformance with additional reasonable regulations which it may adopt.

(3) A guaranty under §B(2)(c) shall be in writing and continue in effect for 1 year from the installation date of the service, or until the applicant's credit is otherwise established.

(4) If an applicant for residential service is unable to establish credit under the provisions of §B(1) and (2), a utility may require the applicant to establish credit by making a cash deposit to secure payment of a final bill for service under Regulation .04.

(5) If an applicant is subject to outstanding judgments, a utility may require the applicant to establish credit by furnishing a guaranty under §B(2)(c) and (3), or by making a cash deposit under Regulation .04 of this chapter.

(6) The establishment of credit under this regulation does not relieve the applicant or customer from compliance with the reasonable regulations of the utility as to prompt payment of bills, and does not relieve the customer from having service terminated for non-payment of bills due for service furnished.

(7) A utility shall advise all applicants for service that a customer may be required to reestablish credit under Regulation .03 if the conditions of service or the basis on which credit was originally established materially change.

C. Exemption for Individuals 60 Years Old or Older. An individual 60 years old or older applying only for residential service is exempt from any cash deposit requirement if the individual presents satisfactory proof of:

(1) Age;

(2) Intent to be the primary consumer of the service as evidenced by lease, mortgage, rental agreement, or title to the dwelling unit to be served being maintained in the name of the applicant; and

(3) The absence of any outstanding bill owed to a utility for service.