Terms & Conditions

The Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant (HMLP) has put together this “Terms & Conditions and Specifications for Electric Service” handbook to present in written form the Lighting Plant’s general terms and conditions and requirements for service.

Rules & Regulations

Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant’s rules and regulations are listed below.

Application for Service

Any Customer whose premises may be served from suitable existing distribution lines of the HMLP without the installation of an intermediate pole can obtain electric service by mail application, website on-line application or by personal application at the HMLP office; however, written application on HMLP prescribed form is required. See Leaf No. 46A and 46B for applicable forms. When service will require a line extension, the application shall be in writing on HMLP prescribed form. See Leaf No. 47 for applicable form.

The Applicant shall inquire of HMLP as to the exact character of service available. As of March 1, 1987 all new electric water heaters must provide for separate metering and will be put on the Off-Peak Rate.

HMLP will provide service under one of the DPU approved Rate Classifications. The Customer shall pay all bills rendered in accordance with the rate structure or as otherwise provided for in this Schedule.

The HMLP will endeavor to assist a Customer in the selection of the available Rate Classification most favorable to the Customer’s requirement, but does not make any warranty, expressed or implied, as to the rates, classifications or provisions favorable to the present or future service requirement of the Customer.

Electric service will be supplied by HMLP subject to the provisions of orders, amendments and interpretations thereof of any State or Federal body having authority or jurisdiction over such service, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the rules and regulations and the terms and conditions of service as set forth in HMLP Rate Classifications or this Schedule. In addition new Customers shall generally not be turned on after 3:00PM but must sign up and be turned on after 8:00AM the next business day.


In the event of any changes or revisions of HMLP Rate Classifications or this Schedule, lawfully made, the Customer taking service under the Rate Classification or this Schedule so revised shall thereafter take and pay for service in accordance with provisions of the revised, superseding, or substituted Rate Classification or Schedule so established. Unless otherwise expressly stated therein, the revised, superseding, or substituted Rate Classification or Schedule shall apply to the service taken by the Customer commencing with the scheduled meter reading date on or after the effective date set forth therein.


The HMLP requires all Customers to make a deposit equal to the actual or estimated bill for three times the largest months’ use of service. The deposit amount will be updated periodically. Interest at the current State Statute (M.G.L. ch. 164, Section 58A) prescribed rate will be paid on such deposits. The interest will be credited on the next bill for electric service after December 31 of each year. The deposit, less any amount owed to the HMLP for electric service, will be refunded when a service is discontinued or may be refunded sooner per HMLP’s Deposit Policy.

Back Bills

Any amounts which the Customer may owe to the HMLP for electric service at the same or another location must be paid in full before service will be established in a new location. Also referred to as amount in arrears.

Other Charges

Any amounts due for extension of lines, installation of service laterals, reconnection of service, etc., or as an advance payment of minimum charges, under any pertinent portion of this Schedule shall be paid, before service will be established.

Unusual Conditions

Where the HMLP cannot be assured that the Customer to be served will be permanent or where unusual expenditures are necessary to supply service because of the location, size, or character of the Customer’s installation, facilities will be constructed only when the Customer makes an adequate contribution toward the cost of such facilities, or guarantees continued payment of bills for electric service, or makes other satisfactory arrangements which would be sufficient to warrant the HMLP to undertake the investment and expense involved.


In accepting service, the Customer grants to HMLP employees and agents the right of access to the Customer’s premises at all reasonable times for such purposes as the reading of meters, inspection of meters, wiring and appliances, or installing, operating, maintaining, disconnecting and removing any or all of the property belonging to the HMLP. HMLP may discontinue service after reasonable notice if access to its meters or other equipment is unreasonably refused or if access is obstructed or hazardous.

Minimum Insulation Standards

New Building Construction: Electric service will not be provided for any new building construction, addition, alteration or renovation which materially changes its heating or cooling requirements, unless such new construction is or will be in compliance with the “Massachusetts State Building Code” (MSBC). The builder or contractor will have certified to the Building Department that the new or modified building is in compliance with the MSBC.

Existing Residential Dwelling Units (Conversion): Electric service will not be provided for conversion to space heating in existing residential units unless such units are in compliance with the “Minimum Insulation Standards for Existing Dwelling Converting to Electric Heat”, promulgated by MSBC.

Energy Audits

HMLP offers a complete variety of residential energy services including home energy audits, earth lights, off-peak rates and demand controllers.

Services No Longer Standard

Customers now receiving a service which is no longer standard with the HMLP, shall not expand the use of such service. They shall consult with the HMLP regarding additional electrical requirements.

Discontinuance of Service

The Customer may discontinue service at any time by giving at least three days’ written notice to the HMLP. The Customer will be responsible for any use of service until three days after notice to discontinue service is received by the HMLP and shall pay the minimum charge for the remainder of the term if service has not been taken for the full initial term as provided by the Rate Classification, or by Section VII LINE EXTENSIONS.

The HMLP may discontinue service without notice if the Customer’s wiring is found to be in a dangerous or unsafe condition or if necessary to protect itself from fraud or theft.

The HMLP may discontinue service and remove any HMLP equipment which, in the opinion of the HMLP, may have become unsatisfactory for further service by reason of deterioration, civil commotion, vandalism, state of war, explosion, fire, storm, flood, lightning, or any other cause reasonably beyond HMLP’s control. The Customer may be required to pay the applicable charges remaining under the initial term of the contract.

The HMLP will discontinue service, per DPU Regulation 220 CMR 25.00, when the supply of electricity has been cut off because of Customer’s default. HMLP will not be obligated to restore service until Customer:

  • Has made application for service and paid all bills due for service previously furnished; and
  • Has made satisfactory deposit, if required, to insure payment of future bills; and
  • Has paid the cost of reconnection at the premises so disconnected, when required to do so. (Per Section FIXED CHARGES).

Customers that have been turned off because of non-payment will not be turned on by the Standby Person unless there are unusual circumstances. They should be informed they will be turned on after 7:00AM on the next business day.

Reconnection Charge

When service has been discontinued and the same Customer applies for reconnection of service at the same location within 12 months, there will be a reconnection charge per Section X FIXED CHARGES. In case service is resumed by Customer at the same location within the same billing period, service will be billed for the entire billing period without giving effect to the temporary suspension. Customer is not allowed to use temporary discontinuance of service to establish a more favorable rate.

Billing & Collections

A. Bills Due When Rendered: All bills of the HMLP are due when rendered, and are payable at the office of the HMLP.

B. Rendition and Payment: The rates specified in the various Rate Classifications are stated on a monthly basis. All bills will be monthly and shall be deemed rendered, and other notices duly given when delivered by:

  • Depositing in a U.S. Postal Service Office or in a box provided for that purpose by the U.S. Postal Service, addressed to the Customer at premises where service is taken, or another address designated by the Customer.
  • By leaving the same at the building where service is taken or at another address designated by the Customer.
  • By delivery to the Customer personally.

Failure to receive such bill from the HMLP will not entitle the Customer to any delay in the settlement of each month’s account nor to any extension of the discount date after which the gross amount must be paid, no discount allowed. Payment by mail properly stamped, addressed, and received in the HMLP office on or before the discount date shown on the bill will be deemed to be payment prior to this date.

C. Discount: A discount of 10 percent will be applied to bills paid on or before the fifteenth of the month following the billing date, provided all previous bills have been paid. Fuel adjustments will not be discounted. U.S. Post Office delays will not entitle the Customer to any extension. If the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday, the Customer has until the end of the next business day to receive the discount.

D. New Customers: Customers will not be billed for electric usage of less than 15 days. It will be carried forward to the next billing date.

E. Returned Checks: Checks will be returned to a Customer for: insufficient funds, dated ahead, no funds, etc. A cash payment at the office or a certified check must be received to correct the problem. There is also a penalty charge for each check returned per Section X FIXED CHARGES.

F. Billing Period: The normal monthly billing period will be not more than five days longer or shorter than the regular monthly period; otherwise the stated monthly rate under the applicable Rate Classification shall apply pro rata.

Budget Billing

Any Customer may, by signing an application, be billed in accordance with the following budget plan:

The Customer’s net bills for an annual period will be estimated by the HMLP and the Customer will be billed each month during the ten months from September through June an amount equal to one-tenth of the total of such estimated net bills. If there is any difference between the total amount billed under the budget plan and the total amount that would have been billed for actual consumption, the Customer will be charged one-half of the deficiency each month during the remaining two months as well as the regular bill for service furnished during such months.

Should the total amount paid by the Customer be greater than the total amount corresponding to the actual consumption, the HMLP will refund the excess paid or will apply the excess as credit against future bills, at the Customer’s discretion.

Estimated Bills

When no meter reading is available either because of the failure of the meter to register correctly or because of the inability of the meter reader to gain access to the premises, the consumption will be estimated upon the basis of the best information obtainable. Such estimates shall be subject to adjustment if subsequent meter check or additional information prove to be more accurate.

Multiple Service / Multiple Units

Rates and charges stated in this Schedule are on the basis of service through a single meter. Where more than one meter is installed, each meter will be considered separately and a separate bill will be rendered for each meter. Customers desiring the advantage of having their total consumption billed as a unit shall bring their wiring to a central point, subject to HMLP approval, so that the total consumption can be measured through a single meter.

Where there is one meter for a number of apartments, stores etc. in a single building, the bill will be calculated based on the total number of “units” being served, whether such “units” are occupied or vacant.

Outdoor Lighting Rental

Outdoor lighting is available on a rental basis to all Customers under separate Rate Schedule (See Section IX RATES). Additional poles, if necessary, will be set at the Customer’s expense per Section X FIXED CHARGES.

Temporary Service

The cost of installing and removing temporary service facilities shall be paid by the Customer as per Section X FIXED CHARGES. All energy consumption shall be paid for according to the applicable Rate Classification.

Breakdown Service

Customer requesting breakdown, standby or auxiliary service not otherwise described in this Schedule for electric service may request such service in writing. The HMLP with the approval of DPU will then submit to the Customer a special contract describing the terms and conditions for such service.

Service Laterals

An overhead service lateral up to 125 feet in length will be provided for each Customer without charge. Where a longer lateral or an intermediate support is required, the Customer will be charged according to Section X FIXED CHARGES. The HMLP does not install or maintain underground service laterals from its overhead lines. Only one service lateral per structure is allowed. The Customer will install a suitable Point of Attachment as directed by HMLP. Clearance will conform to the National Electric Safety Code and the National Electric Code. All installed equipment is the property of HMLP and is to be maintained by HMLP at Customer’s expense.

Underground Service from Overhead Lines

The Customer is responsible to contact the Town D.P.W. for a Street Opening Permit and instructions. Service location will be provided by HMLP. The underground service will be owned and maintained by the Customer.

Underground Service from Underground Lines

See Section VIII


The Customer shall furnish or obtain all rights-of-way or right-of-way easements required by the HMLP between the HMLP lines and the Point of Attachment at the Customer’s building or meter pole.


Electric service will not be supplied under any Rate Classification for resale, remetering, sub metering, master metering or other disposition to tenants or occupants. A Customer may furnish electric energy for the use of his tenants or occupants, provided that the Customer shall not resell, make a specific charge for, or remeter (or sub meter) or measure any of the electric energy so redistributed or furnished. The Customer is responsible for payment for all electricity consumed.

Service Interruption

Complaints regarding service interruption or quality of service will be investigated by the HMLP without charge to the Customer.


HMLP will not be liable for any injury, casualty, or damage resulting in any way from the supply of electricity or from the presence or operation of HMLP structures equipment, wires, appliances or devices on Customer’s premises, except injuries or damages resulting from the negligence of HMLP.

HMLP will endeavor at all times to provide a regular and uninterrupted supply of service. The HMLP will not be liable for any interrupted, irregular or defective service from causes beyond HMLP’s control.

HMLP will not be responsible for variations in voltage or frequency, continuity of service or single-phasing. It is the Customer’s responsibility to provide all of the necessary apparatus to properly protect the Customer’s equipment from damage due to variations in electric service from the HMLP.