Rules and Regulations of BTES

1. APPLICATION FOR SERVICE - Each prospective Customer desiring electric, Internet, telephone and cable or any other service will enter into a contract for service with Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), post a deposit or acceptable guarantor’s agreement and pay the service activation charge. Two proofs of identity are required, and BTES may make a credit investigation. Service will not be supplied by BTES to any applicant: (a) who is then indebted to BTES or (b) who, at the time of application, is a member of the household of a former Customer who is indebted to BTES or (c) who was a member of the household of a former Customer when said indebtedness was incurred, except upon payment of such indebtedness.

2. DEPOSITS - A deposit equal to approximately twice the highest estimated monthly bill or suitable guarantor’s agreement may be required of any Customer. Annually upon request of the customer or at the discretion of BTES, the deposit requirement may be re-evaluated based on the most recent usage. Interest at the rate paid by bank savings accounts within Bristol, Tennessee, shall accrue on all deposits and be paid annually on request or at the time the deposit is refunded. BTES may obtain a credit report from an approved Credit Bureau. A residential deposit, including any earned interest, may be refunded after twelve (12) consecutive months in which all payments were made on or before the due date, no payments were rejected or declined by the Customer’s financial institution, and a satisfactory credit rating is maintained. All remaining deposits are refunded to the final bill. BTES shall have the right of recoupment and/or to off-set deposits against any account of the customer. PrePay accounts are not  required to post a deposit.

3. POINT OF DELIVERY - The point of delivery is the point, as designated by BTES, on Customer’s premise where services are to be delivered. All wiring and equipment beyond this point of delivery shall be provided and maintained by Customer at no expense to BTES. Point of delivery is further defined as that point where obligation ends for BTES to furnish and install conductor, and where obligation begins for Customer to furnish and install conductor.

4. CUSTOMER’S WIRING - STANDARDS - All wiring of Customer must comply with standards set forth by the National Electrical Code, the State of Tennessee Division of Fire Prevention, or by local city or county codes. The National Code is superseded by the state or local codes if it is not as stringent, but in all cases is the minimum acceptable standard. All meter locations, for both underground and overheard services, must be approved by a representative of BTES. BTES shall not be obligated to provide protective equipment for Customer’s lines, facilities, or equipment, and Customer shall provide such protective equipment as necessary for the protection of its own property and operations.

5. INSPECTIONS - BTES will install electrical services only after a satisfactory inspection has been performed by an authorized representative of the Division of Fire Prevention, Department of Insurance, State of Tennessee. Applications for such inspections may be made at 2470 Volunteer Parkway or online at but only for locations with approved contracts for BTES service located within Sullivan County, Tennessee outside the City of Bristol. Customers with approved contracts for service located within the City of Bristol, Tennessee may make application for such inspections at 104 Eighth St. However, such inspections or failure to inspect or reject, shall not render BTES liable or responsible for any loss incurred or for property damages resulting from defects in the installation, wiring, or appliances, or from violation of BTES’ rules, or from accidents which may occur upon Customer’s premise. 

6. UNDERGROUND SERVICE LINES - Customer desiring underground service lines from BTES must bear the excess cost incident thereto. Specifications and terms for such construction will be furnished by BTES on request. BTES shall have no responsibility for damage to the property of Customer or others following any installation or maintenance work on underground service lines, except to the extent it may result solely from the negligence or willful misconduct of BTES, its agents or employees.

7. CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR BTES PROPERTY - All meters, service connections, and other equipment furnished by BTES shall be, and remain, the property of BTES. As part of the consideration for service, each Customer shall be BTES’ bailee of such facilities and shall accordingly desist from interfering with, impairing the operation of or causing damage to such facilities. In the event such facilities are entered into, or tampered with in such a manner as to allow any service to be illegally consumed or the measurement of that usage to be impaired, a $300 charge will be assessed to Customer of record and/or the occupant of the property where such tampering occurred and, in addition, such Customer of record and/or occupant shall indemnify BTES for its estimated loss of revenue, if any, resulting therefrom.

8. CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR VEGETATION, OTHER OBSTRUCTIONS AND DAMAGES - Customer shall control the new and existing trees and shrubbery and placement of obstructions so as to prevent interference with overhead and underground utility lines and other BTES facilities. In the event such facilities are interfered with, BTES reserves the right to trim or remove any vegetation and/or obstructions. Further, in the event such facilities are interfered with, impaired in their operation or damaged by Customer, or by any other person when Customer’s reasonable care and surveillance could have prevented such, Customer shall indemnify BTES or any other person against death, injury, loss or damage resulting therefrom. Customer is financially responsible for BTES’ cost of trimming or removing vegetation and/or obstructions, as well as repairing, replacing or relocating any facilities as determined by BTES that are necessary as a result of said vegetation or obstructions.

9. RIGHT OF ACCESS - BTES identified employees shall have access to Customer premise at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading meters and testing, repairing, removing, or exchanging any or all equipment belonging to BTES. BTES may, at its discretion, utilize or upgrade existing facilities on Customer’s property for the additional purpose of serving other properties.

10. BILLING - Bills will be rendered monthly and shall be paid within fifteen (15) days from the date the bill is mailed/electronically transmitted by BTES. Bills paid after the due date stated on said bill shall be subject to an additional charge of 5 percent, as provided in the Schedule of Rates and Charges. Failure to receive bill will not release Customer from payment obligation. The additional charges shall not be less than $3 per service for cable and Internet. Should payment not be received accordingly, BTES may, six (6) days following the mailing or electronic transmittal of written notice (with available rights and remedies) to Customer, discontinue any or all services. If Customer disputes a bill, Customer may go through the bill dispute procedure. PrePay accounts receive electronic daily balance notification in lieu of monthly bills.

11. SERVICE ACTIVATION CHARGES - All activations of new service, transfers of service or reconnections of terminated services will require payment of $25 in addition to payment of all delinquent amounts, collection charges and deposits. If at Customer’s request, the connection is made after regular work hours or is guaranteed to be completed on the same day that service application is made, the charge will be $50.

12. SERVICE CALL / COLLECTION CHARGES - If an attempt is made to collect and/or terminate a delinquent account, there will be a $25 charge for each such attempt. If Customer requests that we re-read a meter, on verifying the previous reading to be correct, Customer will be charged $25. In the event  Customer causes BTES to make an unnecessary service call or an after-hours service call at Customer’s premise, BTES reserves the right to charge Customer with all reasonable costs associated with the service call.

13. RETURNED PAYMENT FEES - There will be a $25 charge for each check returned to BTES and for each presented payment rejected or declined by Customer’s financial institution.

14. ADDITIONAL FACILITIES CHARGES - BTES will furnish and install a construction pedestal for Customers who request electrical service on a temporary basis. An initial installation fee of $30 will be collected plus a $15 per month rental charge in addition to energy and Customer charges in accordance with Schedule of Rates and Charges. In the event of loss of or damage to the construction pedestal, Customer will be liable for the costs of necessary repairs or replacements. Other construction charges may apply. There is a $2 per month routine maintenance charge in addition to energy and Customer charges in accordance with Schedule of Rates and Charges for all BTES owned and maintained mobile home pedestals.

15. DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE BY BTES - BTES may discontinue any service for the violation of any of the Schedule of Rules and Regulations or of the Schedule of Rates and Charges. BTES may discontinue any service to Customer for the theft of services or the appearance of theft devices on Customer’s premise. Any and/or all services will be discontinued to Customers with past due accounts. (Payment in full will be required and an additional deposit may be required before service will be restored.) The discontinuance of service by BTES for any cause stated in this rule does not release Customer from the obligation to BTES for the payment of minimum bills as specified in contracts or any other amounts due BTES. BTES evaluates weather conditions daily at for Bristol, Tennessee 37620 and, in the event that the forecasted temperature is not expected to exceed 32 degrees/ Fahrenheit (F) or under 100 degrees/Fahrenheit on that day, BTES will not discontinue service of residential customers for nonpayment. During such events where service is extended due to weather conditions, the service extension shall not extend past the extreme weather condition or past customer’s next due date, whichever date comes first. Automatic disconnections continue throughout extreme weather events for customers participating in PrePay. If a BTES customer or a person residing in the customer’s residence has a life threatening medical condition that requires electrical powered special equipment to monitor, stabilize, support, or assist in maintaining their life, an arrangement will be made to postpone disconnection of service for not more than 30 days from the original scheduled disconnection date to allow customer time to make payment or alternative shelter arrangements if the customer has never broken an arrangement for postponement of paying a bill. Customer must have on file at BTES a current approved Life Support Classification form. BTES will only grant this postponement for termination not more than two times in a twelve-month period. If full payment of the past due amount, including all late fees, is not received by the end of the postponement period, electric service will be disconnected without further notice. Customers or homes of customers with the life support classification are not eligible for Prepay billing.

16. INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE - BTES will use reasonable diligence in supplying electric, Internet,  telephone and cable television services but shall not be liable for breach of contract in the event of, or for loss, injury, or damage to persons or property resulting from interruptions in service, excessive or inadequate voltage, single-phasing or otherwise unsatisfactory service, whether or not caused by negligence.

17. VOLTAGE FLUCTUATIONS CAUSED BY CUSTOMER - Electric service must not be used in such a manner as to cause unusual fluctuations or disturbances to BTES. BTES may require Customer, at Customer’s own expense, to install a suitable apparatus which will reasonably limit such fluctuations.

18. ADDITIONAL LOAD - The service connection, transformers, meters, and equipment supplied by BTES for each Customer have definite capacity, and no additions to the equipment or load connected thereto will be allowed except by consent of BTES. Failure to give notice of additions or changes in load, and to obtain BTES consent for same, shall render Customer liable for any damage to any of BTES lines or equipment caused by the additional or changed installation.

19. STANDBY AND RESALE SERVICE - All purchased services (other than emergency or standby service) used on the premises of Customer shall be supplied exclusively by BTES, and Customer shall not, directly or indirectly, sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of the services or any part thereof.

20. NOTICE OF TROUBLE - Customer shall notify BTES immediately should the service be unsatisfactory for any reason, or should there be any defects, trouble, or accidents affecting the supply of service. Such notices, if verbal, should be confirmed in writing.

21. NON-STANDARD OR MODIFIED SERVICE - Customer shall pay for any special installations necessary to meet particular requirements for other than BTES standard or planned voltage or standard voltage regulation. This includes making Customer requested changes in existing installations. No interconnection of any kind shall be permitted between BTES’ electric system and any electric supply from any other source, nor shall any electric supply from any other source be permitted to migrate into BTES’ electric system, unless approved in writing by BTES. Additionally, BTES will require technical information, including but not limited to manufacturer drawings, equipment layout, and details concerning the transfer switch apparatus, in regard to the interconnection or electric backup system. BTES reserves the right to alter or modify the requesting party’s plans to address safety concerns or BTES’ electric system integrity.

22. METER TESTS - BTES will, at its own expense, make periodic tests and inspections of its meters to maintain a high standard of accuracy. BTES will make additional tests or inspections of its meters at the request of Customer for a fee of $40. If tests made at Customer’s request show that the meter is accurate within two percent (2%) slow or fast, no adjustment will be made in Customer’s bill. In case the test shows meter to be in excess of two percent (2%) fast or slow, an adjustment shall be made in Customer’s bill over a period not to exceed sixty (60) days prior to date of such test, and cost of making test shall be borne by BTES.

23. OUTDOOR LIGHTING FACILITIES - BTES will supply, install, and maintain the Light Fixture, all the equipment pertaining to the Fixture, and furnish electrical energy to Customer. BTES shall, at the request of Customer, relocate or change existing BTES-owned equipment. Customer shall reimburse BTES for such changes at actual cost including appropriate overheads.

24. WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE PROGRAM - BTES operates load control equipment placed on the premises or equipment of Customers. At any time, either party, Customer or BTES, at their option, may cancel by written notice their participation in the Water Heater Maintenance Program, after which the load management equipment will be removed from their premise or equipment. Any damages to the load management equipment may be responsibility of the participant.  The program is subject to the Water Heater Maintenance Program Policy and any applicable contract.

25. FIBER SERVICES – Usage of services provided by BTES is subject to the Fiber Services Acceptable Use Policy.

26. CUSTOMER’S ENERGY USE DATA - Upon request, using procedures established by BTES, BTES will make energy consumption data for the prior 12 months available. BTES will not provide to other parties any customer's individually identifiable energy consumption data or other individually identifiable customer data collected by BTES without the customer's authorization, using authorization procedures established by BTES. Aggregated energy use data will be utilized only by BTES and parties authorized by BTES in order to enhance system security, reliability, and improve system efficiency and will not be provided to any other parties except with BTES approval. Nothing in this paragraph limits TVA's rights as provided under the Wholesale Power Contract.

27. SCOPE - The schedule of Rules and Regulations is a part of all contracts for receiving electric service from BTES and applies to all service received from BTES, whether the service is based upon contract, agreement, signed application, or otherwise. A copy of this Schedule, together with a copy of BTES Schedule of Rates and Charges, approved in an open BTES Board of Directors’ meeting, shall be provided to new customers and shall be kept open to inspection at the offices of BTES or is available on our website at All local retail rate actions will be posted on the BTES website. In the case of billing disputes or other service issues, customer is expected to resolve the dispute by notifying and working with BTES. If the dispute is not resolved, BTES will provide the customer with information regarding TVA’s Complaint Resolution Process. Customers will be informed about the availability of the TVA Complaint Resolution Process upon application of service, at any time upon request and through information provided on BTES’ website.

28. REVISIONS - These Rules and Regulations may be revised, amended, supplemented, or otherwise changed from time to time, without notice. Such changes, when effective, shall have the same force as the present Rules and Regulations.

29. CONFLICT - In case of conflict between any provision of any Schedule of Rates and Charges and the Schedule of Rules and Regulations, the Schedule of Rates and Charges shall apply.

Revised May 2020


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BTES Website Privacy Notice

TVA Complaint Resolution Process

BTES Fiber Services Acceptable Use Policy

BTES Network Transparency Disclosure

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