Section 1. Requirements for Membership
Any person, whether a natural person or a firm, association, partnership, body politic, or subdivision thereof, will become a member of Union Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (hereinafter called the “Cooperative”) upon receipt of electric and/or other energy service from the Cooperative, provided that:
- An application for membership; is made and accepted;
- Applicant agrees to purchase from the Cooperative electric power, natural gas and/or other energy service as hereinafter specified; and
- Applicant agrees to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations of the Cooperative and any rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Cooperative (hereinafter sometimes called the “Board”).
No member may hold more than one membership in the Cooperative, and no membership in the Cooperative shall be transferable, except as provided in this Code of Regulations.
Section 2. Joint Membership
A married couple may apply for a joint membership and, subject to their compliance with the requirements set forth in Section 1 of this Article, may be accepted for such membership. The term “member” as used in this Code of Regulations shall include both married partners holding a joint membership and all provisions relating to the rights and liabilities of membership shall apply equally to the holders of a joint membership. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the effect of the hereinafter specified actions by or in respect of the holders of a joint membership shall be as follows:
- The presence at a meeting of either or both shall be regarded as the presence of one member and shall constitute a joint waiver of notice of the meeting;
- The vote of either separately or both jointly shall constitute a joint vote; provided, however, that if the married partners who are joint members disagree between themselves as to the exercise of their vote and either so request a special ballot will be available which permits each such joint member a separate one-half vote on all issues presented to the membership;
- A waiver of notice signed by either or both shall constitute a joint waiver;
- Notice to either shall constitute notice to both;
- Expulsion of either shall terminate the joint membership;
- Withdrawal of either shall terminate the joint membership;
- Either but not both may be elected or appointed as an officer or Board member, provided that such person meets the qualifications for such office;
- Payment of any capital credit, refund, or other money or thing of value to one joint member shall be deemed a payment to both joint members, and shall discharge the Cooperative’s liability for said payment.
Transfer and Termination of Membership; Joint Membership. Membership in the Cooperative shall not be transferable, except as herein otherwise provided, and, upon the death, cessation of existence, expulsion, or withdrawal of a member, the membership of such member shall thereupon terminate and his/her or its membership shall be surrendered to the Cooperative. Termination of membership in any manner shall not release the member from the debts or liabilities of such member to the Cooperative.
Section 3. Conversion of Membership
- A membership may be converted to a joint membership upon the written request of the holder thereof and the agreement by such holder and his or her spouse to comply with the Articles of Incorporation, Code of Regulations and rules and regulations adopted by the Board.
- Upon the death of either spouse who is a party to the joint membership, or upon divorce or dissolution of a member's marriage, the joint membership as shall be held solely by the spouse who continues to qualify as a member and resides at that location where electric and/or other energy service was being provided at the time of the divorce or dissolution. The outstanding membership may be surrendered, and be reissued, in such manner as shall indicate the changed membership status; provided, however, that the estate of the deceased shall not be released from any debts either party to a divorce or dissolution of marriage shall not be released from any membership debts or liabilities due the Cooperative.
Section 4. Purchase of Electric Energy
Each member shall, as soon as electric energy shall be available, and unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the Cooperative or mandated by law, purchase from the Cooperative all electric energy purchased for use on the premises specified in the application for membership, and shall pay therefore at rates which shall from time to time be fixed by the Cooperative in accordance with all applicable requirements of law. It is expressly understood that amounts paid for electric power and/or energy in excess of the costs of service are furnished by the patrons of the Cooperative, whether members or nonmembers, as capital so furnished as provided in this Code of Regulations. Each patron shall pay all amounts owed to the Cooperative as and when the same shall become due and payable.
Section 5. Termination of Membership
- Any member may withdraw from membership upon compliance with such uniform terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe. The Board may, by the affirmative vote of not less than 2/3 of all members of the Board, expel any member who fails to comply with any of the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation, this Code of Regulations or rules or regulations adopted by the Board, but only if such failure makes the member liable to expulsion and such failure shall have continued for at least 10 days after such notice was given. Any expelled member may be reinstated by vote of the Board or by vote of the members at any annual or special meeting.
- Upon the withdrawal, death, cessation of existence, cessation of the Cooperative’s electric and/or other energy service to, or expulsion of a member, the membership of such member shall thereupon terminate, and the membership certificate of such member shall be surrendered forthwith to the Cooperative. The Board may adopt uniform rules governing the membership status of persons whose electric and/or other energy service is temporarily discontinued by the Cooperative. Termination of membership in any manner shall not release a member or the member’s estate from any debts or obligations due the Cooperative.
Section 6. Service to All Persons Within the Cooperative’s Service Area.
- The Cooperative shall extend electric service to all persons, whether members or nonmembers, within the Cooperative’s service area who (i) desire such service and (ii) meet all requirements established by the Cooperative as a condition of such service. Conditions of service shall be set forth in the rules and regulations of the Cooperative. All such rules and regulations shall be just, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory or preferential. No discrimination or preference shall be made between member and nonmember patrons of the Cooperative with respect to rates or terms or conditions of service. As used in this Code of Regulations, the term “service area” shall apply to providing electric distribution service only, and shall mean the entire geographic area within the certified territory of the Cooperative as determined by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio pursuant to law, franchise territory or other areas which can otherwise be lawfully served by the Cooperative.
- Nothing contained in this Code of Regulations, in the Cooperative’s rules and regulations, policies, or otherwise, shall be construed to prevent the Cooperative from selling electric power and/or energy or otherwise rendering electric and/or other energy service to nonmembers or to prohibit the Cooperative from entering into and performing franchises or other contracts with political subdivisions, bodies politic, or governmental agencies or instrumentalities, which franchises or contracts provide for the selling of electric power and/or energy or otherwise rendering electric and/or other energy service to any such subdivision, bodies, agencies, instrumentalities or the citizens thereof.