At Monday’s Laurens Commission Of Public Works Meeting, the CPW unanimously approved policy changes. As of September 2, 2014 there will be a new balanced payment program available, which will provide qualified residential customers the opportunity for a monthly budget payment method, which averages utility bills over a 12 month period, assuming there are no significant changes that occur in service requirements. In order to qualify, a customer must have a credit score of no more than 3, and have a current 12 month billing history or a history for that location from a prior resident. The new point system for credit scoring is a product of the customer care and billing portion of the software conversion project, which uses a system of points similar to what is used by The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to determine points on a driver’s license. This means that if a customer receives points it results in a negative on their credit rating. As of September 2, 2014, security deposits for residential accounts will be returned as long as the customer has a maximum credit event score of no more than 3 for a 24 month period, with an additional deposit required if the customer’s credit event score reaches 5 or above. There is also a new policy that states that notices for disconnection, third party notification, and special needs notification will be by telephone message instead of mail.