Refer a friend! Refer your family! Spread the word!
Would you like to reduce your supply charges (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes and other fees) (“Supply Charges”) for Columbia Utilities electricity or natural gas services (each, an “Eligible Service”) to as little as zero dollars? By earning Referral Credits through our Referral Incentive, you can!
The chart below illustrates how the Referral Credits add up for each Eligible Service you have an active Account for.
Terms and Conditions
The way in which our Referral Incentive works is described below in question and answer format for ease of reading. Those questions and answers constitute the terms and conditions specifically governing the Referral Incentive and your participation in it (the “Referral Incentive Terms”).
By participating in the Referral Incentive using any Columbia Utilities electricity or natural gas account (each, an “Account”) of yours, you agree to these Referral Incentive Terms with respect to such Account.
A “Referral Credit” is a recurring credit that you, as our customer, can earn toward one of your Accounts by referring someone that opens a Qualifying Account (defined in #5 below). The way you can earn Referral Credits is explained further in #4 below. Each billing cycle, each Referral Credit you have will give you a credit toward your Supply Charges for the active Account that you earned the Referral Credit for, until you’ve reached the maximum of a 100% credit toward those Supply Charges for that billing cycle. Your Account that each particular Referral Credit you have will be applied to is determined as explained in #6 below.
Remember, Supply Charges do not include any delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees, so your Referral Credits will not apply to those amounts. The value of each Referral Credit you have will be calculated for each billing cycle as explained in #7 below. Referral Credits have no cash value.
You’re generally eligible to earn Referral Credits if you’re a customer of ours with at least one active Account. However, so long as you are participating in another incentive or promotion that is giving you or can give you a discount off of, or credit towards, your bill for a certain Account (e.g., our Loyalty Credit incentive or Discount Coupon “Scratch Off” Promotion), you cannot earn or retain any Referral Credits for that Account (i.e., the number of Referral Credits you have for such Account will be zero), notwithstanding any other terms of these Referral Incentive Terms. Instead, while you are participating in such other incentive or promotion, for every new customer you refer that opens a Referred Account that qualifies as a Qualifying Account using your referral code for such Account, you will receive a one-time credit of $25 toward your Supply Charges for that Account and such Qualifying Accounts will not generate a Referral Credit for you at any time.
You will first need to create an online account for the Columbia Utilities customer portal at https://www.ColumbiaUtilities.com/portal (the “Customer Portal”) or, if you have already created an online account, log into your online account on the Customer Portal. After you log in to the Customer Portal you will be able to review these Referral Incentive Terms and, if you agree to them with respect to your Accounts and are eligible to participate, obtain a referral code for each one of your Accounts (which you can use to refer other customers) and begin to participate in the Referral Incentive for those Accounts.
Earning Referral Credits is easy. Just tell people about us, give them the referral code for the Account that you’d like to earn Referral Credits for, and invite them to join the Columbia Utilities family! Generally, if someone you refer opens an account (a “Referred Account”) that qualifies as a Qualifying Account (defined in #5 below) using one of your referral codes, that Qualifying Account will give you a Referral Credit toward your Account linked to that referral code that will generate a credit for you each month that new Referred Account continues to be a Qualifying Account. A Referred Account is deemed to have been “opened” when the referred customer’s utility notifies Columbia Utilities that it has approved the customer’s request to receive energy or natural gas services (as applicable) through Columbia Utilities under that Account. The more people you refer that open Qualifying Accounts, the more Referral Credits you can earn.
There is an exception to the above:
- If you have already earned any Rewards Points through our Rewards incentive based on a Qualifying Account, you will not be able to earn any Referral Credits or a $25 credit based on that Qualifying Account. For information on our Rewards incentive and how you can earn Rewards Points, please read our Rewards incentive Terms at https://www.ColumbiaUtilities.com/columbia-perks.
A “Qualifying Account” is a Referred Account that (a) is opened by someone you referred to us who enters or provides one of your referral codes at the time that person signs up for that Referred Account and who had, at the time that Referred Account was opened, a historical annual usage of at least 4,500 kilowatt-hours (if that Referred Account is for electricity) or at least 450 therms (if that Referred Account is for natural gas), (b) is being serviced by Columbia Utilities for electricity or natural gas (as applicable), and (c) is in good standing (is not delinquent on bill payments, for example). Referral codes will not be accepted after the time of sign up. Only one referral code can be entered when someone opens a Referred Account (so only one Referral Credit can be earned per Referred Account).
To clarify, each account for electricity or natural gas is considered a separate account, so if you have or another customer has an account for electricity and an account for natural gas with us, you or that other customer would have two accounts.
The Account that a Referral Credit you earn will be applied to depends on which of your referral codes the customer you referred used when opening the Qualifying Account. If you gave that customer a referral code for one of your electricity Accounts and that customer used that referral code when opening the Qualifying Account, for example, the Referral Credit you earn from that Qualifying Account would be applied to that electricity Account.
So, you are able to have some control over which of your Accounts the Referral Credits you earn will be applied to by giving potential customers you refer the referral code(s) for your Account(s) that you want Referral Credits to apply to.
Referral Credits and their value are calculated separately for each one of your Accounts. For each of your Accounts, through Referral Credits, each billing cycle you can earn a credit of up to 100% of your Supply Charges.
Every billing cycle, the first 10 Referral Credits you have that are applicable to a certain Account of yours will each be worth a credit of five percent (5%) of your Supply Charges for that Account for that billing cycle (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees), and the next 5 Referral Credits will each be worth a credit of ten percent (10%) of your Supply Charges for that Account for that billing cycle (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees).
When you have 15 Referral Credits that are applicable to a certain Account, any additional Referral Credits you have that are applicable to that same Account will not have any effect. This is because your Supply Charges for that Account for that billing cycle will already have been reduced by 100%. In other words, the Referral Credits you earn can reduce your Supply Charges for an Account for each billing cycle to as little as $0 (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees), but no further.
The chart below illustrates how the Referral Credits add up for each Account you have:
- For example, suppose you have an active Account for electricity and an active Account for natural gas and, in a given billing cycle, 18 of the Referred Accounts you’ve referred that still qualify as Qualifying Accounts during that billing cycle were opened using your referral code for your electricity Account and 12 of the Referred Accounts you’ve referred that still qualify as Qualifying Accounts during that billing cycle were opened using your referral code for your natural gas Account. Here’s how your Referral Credits would reduce your Supply Charges for that billing cycle:
o Your Electricity Account: In this example, you would have 18 Referral Credits toward your Supply Charges for your Account for electricity for that billing cycle, which would give you a total credit of 100% of those Supply Charges (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees). This is because the first 15 Referral Credits would give you a 100% total credit, and the remaining 3 Referral Credits would have no effect, since you would have already reached the 100% credit maximum. So your total Supply Charges for that Account for that billing cycle would be $0 (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees).
o Your Natural Gas Account: In this example, you would have 12 Referral Credits applicable against your Supply Charges for your Account for natural gas for that billing cycle, which would give you a total credit of 70% of those Supply Charges (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees). So your total Supply Charges for that Account for that billing cycle would be reduced by 70%. That means if your total Supply Charges for that Account for that billing cycle are $100 before applying your Referral Credits, after applying your Referral Credits the actual Supply Charges for that Account that would be billed to you for that billing cycle would be only $30 (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees).
8. If I have more Referral Credits for an Account than can be applied in a given billing cycle, can I ''carry over,'' transfer or otherwise utilize those extra Referral Credits for another billing cycle or Account?
No, every billing cycle the Referral Credits you have that are applicable to a certain one of your Accounts can only give you credits toward your Supply Charges for that Account, for that billing cycle. Referral Credits you have that aren’t applicable in a given billing cycle because you’ve already received the maximum 100% credit toward the Supply Charges for the Account they apply to for that billing cycle will not have any effect and cannot be “carried over,” transferred to another Account or person or used later.
Each billing cycle, your Supply Charges for that billing cycle for each of your Accounts (excluding delivery charges which are charged by your utility, taxes or other fees) will be reduced by your total Referral Credits applicable to that Account for that billing cycle, if any, as described in #7 above. Any $25 one-time credits that you earn as set forth in #2 above will be credited toward your Supply Charges for the Account for which you earned the credit, for the billing cycle in which you earned the credit.
It depends on the utility that is delivering the electricity or natural gas to you. We will, as necessary, either (a) credit your Account and show that credit on your bill as a line item, (b) credit your Account and simply reduce the overall bill amount (so you may not see the credit shown separately), (c) submit a payment in the amount of your credit to the applicable utility on behalf of your Account (which will not be reflected on your bill but will be applied by the applicable utility), or (d) send a payment to you of the credit amount. If you have any questions about your Referral Credits, such as regarding the amounts of any payments we have made to the applicable utility, please feel free to give us a call at 1 (877) 7-COLUMBIA (877 726-5862).
11. What happens if a customer I referred opens a Referred Account for one Eligible Service first and then later opens a Referred Account for another Eligible Service?
Every Referred Account is treated as a separate Referred Account, so in order for you to earn Referral Credits based on any new Referred Account (even one opened by an existing customer you referred), that new Referred Account must itself be a Qualifying Account. This means that the person you refer would have to enter one of your referral codes at the time that person signs up for that Referred Account and satisfy the other requirements of a Qualifying Account as described in #5 above.
When a customer you referred notifies us that he or she wishes to terminate any of their Qualifying Accounts, those Qualifying Accounts immediately cease to be Qualifying Accounts, even if the actual date on which that Qualifying Account will be closed will be later, and, starting in the billing cycle in which such notice was given, you will no longer have the Referral Credits you earned based on those Qualifying Accounts. Also, if a Qualifying Account is closed for any other reason, starting in the billing cycle in which such Qualifying Account was closed, you will no longer have the Referral Credit you earned based on that Qualifying Account.
Yes. If you participate in another one of our promotions or incentives that gives you a discount off of, or credit towards, your bill for a certain Account (e.g., our Loyalty Credit incentive or Discount Coupon “Scratch Off” Promotion), you will lose all your Referral Credits for that Account and will not be able to earn any Referral Credits for that Account until such time as you are no longer participating in any such other promotion or incentive with respect to that Account.
14. What happens if a person has an account for an Eligible Service that is closed, and I later refer that person and that person opens a new Referred Account for the same Eligible Service that qualifies as a Qualifying Account? Do I get a Referral Credit for that Qualifying Account?
Whenever a person you refer opens a Referred Account, that Referred Account is treated as a new Referred Account and, if that Referred Account qualifies as a Qualifying Account as described in #5 above, it can generate a Referral Credit for you.
15. If I open a new Account for an Eligible Service, or someone else opens a new Referred Account for an Eligible Service for the same service address as one of my Accounts, can that new Account qualify as a Qualifying Account?
No, Accounts opened by you and Referred Accounts opened by someone else for the same service address as an address at which you are receiving Eligible Services cannot qualify as Qualifying Accounts. You can’t get a Referral Credit by referring yourself or for an account with your service address.
16. Does a person I refer have to be in the same state as me in order for Qualifying Accounts opened by that person to generate Referral Credits for me?
No, Qualifying Accounts opened by people you refer in any State where Columbia Utilities provides electric or natural gas supply service can generate Referral Credits for you.
We reserve the right to change these Referral Incentive Terms at any time with or without prior notice. We may terminate the Referral Incentive at any time for any reason. If the Referral Incentive is terminated you will continue to receive Referral Credits for six (6) months based on the active Qualifying Accounts you have during that time that were opened prior to the date on which the Referral Incentive was terminated and will receive any $25 credits you have earned and not yet been credited as of such date. New Referred Accounts opened after the Referral Incentive has been terminated cannot qualify as Qualifying Accounts.
We may give you notice of changes to these Referral Incentive Terms by posting an updated version of this page at https://www.ColumbiaUtilities.com/referral or via email.
You understand and agree by participating in the Referral Incentive that we can make these changes at any time, with or without notice.
Earning Referral Credits is meant to encourage people to introduce Columbia Utilities to their friends and family and to people they transact with online. It is not intended to encourage spam. You may post your referral codes online in any place deemed appropriate by the owners of the website where you are posting. You cannot make claims regarding switching to Columbia Utilities’ variable price offers. You cannot make any false, misleading or unsubstantiated claims about Columbia Utilities or any of its products or services. Anyone who, in Columbia Utilities’ sole discretion, is found to have made such claims or spammed other Internet users in an attempt to gain Referral Credits will lose their Referral Credits and their privileges to earn Referral Credits. Columbia Utilities has the right to review any materials you use to tell people about us and you must supply such materials to us upon request.
Also, by earning Referral Credits you understand and agree that you are not, and will not say or imply that you are, a sales representative or independent agent of Columbia Utilities.
20. What if I have a question, concern or dispute regarding the Referral Incentive or Referral Credits?
We hope to answer all your questions, and most questions and concerns regarding the Referral Incentive can be answered or resolved quickly and to your satisfaction by calling us at 1 (877) 7-COLUMBIA (877 726-5862). If however, there is an issue, claim or dispute that needs to be resolved and we are unable to resolve it informally, it must be resolved through final, binding arbitration. This obligation applies regardless of whether the issue, claim or dispute involves a tort, fraud, breach of contract, misrepresentation, product liability, negligence, violation of a statute or any other legal theory. Included are all issues, claims and disputes arising out of or relating any aspect of your participation in the Referral Incentive, whether arising during or after your participation in the Referral Incentive. All arbitrations shall be conducted on an individual (and not a class-wide) basis and an arbitrator shall have no authority to award class-wide relief. You acknowledge and agree that this specifically prohibits you from commencing arbitration proceedings as a representative of others or joining in any arbitration proceedings brought by any other person. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this paragraph does not prevent you from filing a complaint relating to your electricity or gas supply service with Columbia Utilities pursuant to the New York Public Service Law and the Public Service Commission’s regulation.
Last Updated: August 21, 2015