Can’t Pay Connecticut Utility Bill During Coronavirus?

Posted on Posted in Cheap Electricity Rates, Constellation Energy, CT Electricity Rates, Eversource Electricity Rates, PURA, UI, Uncategorized, United Illuminating
Check out how local Connecticut utilities are helping customers pay bills during the Coronavirus crisis.
Staying home to avoid Coronavirus but missing your paycheck? Your local CT utility is helping its customers pay their bills during the crisis.

Coronavirus and Your Utility Bills

The Coronavirus (or Covid-19) outbreak news over this weekend has left many working Connecticut families wondering what’s going to happen in the wake of schools and many businesses closing. Folks want to know how they’ll make ends meet if they take sick leave or stay home to look after children who aren’t in school. They’re also worrying about how they’ll afford their CT electric bill at the end of the month.

Because we here at CT Energy Ratings monitor the news about Connecticut energy prices and regulations, we’re going to stay on top this story to help our customers stay informed and ready.

Covid-19 Energy Service Disconnections

On March 16, 2020, the state’s attorney general requested that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) direct utilities to cease residential shut-offs during Covid-19 outbreakfor a 30 day period.  The policy is to ease  the burden on electricity and natural gas customers facing financial hardship in Connecticut.  The shut off policy will be reviewed again at the end of the 30 day period.

  • Eversource has announced they are have postponing disconnections for nonpayment. It urges its CT energy customers to look into its financial assistance also cautions that customers be more wary of scam calls threatening  to shut off utility service and contact local law enforcement.

 

  • All three Avangrid companies Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and United Illuminating (UI), are temporarily suspending residential disconnections for nonpayment. Avangrid wants its CT energy customers to remember that they are still still responsible for any balance due. Their companies are ready to help customers with bill paying assistance either over the phone or through their individual websites.

 

On March 17, the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) petitioned the PURA to help mitigate impacts for all utility customers. The DEEP key points seek to suspend late fees and other penalties on delinquent customers; waive fees and deposits to streamline the connection of all regulated utility customers including those disconnected prior to the moratorium; help for business and non-profits; and creating payment plans to all customer classes.

Because this situation can change daily and also effect shut off deadlines, customers should contact their electricity supplier to find out what their policy for late payments will be during the Coronavirus crisis.

We will post updates  about late fee and disconnection moratoriums for Connecticut customers as we learn more.

Supplier Updates

  • Constellation Energy (an Exelon Company) has announced in an email they are suspending disconnects and new late fees for natural gas and electricity service customers in CT until May 1, 2020. They are also offering deferred payment plans for customers that are being directly impacted. Customers needing assistance contact customer assistance.

 

Coronavirus Stay Safe in Connecticut

We want all our customers to stay healthy and safe during this outbreak. To learn more about what you and your family can do, check out the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. To learn more about the situation in Connecticut visit the state’s Coronavirus information website.

2 thoughts on “Can’t Pay Connecticut Utility Bill During Coronavirus?

  1. Please let us know what is your policy if we can not pay during the Corovinus crisis.
    Can not pay March through August 2020 maybe.

    1. Hi Heloisa!

      Thanks for asking. Let’s clarify your question a bit so there’s no misunderstanding. First, customers don’t pay CTEnergyRatings.com for their monthly bills and we don’t have any involvement in customer’s monthly bills.

      Energy customers in CT are billed by their local utilities. For electricity, that’s going to be Eversource or UI. If you re-read the blog, you’ll find that both Eversource and UI have postponed disconnections in compliance with PURA’s directive for the next thirty days.

      The same applies to your local natural gas utility.

      But you’re right to point out that folks might not be able to meet their bills for several months. My sense is that PURA will likely renew the extension for another 30 days. But a lot of this depends on how long the crisis lasts in the US and the effectiveness of federal economic stimulus efforts.

      That said, the PURA has two possible options. They either might continue issuing 30 day disconnection suspensions OR just issue an extension until a particular month in the future.

      I’m sorry to say that just means more uncertainty — which everyone hates. But this is an issue CT energy customers will need to get their state government representatives to act on.

      Stay healthy. We’re all in this together.

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