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.
- 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.