Tuesday , July 27 2021

Utility shut-off ban ends, thousands of accounts at risk

On Thursday, the state Public Utility Commission’s ban on utility shut-offs during the pandemic ends and thousands of customers are at risk of losing service.According to utility reports submitted to the PUC, over 890,000 residential utility accounts are at risk of being shut off.The total dollar amount owed by at-risk households tops $856-million.”We believe that it is essential that you reach out to your public utilities to review assistance programs and payment plan options that are available to help prevent possible utility termination this brings,” said Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, Chairman of the PUC. “There is a wide range of programs and services available to consumers and utilities understand the assistance programs available in your communities.””The key is to call your utility,” said Rita Black, Director of Community Assistance Programs for Essential Utilities.Rita Black, with People’s Gas, said they are seeing an increase in customers who are behind on their bills, but programs like Low Income Home Energy Assistance can help.”The LIHEA program provides grants that are paid directly to your utility bill and depending on how far behind you may be, you can receive grants up to a thousand dollars so it really goes a long way,” she said.The dollar energy fund is another resource, and so are payment plans.Duquesne Light says the average customer owes $580 on their bills, but some balance are in excess of that.”We can do payment arrangements, meaning we can take the balance that you’ve accumulated and spread it out over time into monthly payments that just get added on to your bill,” said Katie Scholl, Director of Billing and Revenue Management.Columbia Gas says more than 78,000 accounts are at risk, and that’s why it’s so important for customers who are behind and face shut off to reach out.”There are more ways than ever to help customers who are in need and we’ve broadened the requirement so people who might not have qualified for help in the past may be eligible,” said Russell Bedell, Director of Communications for Columbia Gas.For more information:https://www.puc.pa.gov/press-release/2021/puc-urges-struggling-consumers-and-small-businesses-to-callutilitiesnow-to-discuss-affordability-optionshttps://www.duquesnelight.comhttps://www.columbiagaspa.comhttps://www.peoples-gas.com

On Thursday, the state Public Utility Commission’s ban on utility shut-offs during the pandemic ends and thousands of customers are at risk of losing service.

According to utility reports submitted to the PUC, over 890,000 residential utility accounts are at risk of being shut off.

The total dollar amount owed by at-risk households tops $856-million.

“We believe that it is essential that you reach out to your public utilities to review assistance programs and payment plan options that are available to help prevent possible utility termination this brings,” said Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, Chairman of the PUC. “There is a wide range of programs and services available to consumers and utilities understand the assistance programs available in your communities.”

“The key is to call your utility,” said Rita Black, Director of Community Assistance Programs for Essential Utilities.

Rita Black, with People’s Gas, said they are seeing an increase in customers who are behind on their bills, but programs like Low Income Home Energy Assistance can help.

“The LIHEA program provides grants that are paid directly to your utility bill and depending on how far behind you may be, you can receive grants up to a thousand dollars so it really goes a long way,” she said.

The dollar energy fund is another resource, and so are payment plans.

Duquesne Light says the average customer owes $580 on their bills, but some balance are in excess of that.

“We can do payment arrangements, meaning we can take the balance that you’ve accumulated and spread it out over time into monthly payments that just get added on to your bill,” said Katie Scholl, Director of Billing and Revenue Management.

Columbia Gas says more than 78,000 accounts are at risk, and that’s why it’s so important for customers who are behind and face shut off to reach out.

“There are more ways than ever to help customers who are in need and we’ve broadened the requirement so people who might not have qualified for help in the past may be eligible,” said Russell Bedell, Director of Communications for Columbia Gas.

For more information:

https://www.puc.pa.gov/press-release/2021/puc-urges-struggling-consumers-and-small-businesses-to-callutilitiesnow-to-discuss-affordability-options

https://www.duquesnelight.com

https://www.columbiagaspa.com

https://www.peoples-gas.com

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