On April 1, 2020

Prohibition on utility disconnects now includes water

On Friday, March 27, the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) expanded the moratorium on utility disconnections to include non-residential ratepayers and regulated water companies. A previous order, issued on March 18, had directed utilities to stop any disconnection of residential utility service due to nonpayment of electricity, natural gas, and telecommunication bills.

In Friday’s order, the commission expands the same protection to non-residential ratepayers (commercial and industrial customers) and to certain water companies under the commission’s jurisdiction. This expanded moratorium will last until at least April 30. It applies to the 21 regulated water companies in Vermont. Not all water companies (for example, fire districts) are under the commission’s jurisdiction.

Governor Phil Scott urged anyone with a disconnect notice to call the state’s hotline at 2-1-1.

With this second order, the commission recognizes that commercial and industrial customers and the customers of water companies will also endure financial constraints, and that involuntary disconnections due to nonpayment of bills would put them at risk.

The proceeding was opened in response to a March 16, petition from Vermont Legal Aid “on behalf of the low-income, disabled, and elderly residents of the state.”

For more info visit epuc.vermont.gov.

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