Advocates Worry About Utility Shut-Offs As Winter Approaches

CT News Junkie
October 29, 2020

With state utility regulators and Eversource Energy deliberating whether and how to extend a pandemic-related moratorium on utility shut-offs, advocates say it’s important for struggling ratepayers to know their rights as cold weather approaches.

For most residential customers, an order prohibiting utility companies from disconnecting service during the pandemic expired on Oct. 1. The order may be extended depending on the outcome of an ongoing motion between regulators and Eversource. Meanwhile, customers have until the end of this week to enroll in a COVID-19 payment plan with their utility providers… (and) advocates say many people are eligible for financial hardship protections already on the books in Connecticut, they just don’t know it.

Bonnie Roswig, an attorney with the Center for Children’s Advocacy, said Wednesday that it’s important for struggling customers to know their rights during the winter months as utility companies do not always effectively communicate with people who have fallen behind in their payments.

There are “magic words,” which struggling customers should tell their utility companies when they can’t keep up with their bills, she said.

“You have to say ‘I want to be coded for hardship,’” Roswig said.

In order to qualify … read story

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