Thousands Could Get Electric Service Shut Off

by Alex Lloyd Gross

As COVID-19 relief  valves come to a close, many people who pay rent will find themselves ready to deal with a landlord that wants their money.  The moratorium on evictions ends today, September 1 2020.  Courts all around the region are bracing for landlords to walk in and file papers.  Businesses are hurting too. The people too scared to come into their office and are working from home  means many landlords will be tossing them out as well later in the year. The theory of “Why should I pay rent if I am not there” will not fly. The other shoe that is dropping is the  power companies want their money too.

Since April, many people have not paid their electric bills, or paid less than they owe. This means power companies will start shutting off service and quickly. Some people thumbed their nose and have accumulated bills in excess of $2000.00.  Others might be a few months behind, having made a few payments during the COVID-19  relief period.

Consumer advocates say the time to deal with this is NOW. You must contact your electric company and get on a payment plan.  Once you have done this, your power cannot be turned off unless you do not pay. If you break that agreement, you can also be reported to the credit bureaus.  By law you must get a shut off notice. Your service cannot be terminated without it.  You may also get a notice posted on your door, depending on your state requirements.

Once your service is terminated,  it is very difficult to get your service restored without making payment in full. This payment must be in cash at the electric company headquarters , or authorized  payment center. They will also accept a cashiers check. (A fee applies). If you mail in a payment, it must clear before any restoration of service.  The power companies have heard all of the excuses, and none of them will fly. Except one. A medical emergency. A doctor will have to fax in a confirmation that this shut off will cause you a burden. your power will be restored .You now have 30 days to make arrangements.