Utility companies suspend disconnections for nonpayment during coronavirus closures


(Photo: courtesy MGN)

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — As city offices, schools, and non-essential establishments are shut down, utility companies have stepped up to the plate to ensure customers stay connected.

On Monday, the Virginia State Corporation Commission directed electric, natural gas and water companies to suspend service disconnections during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

“The 60-day temporary moratorium on disconnects provides immediate relief for any customer,
residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. In taking this action, the Commission order takes judicial notice of the ongoing public health emergency related to the spread of the coronavirus,” the SCC wrote in a news release.

Norfolk Department of Utilities

The Norfolk Department of Utilities released a statement to their customers and residents that they are suspending all water cutoffs that are a result of delinquency from March 16 to March 30.

Cox Communications

Cox announced that as part of coronavirus response efforts, they are suspending service disconnections for non-payment for a minimum of 60 days. The company plans to open Cox WiFi hotspots to keep people connected.

This is also in an effort to support the FCC’s Keep America Connected mission to keep our states connected across all internet and telecommunications sources during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We support the FCC’s efforts to keep America connected during the crisis,” said Pat Esser, president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications. “We don’t want our customers who are impacted to worry about losing their Cox services. Our focus is on taking steps to maintain services provided to customers and the general public while ensuring the safety of our employees and customers.”

Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy released that they have suspended all service disconnections for nonpayment. Customers who were disconnected previously can call 866-366-4357 to get service restored.

“Our customers should not have to worry about losing service during this critical time. Therefore, we have suspended all service disconnections for nonpayment. We know the communities we serve rely on us to provide an essential service,” Dominion wrote on its website.

Virginia Natural Gas

On Saturday, Virginia Natural Gas stated that they will not suspend service disconnections for non-payment related to the coronavirus.

Newport News Waterworks

Newport News Waterworks announced on March 18 that it will suspend service disconnections except for customer-generated requests and to make customer repairs. The suspension will be in effect until March 29.

“The communities we serve rely upon us,” Newport News Assistant City Manager and Acting Director of Newport News Waterworks Bo Clayton wrote in a news release. “Our customers do not need to worry about losing service during this challenging time.  We will continue to deliver water service around the clock and encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of the disease.”

Stay with WAVY.com for other information on other utility services. We will keep this updated as more information becomes available.

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