Order Prohibits Utility Disconnections


Last updated 4/6/2020 at 5:29pm

Last week Gov. Roy Cooper announced a move to prohibit utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic.

Cooper's executive order applied to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days.

The order directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment. Telecommunication com-panies that provide phone, cable and internet services are strongly urged to follow these same rules.

"These protections will help families stay in their homes and keep vital services like electricity, water, and communications going as we stay at home," Cooper said.

Additionally, the order encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties. Landlords are strongly encouraged in the order to follow the spirit of Chief Justice Cheri Beasley's order and delay any evictions that are already entered in the court system. Cooper was joined by Attorney General Josh Stein to announce the order and he thanked companies that have already voluntarily announced policies to prevent shutoffs, including Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, AT&T, and local electric co-ops, among many others.


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