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Programs offer options for utility customers as state ban on shutoffs expires

A state ban on utility shutoffs, designed to help residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, is expiring at midnight.

News 12 Staff

Oct 31, 2020, 1:17 AM

Updated 1,327 days ago

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A state ban on utility shutoffs, designed to help residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, is expiring Saturday at midnight.
However, there are options for residents who need help. One of them is to apply for Connecticut’s Winter Protection Program. Anyone who qualifies will not have utilities turned off until May 1.
Those who do not qualify can sign up for a COVID-19 payment program until Feb. 19, 2021.
Marissa Gillett, the chair of the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, says those options “mean that no customers should have their service terminated.”
The problem is most people don't know about the options and those who do either can’t make the payments or they simply don’t.
Because of that, Eversource warned that without a statewide ban it could potentially move forward with disconnections down the line. The company stressed that disconnections would be a last resort and that it wants to work with customers
"We are prepared to move forward with those disconnections if the moratorium is not extended,” says Penny Conner, Eversource’s chief customer officer.
State regulators are asking utilities to voluntarily ban shutoffs. A voluntary ban keeps them from passing their losses on to everybody else.
To sign up for protection programs:
Eversource - 800-286-2828
United Illuminating: 800-722-5584
Connecticut Natural Gas: 860-727-3000
Southern Connecticut Gas: 800-659-8299
State Attorney General William Tong released the following statement in favor of extending the moratorium:
“COVID-19 cases are spiking in Connecticut and this pandemic is not over. The Office of the Attorney General continues to believe extending the moratorium is the best course of action. People need electricity, heat and water to stay home safely right now. Families are still struggling. Payment plans are no doubt helpful to many, but they do not protect against shut-off for Connecticut's most vulnerable families.”


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