covid19 news & resources

Map of Disconnection Moratoria

Status of State Moratoria on Disconnections and Payment Plans

UPDATED AUGUST 3, 2020

The map and corresponding table below reflect actions taken by each state through individual orders, directives, and legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the date that each action will expire. Please note the regulatory authority of a commission varies by state. In most states, utility commissions do not have regulatory authority over cooperative and/or municipal utilities.  Please direct any questions to NRRI staff.

State

Latest Actions (Date Implemented)

Expiration

Description of Disconnection Moratorium and Payment Plan

Alabama

> Commission Statement

(Mar 17)

N/A

> Coordination with utilities

Alaska

> SB 241 (Apr 9)

> Docket 1-20-001 (Apr 15)

Nov 15

> SB 241 implements disconnection moratorium of residential customers due to non-payment; disallows IOU's from charging late fees or interest for nonpayment for duration of emergency; requires reconnection of customers disconnected on or after March 11, 2020 due to nonpayment; requires a minimum timeline for repayment of charges incurred during emergency

> Docket I-20-001 gathers utility information on actions to comply with Senate Bill 241

Arizona

> Governor Electric Utility Relief Package (Mar 26)

N/A

> Coordination with utilities

Arkansas

> Docket No. 20-012-A (Jun 18)

Aug 18

> On April 10, the PSC ordered the suspension of disconnections due to nonpayment for all customer classes effective until either the governor ends the emergency declaration or the PSC amends this order

> PSC allows IOU's to track COVID-19-related costs and lost revenue from the prohibition of disconnections

> Order allows parties to request rules for other considerations, such a reconnections

> On May 27, a second order reaffirmed these suspensions until the end of the COVID emergency and formalizes the suspension on the collection of late fees for arrearages

> On June 18, EO 20-37 extends public health emergency until August 18.

California

> Docket R.18-07-005 (Jun 11)

2021

> COVID-19 protections remain in place and prevent disconnections entirely until next year

> Institutes program to forgive eligible customer debt in return for monthly on-time utility payments

> Directs development of Percentage of Income Payment Plan pilot programs that cap bills at the level customer can afford

> Eliminates all deposits and reconnection fees

> Orders sliding, utility-specific, annual disconnection caps through 2024

Colorado

> Executive Order D 2020 031 (Mar 20)

> Executive Order D 2020 098 (Jun 12)

> Executive Order D 2020 132 (Jul 11)

Aug 11

> Directs PUC to work with public utilities to waive reconnection fees and suspend accrual of late payment fees for all residential customers and small business consumers; and to develop and provide payment assistance programs to aid impacted customers in the payment of utility bills

> Directs PUC to report on the development of the payment assistance programs to DORA and the Office of the Governor

> Directs PUC to work with public utilities to provide guidance on prioritizing payment assistance

> Directs PUC to collect and monitor relevant data from public utilities on the implementation of Statewide measures undertaken in response to this Order and on a weekly basis report these efforts to the Office of the Governor and post them on PUC’s website

> On July 11, Executive Order D 2020 132 extends prior Executive Orders by 30 days

Connecticut

> Docket No. 20-03-15 (May 28)

TBD

> On March 12, the initial emergency moratorium on electric service disconnections was applied for all residential customers

> PURA provided no instruction regarding late fee collection, reconnection, or repayment instructions for non-paying customers

> Requires PURA to review of moratorium every 30 days

> IOU's are allowed to petition for exemption

> Council passed legislation codifying moratorium on disconnections. Disconnects cannot take place until 15

Delaware

> Governor Declaration (Jul 6)

Aug 6

> On March 24, Governor issued a sixth modification to Declaration of a State of Emergency prohibiting utilities from terminating service or charging late fees to residential customers.

> On July 6, Governor extended the state of Emergency for an additional 30 days

> Four month extension of payment plans for past due accounts to qualifying customers

District of Columbia

> Order No. 20358 (May 28)

TBD

> DC Council passed legislation codifying moratorium on disconnections

> Disconnects cannot take place until 15 days after the emergency declaration by the Mayor is lifted

> On May 19, DC Council passed additional legislation requiring electric companies to:  (i) make payment plans available to eligible customers with a minimum term of one year, unless the customer requests a shorter term; (ii) waive any fee or penalty arising from the payment plan; (iii) not report to a credit agency that the customer’s account is delinquent; and (iv) notify all customers of the payment plan’s availability

> PSC opened a docket to examine merits of OPC's petition and examine the impacts on electric companies and customers

Florida

> Cost Tracking (Jul 7)

N/A

> Approval of Gulf Power Company’s request to track and record COVID-19 related costs

> Approval of Sebring Gas System, Inc.’s emergency petition to waive customer late payment charges

> Acceleration of reductions to customers’ bills based on lower fuel costs for four largest electric utilities

Georgia

> Docket #42516 (Jun 2)

Jul 14

> On March 14, Georgia Power voluntarily suspended disconnections

> On April 7, the Commission issued an order to extend the initially voluntary suspensions until July 14; this includes suspending collection of late fees for nonpaying customers in all classes

> On June 4, the Commission voted to end the moratorium on disconnections by July 14

> On June 22, the Commission issued Order establishing a methodology for incremental bad debt due to disconnection moratorium

Hawaii

> Order No. 37189  (Jun 26)

> Order No. 37251 (Jul 31)

Oct 1

> Extends suspension of service disconnections

> Authorizes utilities that suspend disconnections beyond Jul 31 to book regulatory assets related to associated costs through September 1

> Payment plans (or other customer arrangements) [should be made] once disconnections resume

> Commission encourages utilities not to charge customers interest on past-due payments or impose late fees through June 30

> On July 31. Commission issued order extending suspension of disconnections until August 31 and authorizing utilities that suspend beyond that date to book regulatory assets related to costs associated with suspensions through October 1

Idaho

N/A

N/A

> Coordination with utilities

Illinois

> News Release with Link to Order (Jun 18)

> News Release (Jul 31)

Jul 26

> Moratorium on disconnections continues until Aug 1 or Phase 4 of reopening plan; whichever comes first

> Offers temporary, more flexible credit and collection procedures to qualifying customers impacted by COVID-19

> Adds additional 30 days beyond Aug 1 for most customers

> Larger utilities will then have 30 more days to notify residential consumers before disconnection notices are sent

> Waives certain deposits for qualifying residential customers for at least 6 months

> July 31, the Commission announced several of the state’s large and small regulated electric, natural gas, water and sewer utilities voluntarily agreed to keep residential customers connected until September 2020

> Moratorium on disconnections expired on July 26

Indiana

> Press Release (Jun 29)

> Executive Order 20-33 (Jun 29)

Aug 14

> Extends  moratorium on utility service disconnections for 45 days beyond the expiration of Executive Order 20-28

> Commission doubled minimum requirement (from the original order) for extended payment plans by requiring all jurisdictional utilities to offer payment plans of at least six months to all customers

> Governor issued an executive order extending prohibition of disconnection of utility services for all utility companies, regardless of how they are regulated by the Commission, until August 14

Iowa

> Docket No. SPU-2020-3 (May 20)

May 27

> Update to prior orders; extends winter moratorium on service disconnection for eligible customers until May 1, 2020

> The new order instructs IOU's to suspend disconnections until the governor lifts the state of emergency in Iowa.

> May 20, the IBU updated the March 27 order and instructed IOU's to allow at least one year of non-payment for eligible customers

Kansas

> Order No. 20-GIMX-393-MIS (May 21)

May 31

> Electricity disconnections for nonpayment by small commercial and residential customers expired May 31

> Commission reserves authority to resume suspensions, if needed

> Commission requires availability of repayment plans for 12 months; prohibits collection of late fees for any balance in arrears

Kentucky

> Case No. 2020-00085 (Jun 23)

TBD

> Suspended disconnections for non-payment or collection of late fees until further notice

> No mention of reconnections or repayment plans

> On June 23, Commission staff requested information on disconnections from regulated utilities

Louisiana

> Executive Order (Mar 13)

> Special Order 43-2020 (Jul 1)

> Special Order 44-2020 (Jul 1)

Jul 16

> Commission prohibited all jurisdictional utilities from disconnecting customers for non-payment of utility bills

> On May 27, PSC issued Special Order 28- 2020, which amends Special Order 22-2020

> Special Order 43-2020 supersedes Special Order Nos. 22-2020 and 28-2020 and terminates the suspension of disconnections after the first billing cycle following July 16.

> Special Order 43-2020 also maintains that all jurisdictional utilities shall temporarily provide payment plans or levelized billing for recovery of past due balances for residential customers for a period of up to 12 months

> Special Order 44-2020 authorizes jurisdictional utilities to record, as a regulatory asset, expenses incurred from the suspension of disconnections and collection of late fees imposed by the Disconnection Orders

Maine

> Case No: 2020-00136 (Jun 16)

> Case No. 2020-00081 (Jul 10)

TBD

> On March 16, the Commission ordered all electric utilities to suspend disconnection for all customer classes until further notice.

> On April 28, the Commission announced it will seek input on and begin to analyze in detail how the pandemic will impact utilities, customers' ability to pay their utility bills, and any federal resources available to help both customers and utilities with their ongoing obligations

> On July 10, the commission issued an order clarifying the initial disconnection moratorium

Maryland

> Executive Order No. 20-06-29-01 (5-29)

> Administrative Docket PC53 (Jul 8)

> Executive Order 20-07-31-01 (Jul 31)

Sep 1

> Governor issued Executive Order prohibiting the suspension of residential electric service or the charging of late fees on nonpaying customers for duration of the declared emergency or until July 1; order was extended.

> On July 8, Commission issued several questions to electric and gas utilities to examine COVID-19 impacts on utilities and customers

> The Commission will consider in a future proceeding whether recovery of the amounts detailed in the asset, are just and reasonable as well as the appropriate recovery period.

> On July 31, governor issued an amended Executive Order extending prohibition on residential utility service terminations and late fees until September 1

Massachusetts

> Order (Mar 24)

TBD

> Requests the extension of the winter Moratorium (normally from November 15 through March 15) for residential ratepayers until the state of emergency is lifted or otherwise directed by the Department, whichever comes first

> Customer Assistance Working Group submitted recommendations on May 29 including extending payment plans and waiving late fees; extend arrearage management plans; outreach to customers; continuation of the shut-off moratorium; and other state activities

Michigan

> Press Release (July 1)

N/A

> Voluntary (except for water utilities)

> Utilities initially agreed to suspend shutoffs and allow a 30-day medical hold for impacted customers.

> Commission ordered utilities to report the number of disconnections, despite the protections enacted.

> Utilities reported reconnecting 1,445 such meters between April 30 and June 26.

> Utilities to waive deposits and reconnection fees for qualifying customers

> Utilities extended access to flexible payment plans

Minnesota

> Initial Letter (Mar 25)

> Commission Docket No. 20-375 (Mar 25)

> Press Release (Jun 18)

Jul 13

> On March 24, the Commission urged utilities to extend consumer protections for impacted customers due to non-payment for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency; letter also encourages reconnections, suspends the collection of late fees, and requests that electric companies provide payment options to customers who need it.

> The electric companies are requested to file compliance data in Docket E,G999/M-20-375.

> On June 18, 2020, the Commission voted to extend moratorium through July 13, 2020, which corresponds with the governor's extension issued in EO 20-75

Mississippi

> Docket 2018-AD-141 (Mar-15)

May 26

> Commission voted to temporarily suspend disconnections of electric power service until May 26

> Allows the state's IOU's to defer any costs, including any incremental bad debt expenses and all associated credit and collection costs, related to connections, reconnections, or disconnections for all customer classes

Missouri

> Voluntary (Mar 23)

> Case No. EE-2020-0290 (Mar 23)

> Case No. AW-2020-0356 (May 14)

N/A

> IOUs voluntarily suspended disconnections and waived late payment fees

> Commission has approved several requests from gas and electric utilities to offer consumer assistance programs, extended payment plans, forego the collection of fees related to late payments, and reconnect service to help impacted customers

> On May 14, the Commission opened working case to consider best practices for recovery of past-due customer payments

Montana

> Governor Directive (Mar 30)

Jun 30

> Governor's directive suspends service terminations for electricity, gas, sewage disposal, water, telephone, or internet services

> No late fees for may be billed or collected for the "duration of the order"

Nebraska

> Order No. NUSF-92 (Mar 25)

N/A

> On March 24, the Commission initiated a new docket, PI-234, to address commission and utility response to COVID-19

> On March 25, the Commission order allows carriers to seek reimbursement for providing service to low-income families; the Order makes one-million dollars available through the NUSF Broadband Adoption program to assist carriers in providing low-income subscriber’s access to broadband to facilitate online learning.

> LB 933 was introduced in the state senate; the bill changes the provisions relating to discontinuance of utility service and limits disconnection fees to the actual and reasonable costs incurred by the utility.  It also requires a utility to publish disconnection information on its website and to mail its policies to a person upon request.  The PRB has no statutory authority over disconnections, but the staff does receive numerous calls on the topic.

Nevada

> Utility Shutoff Information (Mar 20)

> Order (Mar 27)

N/A

> Coordination with utilities

> On March 27, Emergency Order directs all rate-regulated jurisdictional utilities to track expenses related to suspending the termination, discontinuance, and/or disconnection of services.

New Hampshire

> Docket No. 20-089 (Jun 4)

> Governor’s Executive Order 2020-04 (Jun 26)

 

Jul 17

> Governor’s Emergency Order #3: Pursuant to EO 2020-04, suspends disconnection of electric service due to nonpayment for the duration of the emergency

> Order also disallows collection of late fees during the emergency and requires IOU's to allow repayment over at least 6 months from the end of the emergency

> On June 4, the Commission initiated a docket to investigate the impacts of COVID on utility operations, collections, revenues, finances, accounting, customer assistance measures, and ratemaking impacts

New Jersey

> Press Release

N/A

> Governor’s state of emergency declaration encouraged IOU's to suspend disconnections due to non-payment until further notice

> On March 13, the Commission announced that the state’s public electric and gas utilities have agreed to suspend service shutoffs

> Customers are encouraged to reach out to their respective IOU's if they are having difficulty paying their electric bills

> On April 13, Governor’s Executive Order 126 prohibits providers from terminating Internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the state’s emergency end; late fees due to nonpayment are also prohibited

New Mexico

> Governor’s Order (Jun 30)

Jul 30

> On March 19, PSC issued an order that disconnections for non-payment are suspended for the duration of the Emergency Executive Orders; late fees related to these bill payments shall be waived

> On June 30, the Governor issued new Order to extend the moratorium until July 30

New York

> PSC Announcement (Mar 13)

> Docket No. 20-01253/20-M-0266 (Jun 11)

Sep 7

> In response to Governor’s directive, Commission announced it would work with utilities to ensure any impacted customers will not lose power or heat due to financial hardship

> On June 11, the PSC starts proceeding to examine impacts on rate-setting, rate design, low-income programs, collections and termination of service, among other issues

North Carolina

> Governor's Executive Order No. 124 (May 30)

> Docket No. M-100 Sub 158 (Jun 19)

> Dockets (Jul 29)

Jul 29

> On March 31, Governor’s Executive Order No. 124 prohibits utilities from disconnecting customers unable to pay during the pandemic and from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payments

> Order applies for 60 days and gives residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills; requires no-fee for reconnection

> On May 30, governor extended moratorium protections until July 29

> Corresponding NCUC Docket M-100 Sub 158; on June 19, Commission issued revised Second Monthly Report to the Governor Regarding Executive Order 124

> On July 29, conditionally lifts disconnection moratorium; allows collection of arrearages pursuant to repayment plans

> On September 1, all jurisdictional electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater public utilities may proceed with collection of past due / delinquent amounts accrued up to and including August 31, 2020, subject to conditions

North Dakota

> COVID19 Office and Hearing Procedures (Jun 19)

N/A

> No related orders

> On June 19, Commission released COVID-19 office and hearing procedures

Ohio

> Case No. 20-0591-AU-UNC (Apr 8)

N/A

> On March 13, Commission ordered that the winter reconnection order in Case No. 19- 1472-GE-UNC be extended through May 1 to allow for additional time for companies to review their disconnection/reconnection policies

> Commission ordered the state's IOU's to review their disconnection and reconnection policy, but have not ordered new rules

> On April 8, Commission authorized each eligible public utility to obtain loans from the Federal Paycheck Protection Program

Oklahoma

> Media Advisory (Mar 13)

N/A

> Commission’s is coordinating a voluntary effort by the state’s utilities to help those impacted

Oregon

> Media Release (Apr 20)

N/A

> Commission confirms regulated utilities have taken steps to ensure customers have continued services during pandemic

> Commission hosts event on June 9 to discuss impacts to residential utility customers during COVID-19 and future recovery

> Utilities have suspended service disconnections and late payment fees

Pennsylvania

> Docket No. M-2020-3019244

> Governor's Amendment (Jun 3)

Sep 6

> Commission issued Emergency Order prohibiting termination service during the Proclamation Disaster Emergency

> Emergency order was extended for 90 days on June 3

> Repayment guidelines are to be determined.

Rhode Island

> Docket No. 5022 (June 30)

Sep 30

> On May 28, Commission extends termination moratorium for regulated utilities until July 17

> Directs utilities to conduct customer outreach regarding payment plans

> Directs utilities to suspend late fees, credit card charges, and interest until further ruling of the Commission

> On June 30, Commission requested comments before July 13 meeting to discuss lifting of moratorium on or after July 17

> Commission extended moratorium on service terminations for nonpayment for National Grid customers enrolled in electric or gas low income rate through November 1 (the start of the winter moratorium)

> Moratorium for all other National Grid residential customers extended to September 30

> Moratorium for all other regulated utilities expired on Friday, July 17

> Commission directed utilities to conduct outreach for customers with arrearages to discuss payment plans and related issues; directed utilities to suspend late fees, credit card charges, and interest until further ruling of the PUC

South Carolina

> Docket No. 2020-106-A (Jun 10)

May 14

> Letter from Governor encouraged Commission to adopt rules suspending disconnection during state of emergency

> On March 16, Commission ordered IOU's to suspend disconnections and waived requirements for reconnection and late fees

> On May 7, Commission ordered rules imposing a 6-month minimum repayment period

> On May 14, Commission approved (Order 2020-374) Staff motion to vacate moratorium on disconnections

South Dakota

> Announcement (Apr 17)

N/A

> Many utilities suspended disconnections for non-payment

Tennessee

> Docket N0. 20-00047 (July 20)

Aug 10

> Requires all jurisdictional utilities to suspend disconnection of service for lack of payment during the state of emergency

> After the suspension of the emergency, the TN PUC will reconsider recommendations pertaining to the moratorium

> Order also instructs IOU's to suspend the accrual or collection of late fees, requires reconnection, and repayment programs to be implemented for all impacted customers

> Commission held virtual meeting on June 29; following the meeting, commission requested information to support evaluation of financial impacts of the pandemic and the related moratorium on customer disconnects for nonpayment

> Commission ordered continuation of initial order through next regularly scheduled conference on August 10

Texas

> News Release (Jul 2)

Aug 31

> On March 26, commission suspended rules pertaining to disconnection of service for non-payment (Extended until August 31)

> March 26 order creates COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program:  funding mechanism through which utilities may recover a reasonable portion cost of providing uninterrupted services to non-paying customers

> Offers bill payment assistance using funds from a rider charge applied to the bills of electricity customers across ERCOT

> Participating utilities must suspend late fees and offer deferred payment plans to residential customers in danger of disconnection

Utah

> Docket No. 20-999-01 (Apr 23)

N/A

> Division of Public Utilities recommends no action by the Utah Public Service Commission for temporary changes the electric utilities have made regarding disconnection, late fee, and related practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; recommends Commission take no action at this time

Vermont

> Case 20-0703-PET (May 28)

> Case 20-0703-PET (Jul 30)

Sep 30

> Moratorium on service disconnections due to non-payment begins on March 18

> May 28 order extends moratorium until July 31 and direct utilities to file post-moratorium plans with Commission

> July 30 order extends temporary moratorium until September 30.

Virginia

> Case No. PUR-2020-00048 (Jun 12)

Aug 31

> Regulated utilities must offer extended payment plans with no late fees or reconnection charges to impacted residential and small business customers

> Extends ban on utility service cut-offs to August 31

Washington

> UTC COVID-19 Response (Jun 16)

> Governor's Proclamation (Jul 31)

Oct 15

> Commission held virtual meeting on June 16 with regulated utilities to discuss response plans to impacts of COVID-19

> May 31, Governor extends moratorium on service disconnects and late fees through July 28

> On April 10, regulators approved COVID-19 bill assistance for Avista and Puget Sound Energy customers

> On March 25, regulators fast tracked $51 million in refunds to keep Avista rates steady

> On March 19, Governor allowed UTC to repurposed relief energy bill assistance funds to support qualifying customers

> The assistance program was subsequently expanded

> On July 31, Governor extended disconnection moratorium through October 15

West Virginia

> General Order 262.5 (Jun 17)

Jul 1

> Urged all utilities to suspend utility terminations except where necessary

> June 17, 2020 order will lift moratorium on disconnections and late fees after July 1

> Public utilities may resume disconnection for nonpayment pursuant to the guidelines described herein

Wisconsin

> Docket No. 5-UI-120 (Jun 26)

Sep 1

> Directed IOU's to cease disconnecting residential service for nonpayment until end of state public health emergency

> Instructs IOU's to make reasonable attempts to reconnect service to an occupied dwelling that has been disconnected

> Orders suspension of late fees on non-payment customers and instructs IOU's to offer flexible repayment options

> June 26 supplemental order directs the lifting of temporary prohibition against disconnecting; allows utilities to issue disconnection notices on July 15, with a minimum 10-day window so that the first date of disconnection would occur on or after July 25; PSC also voted to allow utilities to commence charging late payment fees on debts incurred after July 15

Wyoming

> Docket No. 90000-151-XO-20 (Mar 26)

TBD

> Ordered IOU's to suspend discontinuation of service, late fees, and similar tariffs, rules, regulations and terms of service for the purpose of mitigating the impact on impacted customers.