Utility companies directed to review disconnection and social contact policies
COLUMBUS, OHIO (March 12, 2020) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today ordered Ohio’s electric and natural gas distribution, water and wastewater, and landline telephone companies to review their policies regarding service disconnections, and promptly seek any necessary Commission approval to suspend any policies that would impose a service continuity hardship or create an unnecessary risk of human contact.
In its order, the Commission noted due to the declared state of emergency, PUCO-regulated utilities should review their policies and identify where it may be prudent to suspend, for the duration of the emergency, any policies that would impose a service continuity hardship or create an unnecessary risk of human contact. The utilities should seek Commission approval to suspend any such policies. The Commission also encourages those utilities not regulated by the PUCO to implement similar procedures.
The Commission also directed utilities to coordinate and communicate with local community action agencies and other community-based organizations to ensure that utility service to customers is maintained during the state of emergency
Today’s order does not eliminate any payment obligations. Such obligations may be deferred based upon future filings made by the utility or stakeholder proposals.
Utility customers who have questions or concerns regarding their utility service are encouraged to contact the PUCO online at PUCO.ohio.gov/contact-us.
The Commission noted the Department of Health is making COVID-19 information, including information on preventative measures available online at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
A copy of today’s entry is available on the PUCO website by clicking the link to the docketing information system (DIS) and searching for case 20-591-AU-UNC.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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