Utility COVID-19 disconnection moratorium ending for Ark. Entergy customers in May

Utility COVID-19 disconnection moratorium ending for Ark. Entergy customers in May
(Source: WAFB)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Arkansas Public Service Commission says the COVID-19 disconnection moratorium will end May 3 for Entergy customers.

Anyone with past due balances will begin receiving notices of disconnection with a 35-day grace period before shut-off notices are sent.

This also applies to customers with OG&E, SWEPCO, Liberty Utilities, CenterPoint Energy, Black Hills, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas and the Electric Cooperatives.

“We are over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and Arkansas is recovering in more ways than one,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I want folks who are going back to work, but still struggling to pay their bills, to know they have options.”

Rutledge says the information below can help customers who receive notice of disconnection:

  • It is important to take action immediately to seek assistance to avoid disconnection.
  • Verify what you owe directly with your utility company. Information, including what is owed, must be provided in writing to each customer with a past due balance.
  • Contact the utility company and discuss a payment plan if your bill is unaffordable.
  • Utility companies are required to provide information regarding available payment options on their website and social media platforms.
  • Utility companies are required to offer plans which provide a minimum of 18 months to repay any past due balances with no down payment required.
  • Utility companies must also provide information regarding funds that may be available through assistance agencies or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • Don’t fall for fake calls about utility bills!
  • Verify the status of your account directly with the utility company. You should contact them. Do not assume that someone who contacts you works for the utility company. It could be a scam.
  • Make all payments directly to the utility company.
  • Drop off the payment at the utility company’s office or an authorized payment location.
  • Pay online on the utility company’s website with a credit card or call the company directly.
  • Consider participating in an automated bank account draft system if it is offered.
  • Mail the payment to the utility company directly.
  • Remember, a legitimate utility company will not pressure you to pay through a wire transfer, gift card, or prepaid debit card.
  • The Public Service Commission does not regulate municipal utilities or private water companies, and customers of those utility companies are not affected by the PSC’s order.

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