State Extends Utility Shutoff Moratorium

Governor Charlie Baker

HYANNIS – The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recently issued an order that will extend the moratorium on residential gas, electric, and water utility shutoffs to July 1, 2021.

The moratorium was originally set to end in April.

It will provide additional time for ratepayers to coordinate a payment plan with their utility company and find financial assistance programs, said the DPU. 

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to take important steps to ensure continued reliable gas and electric service while protecting residents that are struggling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DPU Chairman Matthew Nelson in a statement. 

“While this order will guarantee Massachusetts residents and families who are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic will have uninterrupted gas, electric, and water utility service, we urge residents experiencing financial hardship to be aware of protections and to contact their utility company for assistance.”

Investor-owned utility companies are prohibited from shutting off gas, electric and water utility service to residential customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill until July 1.

Companies may begin communicating with ratepayers regarding bills in arrears, however the communication must inform the ratepayer that the residential shut offs for nonpayment will not occur until July 1 or after.

The communication must also provide a list of all repayment programs and debt-forgiveness options available to the ratepayer. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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