Many utilities that sell electricity and gas around the country are suspending disconnections of customers who do not pay their bills during the COVID-19 crisis after being ordered to suspend disconnections by regulators or government officials. While some other companies are voluntarily suspending disconnects over unpaid bills.
In South Carolina, to make sure South Carolinians are still able to have their utilities stay on during the outbreak of the COVID-19, the SCPSC voted 3/18/2020 to “grant waivers of the regulations related to Late Payment Charges and Procedures for Termination of Service for all regulated utilities and direct that all regulated utilities suspend disconnection of service during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, ” to help ease the pain of the economic slowdown. This comes after Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency.
The power utilities regulated by the SCPSC are Dominion, Duke Energy, and Lockhart Power. Meanwhile, Piedmont Natural Gas, a business unit of Duke Energy, has also suspended disconnects to help customers, communities and employees in wake of COVID-19.
These utility companies will waive late payment fees and fees for returned payments for its millions of electric and natural gas customers across its service territories until the national state of emergency is lifted.