Vermont utility regulator reinstates disconnection ban

Man Fixing Powerline
Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

Vermont utility regulators have reinstated a moratorium on the disconnection of electricity, natural gas and landline phone services because customers have not paid their bills.

In an order dated Tuesday, the Public Utilities Commission said the moratorium will last through March 31.

The commission first prohibited disconnections in March of this year, but that moratorium was lifted on Oct. 15.

Since the original moratorium was lifted, utilities were able to work with their customers so they could seek funds through a program designed to help pay the overdue bills of people in danger of having service cut off. But that program ended Dec. 15.

The worsening pandemic and winter conditions prompted the commission to reconsider the moratorium.

“Vermonters need to be able to keep the lights on, their homes warm, and their phone lines open as they survive the winter months of the pandemic,” said Commission chair Anthony Roisman.

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