Restrictions on Terminations
Can the utility terminate my gas or electric service if someone in my house has a serious medical condition?
The utility must refrain from terminating service for an additional 30 days for upon notice that a customer or occupant has a serious medical condition. Upon receipt of the termination notice, if you or an occupant in the household has a serious illness and/or is in need of life support equipment, it is your responsibility to notify the utility before the termination notice expires, and before the service is terminated. The utility may require that your doctor, a certified nurse practitioner or physician assistant complete a Commission-approved form to certify a serious illness or the need for life support equipment.
A physician or the customer may initially contact the utility of the intent to obtain certification. However, the required certificate is to be forwarded to the utility not later than the day before the scheduled date for termination of service. Upon notification, the utility will withhold termination for an additional 30 days. During that time, you are required to promptly enter into an agreement with the utility for the payment of the unpaid bills and current amounts due for service. It is important to note that the utility is authorized to pursue collection procedures (that include disconnecting your service) if you fail to adhere to the payment plan.
Are there any restrictions for terminating gas or electric service during extreme weather conditions?
Between November 1 and March 31 a gas and/or electric utility may not terminate service to occupants of residential buildings for nonpayment of bills unless the utility first certifies to the Commission by an affidavit, filed at least 24 hours before the termination, that the termination does not constitute a threat to the life or health of the residential occupants. Once an affidavit has been filed, it is valid for 12 days after the most recent personal contact with the customer was made or attempted.
In addition, there are temporary restrictions in the winter and summer for extreme weather conditions. During the winter months, a utility may not terminate service because of nonpayment to any customer in a utility’s designated weather station area if the forecast temperature at 6 a.m. is 32 degrees F or below. In the summer, a utility may not terminate either gas service that is used for cooling if the customer has notified the gas utility of that usage, or electric service, because of nonpayment, if the temperature forecast made for the utility’s weather station area at 6 a.m. is 95 degrees F or above.