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NY Utilities Can Begin Service Terminations

On Thursday, June 24, 2021, the moratorium on all electric, gas, water, telephone, broadband, and cable shut-offs ended. This allows utility companies to begin terminating service to customers behind on their bills as soon as Monday, June 28. This is a crisis because there are more than one million utility consumers in New York that are still unable to pay their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Parker-Richardson Act of 2021, consumers in arrears are eligible for an additional 180-day “grace period” from service terminations, but only if they notify their utility and “self-certify” to a change in financial circumstance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PULP strongly recommends that any consumers behind on their utility bills contact their utility TODAY to avoid an unnecessary shut-off on Monday. If the utility refuses to honor a request to self-certify, call the New York Department of Public Service’s complaint line at 1-800-342-3377 and request they order the utility to honor the grace period and issue an affordable deferred payment agreement.