Panel Rejects Virginia Governor's Bid to Extend Disconnection Moratorium

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

The State Corporation Commission rejected on Thursday a bid by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to extend a moratorium on utility service disconnections that was set to expire Monday.

In a letter to Northam dated Thursday and written by commission counsel John F. Dudley, the commission-mandated moratorium on disconnections for electricity, natural gas, water and sewer which began on March 16 will not continue beyond Oct. 5.

Also, Dudley wrote that the consumer protections that the commission mandated in March should continue beyond Oct. 5. That portion of the order calls for jurisdictional utilities to continue to offer extended payment plans of up to 12 months. The commission also directs customers on those or similar plans should not be charged late fees and should not be disconnected and that for those customers, the moratorium protections continue.

Dudley's letter to Northam also said the commission would implement any directives resulting from the special session of the General Assembly.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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