PURA Issues Shut-Off Moratorium for Connecticut's Residential and Commercial Customers
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (“PURA”) ordered the State’s utilities to temporarily cease service cutoffs in cases of customer nonpayment.
By ruling dated March 12, 2020 in Docket No. 20-03-15 – Emergency Petition of William Tong, Attorney General for the State of Connecticut for a Proceeding to Establish a State of Emergency Utility Shut-off Moratorium, PURA ordered the gas, electric, and water public service companies under its jurisdiction to implement a Shut-Off Moratorium and abstain from discontinuing service to residential customers, except for reasons of public safety.
PURA announced that it was expanding the scope of Docket No. 20-03-15 to not only apply to commercial customers (through May 2, 2020), but to offer additional customer protections, including, inter alia:
- Granting a temporary waiver of financial security deposits and balance reduction payments for service reconnection(s) through May 1, 2020;
- Ordering the utilities to track all costs and expenses related to the implementation of the proffered emergency measures; and,
- Establishing a forum to consider how to expand upon the existing affordability measures available to Connecticut customers.
Remarking upon PURA’s recent rulings, Chairman Marissa P. Gillett explained, “[a]ccess to affordable utilities is essential to our daily lives, but never more so than in times of crisis like the current emergency. PURA will remain laser focused on investigating and deploying workable solutions both in the short- and long-term.”
And while shut-off orders for nonpayment will be temporarily suspended, utility customers should, nonetheless, continue to make payments when due, as they ultimately will be responsible for any amounts accrued during said Moratorium(s).
Pullman & Comley attorneys have been closely monitoring the many developing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses and for professionals, including law firms. We have been responding, and will continue to respond, to a wide range of risk management questions. The firm’s FOCUS page for the latest COVID-19 advisories may be found here.