AG Slatery Urges State Utility Regulator To Prohibit Service Disconnection

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed an Emergency Petition asking the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to prohibit the utilities it regulates from disconnecting service for nonpayment during the State of Emergency invoked by Governor Bill Lee.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has caused uncertainty for many Tennesseans," said Governor Lee. "I urge the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to work quickly to keep citizens connected regardless of payment status during this state of emergency." 

The Tennessee Public Utility Commission has been closely monitoring measures taken by its regulated private investor-owned utilities to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while ensuring uninterrupted safe and reliable utility service. 

Many utilities have already taken steps including suspension of disconnection for nonpayment, suspending or waiving late fees, and offering financial assistance and levelized or budget-billed programs.

The Commission has also issued a formal request to its regulated public utilities, including gas, electric, water, and wastewater/sewer, to provide ongoing reports including measures to ensure the continuity of safe and reliable service. 

"We all need to work together to get past this difficult time,” said General Slatery. “We commend the way the Commission has already responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. This request ensures relief for Tennesseans from all utilities regulated by the Commission, so they do not have to worry about losing their basic utility services because of circumstances far outside their control.”

 


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