Utility Regulators Scold Eversource Over Non-payment Resources
State regulators say utilities need to do more to educate customers about payment options that are available during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority also extended the enrollment period for COVID-19 payment plans until February. The rules mean that no regulated electric, gas, or water customers should be shut off for non-payment during the winter.
In March, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority stopped shut-offs for customers if they were having trouble paying their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Eversource and United Illuminating say late payments have been significantly rising in recent months.
But during an emergency technical meeting Friday, PURA specifically called out Eversource, saying it needs to better inform customers about options if they can’t pay their bills, including 24-month payment plans. Marissa Gillett is chairperson of PURA. Gillett:
"Eversource has consistently failed to appropriately and clearly communicate with its customers about various statutory and regulatory protections that are available," Marissa Gillett, the chairperson of PURA said.
Eversource says it’s increased payment arrangements through calls, emails, and letters.