Right now, utility shutoffs are not allowed in Pennsylvania. But the Public Utility Commission (PUC) could decide to end the ban on shutoffs at any time, including at a meeting coming up this Thursday. Last month the PUC discussed allowing utility shutoffs to begin again. Because of a deadlock, they didn’t. And because we don’t know when the shutoff ban will be lifted, every PUC meeting is urgent, including the one on Thursday.
The PUC should provide an opportunity for the public to give input before they allow shutoffs to begin again. So far, there has been no option for public input and no advance notice given to the public. The PUC should ensure that the public can be heard before lifting the ban. The PUC and the utilities do not have a plan in place to help customers who have fallen behind on their bills because of the pandemic. It’s the hottest month of the year, and unemployment is still in the double digits, and most of the organizations that can help with utilities issues are still closed. Sending out shut-off notices without warning and with no way to catch up on bills or avoid getting shut off is irresponsible and dangerous. Shutoffs will exacerbate the public health crisis. People need utilities to wash their hands and remain safely in their homes. The PUC needs to keep the ban in place until they have found a way to keep people safe.
We want to tell the PUC why they CANNOT leave Pennsylvanians in the dark.
Share your story about how the shutoff ban, or moratorium, has helped you and your family stay safe during the pandemic, and what getting shut off right now would mean for you.
Please do not use this form to get legal assistance. We cannot take cases through this form. If you live in Philadelphia, please call us at 215-981-3700 and leave us a message if you need legal assistance with your utilities. You can find more information at clsphila.org/services/utilities/.