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Update #3: Pennsylvania Prohibits Disconnections; ComEd Suspends Shutoffs

New York Utilities Suspend Disconnections

PUCs Undertake Coronavirus Measures, Disconnection Moratoriums, New Utilities Added (Including States With Supplier Consolidated Billing)

FERC Cancels Monthly Meeting

Paper Filing Requirements Eased Or Eliminated

March 13, 2020

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Copyright 2010-20
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Update #3, March 16

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille signed an emergency order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations. The moratorium will remain in place for as long as the Proclamation of Disaster, issued by Gov. Tom Wolf on March 6 related to the Coronavirus, is in effect.

ComEd announced a moratorium on service disconnections and is waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1.

Ameren will suspend service disconnections and forgive late payment fees for non-payment through at least May 1.

The Illinois Commerce Commission encouraged the states utilities to undertake such action and said it may take more formal measures concerning disconnection suspension at its meeting this week

Earlier: (March 13)

Update #2, 4:35 p.m.

The New York PSC said that, in response to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s directive, the PSC will work with utilities across the State to ensure any customers affected by COVID-19 restrictions will not lose power or heat due to financial hardship. The State’s major electric, gas, and water utilities will take immediate action to suspend service shutoffs to households during the COVID-19 outbreak, the PSC said

The State’s major electric and gas utilities — Con Edison, National Grid, Central Hudson, Orange and Rockland, New York State Electric and Gas, Rochester Electric and Gas, PSEG Long Island and National Fuel Gas — and major private water companies have all committed to suspend shut-offs for customers, and assist customers impacted by COVID-19 who may be experiencing financial hardship that makes it difficult for them to pay their utility bills during the outbreak, the PSC said

Updated, 3:21 pm March 13

Con Edison said that it is suspending temporarily any electric and gas service shutoffs involving customers having payment difficulties.


Several state utility regulators have undertaken actions in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio directed, "all public utilities under its jurisdiction to review their service disconnection policies, practices, and tariff provisions and to promptly seek any necessary approval to suspend otherwise applicable requirements that may impose a service continuity hardship on residential and non-residential customers or create unnecessary COVID-19 risks associated with social contact." (Case 20-591-AU-UNC)

As previously reported, AEP Ohio has a supplier consolidated billing pilot program. While an Ohio utility cannot disconnect for non-payment of CRES retail supplier charges in any case, suppliers engaged in SCB have assumed the risk of payment for distribution charges for which disconnection could otherwise be ordered by the utility, prior to the directive above

Several additional states and/or individual utilities, where suppliers do not conduct billing of distribution charges, have issued disconnection moratoriums (such as Connecticut, and individually PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric). Although there may not an immediate impact on retail suppliers, such actions may impact future uncollectibles and therefore future POR discount rates

FERC issued a notice stating that, upon the affirmative votes of Chairman Chatterjee and Commissioners Glick and McNamee, the Commission cancelled the Commission meeting scheduled for March 19, 2020. All orders listed on the Sunshine Act Notice that was published on March 12, 2020, will be processed by notational voting, FERC said

PUCO also ordered that paper and facsimile filing of documents with the Commission’s docketing division is suspended until further notice.

The Maryland PSC issued a notice stating that easing paper filing requirements during the COVID-19 emergency would enable more flexible Commission operations and allow stakeholders to engage with the Commission more easily.

Therefore, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the Maryland PSC is waiving the paper filing requirements of COMAR, and accepting certain non-confidential or non-proprietary filings of 25 pages or less without the submission of an original or additional paper copies.

The Commission will require 2 paper copies – an original and a duplicate – of confidential and proprietary filings (and an electronic copy), and other filings, such as original bonds, that by operation of law or their nature must be submitted in original form. All filings consisting of more than 25 pages must also be supplemented with 2 paper copies – an original and a duplicate (in addition to the electronic copy).

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