Utilities temporarily halt disconnections


The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued an order on March 13, 2020, urging utilities to promptly seek approval to suspend any requirements that might impose a “service continuity hardship” on customers. The Commission urged utilities under its jurisdiction to review their disconnection policies and other practices in light of the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. All such filings by the utility companies are deemed approved on an emergency basis for a period of at least 30 days effective as of the filing date or until such date as the Commission may otherwise specify, not be less than 30 days.

The Commission also encouraged utilities not under its jurisdiction to suspend disconnections, which may create unnecessary risks associated with spreading the virus. In the wake of those moves, all of Ohio’s investor-owned utilities have suspended disconnections for customers whose bills are past due, and other utility providers are taking similar steps.

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