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MPUC: April 19th Brings Change in Electric & Gas Utility Service Disconnection Rules
April 12, 2011
Augusta, Maine— The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) reminds all gas and electric consumers that—as always happens in mid-April--disconnection protection is lifted starting next week, on April 19th. It will not be reinstated again until November 15. During the winter season, electric and gas utilities may not disconnect utility service without express permission from the Commission’s Consumer Assistance Division. During the summer period, utilities are not required to receive permission from the Consumer Assistance Division prior to disconnecting customers. They must still, however, follow Commission rules which govern the timely issuance of disconnection notices and other procedures before a utility service may be terminated. “The season of ‘winter rules’ for utility disconnections is ending soon, and consumers need to be aware of their rights and obligations,” said Commission Chair Tom Welch. The Commission encourages consumers who have not paid their entire amounts-due over the winter and are unable to bring their accounts current (or pay the full amount due) immediately to contact their electric or gas utility to ensure that payment arrangements are either established or are up to date and fully understood by both parties. If there is a disagreement, consumers should contact the Commission’s Consumer Assistance Division at 1-800-452-4699. The Consumer Assistance Division can assist consumers in their efforts to negotiate a payment plan with their utility. In addition, customers can also call 2-1-1, which can direct them to federal, state and local resources available to help them pay utility bills.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service and Dig Safe.
Contact: Evelyn deFrees 207-287-6141 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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