HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — As many people find themselves without work and without a paycheck as businesses temporarily close to the COVID-19 pandemic, some utility services are waiving disconnections for non-payment.
Late last week, Dominion Energy announced they would suspend all disconnections because they know that customers rely on services to get through dealing with disruptions like self-isolating due to the virus and having students home for two unexpected weeks.
“Our customers should not have to worry about losing service during this critical time," Dominion said in a statement. "Therefore, Dominion Energy suspended all service disconnections for nonpayment earlier this week. We know the communities we serve rely on us to provide an essential service. We remain committed to providing reliable energy service 24-7.”
On Monday, the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) announced that they would do the same until further notice.
SVEC said they're waiving disconnections and non-payment and late payment penalty fees for residential members while working with small business and commercial members on a case-by-case basis.
"The cooperative reached this decision with measured, consistent thought and care prior to taking action to ensure we can maintain our level of service to members," they said in a statement.
They did emphasize, however, that while disconnections and late payment fees are being suspended until further notice, it does not release members from the responsibility of paying their electric bills.
At the end of the pandemic, SVEC will offer payment agreements, but electric bills will remain on account and require payment.
The Harrisonburg Electric Commission says they are continuing to monitor the situation and encouraging customers to take needed steps to prevent the spread of the disease. You can find their statement here.