Eversource to resume shutoffs for nonpayment

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Eversource Energy will resume utility service shutoffs for nonpayment beginning May 2.

The company had refrained from cutting off people’s electricity since the COVID-19 pandemic, but said it will return to pre-COVID rules, regardless of a customer’s hardship status.

Eversource announced the news Wednesday, saying shutoffs are a last resort and encourages those who need help paying their bills to take advantage of its assistance programs. Eversource said it is ready to work with all customers one-on-one to connect them with payment options and programs to avoid service disconnection.

“We know how challenging life has been for our customers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jess Cain, Eversource’s vice president of customer operations and assistance programs. “In response, service disconnections have been suspended for customers with a financial hardship since March 2020. The last thing we ever want to do is shut off service to any customer, yet unpaid energy bills increase costs for all customers.”

Cain said customers who face a service shut-off for nonpayment will receive multiple letters in the mail from Eversource informing them service is scheduled to be shut off and the steps they should take to avoid disconnection.

Cain said Eversource customers who meet state income requirements are eligible for financial hardship programs and bill assistance.

Eversource said flexible payment plans are available to all customers, regardless of income, to pay their past-due balance over a period of time. Residential customers with active service may be eligible for payment plans up to 18 months.

The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program provides up to $530 for winter heating costs. Apply at ct.gov/heatinghelp.

The Matching Payment Program can lower the amount customers owe. For every dollar they pay and every dollar they receive from CEAP, Eversource will subtract a dollar from the amount they owe. Customers can visit Eversource.com/billhelp to enroll.

Eversource’s New Start Program can help customers pay off a past-due balance in as little as 12 months. With on-time monthly payments, some of what is owed will be subtracted each month.

Eversource also is offering a new discount to customers with a financial hardship of up to 50% of their electric bill per month.

Customers can see if they qualify by visiting Eversource.com/billhelp.

For information, call Eversource at 800-286-2828.