Utilities Seek to Change Gas and Electric Shutoff Policies

Charleston Gazette - What type of notification should electric and gas companies have to give to customers before they shut off their power and heat? Read

That is the main question the state Public Service Commission will have to decide as part of an ongoing case, which advocates say could drastically affect the state's poor and elderly populations.

On March 27, the PSC opened a general investigation into the state's utility termination policies, largely due to complaints raised by Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power during their most recent rate case.

The two companies -- both AEP subsidiaries -- voiced concerns that because of aggression by hundreds of their customers, utility workers were being placed in harm's way by meeting people face-to-face before services are cut off.

Currently, PSC rules require electric and gas companies to show up at customers' homes -- along with sending a shutoff notice -- before ending services for unpaid bills.


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