Dominion Energy, which provides electricity and natural gas for more than 7 million homes and businesses across 20 states, has extended a pandemic policy to help customers who can’t pay their bills.
The company’s no-disconnection policy will now continue through mid-September, the company said in a news release. Dominion also has expanded payment options and is donating an additional $500,000 to EnergyShare, an ongoing program to help low-income, disabled and elderly customers.
“We are committed to making it easy for customers to work with us and to find payment arrangements or plans that best match their individual budgets and circumstances,” Rodney Blevins, president Dominion Energy South Carolina, said in a statement. “This is a difficult time for everyone; we want to help make it a little less stressful.”
Dominion Energy began its no-disconnection policy on March 12 for S.C. customers who had gotten behind on their utility bills. Other options have included flexible payment options, waivers for reconnection fees and cancellation of fees for late payments.
South Carolina later required utilities to suspend disconnections, but that state rule ended May 14. Dominion said the company decided to continue the policy through Sept. 14.
Dominion said the company also will continue to waive fees and interest for electric and gas customers on any balance carried through the no-disconnect period. Blevins encouraged customers who were having trouble paying to contact Dominion to develop a plan for their own situation.
“This will help customers avoid a larger balance later,” he said in a statement. “In the coming months, we will evaluate next steps based on a range of factors, including the needs of our customers and economic conditions.”