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United Way of Lancaster County


Pa.’s winter utility shutoff moratorium ends today

With Pennsylvania’s annual winter moratorium on utility shutoffs ending today, the state Public Utility Commission is advising consumers with past-due balances on their bills to contact their utility companies to discuss payment options.

Companies regulated by the PUC are barred from shutting off service to lower-income households between Dec. 1 and March 31 for nonpayment of bills. Certain providers are exempt, such as municipal power companies, but often choose to observe the moratorium voluntarily.

The moratorium applies to heat and heat-related water service.

Utilities are now sending out reminders, including termination notices, to past-due customers, the PUC said. All regulated utilities have customer assistance programs and direct conversations between customers and utilities “are the best first step” to resolve issues and avoid termination, the commission said.

Shutoffs are allowed to begin Monday, and may only take place on Mondays through Thursdays. Utilities must provide a notice indicating the reason for the shutoff and how service can be restored.

Customers who cannot resolve an issue with their utility may call the commission’s consumer hotline at (800) 692-7380.