Electric Past Due – Can they turn it off? (Not mine)

posted 3 years ago in Finances
Post # 2
648 posts
Busy bee

That depends on the legistlation where you are located. Try looking on the website for the electrical company or google the laws in your area. 

Post # 3
41 posts

Call the electric company. It depends on the company. 

For anyone with a life sustaining medical equipment, they typically will not turn it off, but it always best to communicate all of this with the company. Calling and trying to work something out is best. 

Post # 5
9380 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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crazychickenlady :  research the laws in your state because I’m sure it varies. Having that knowledge will be helpful when you call the utility company because they might be banking on the customer NOT knowing their rights if they are doing something sketchy. For example I once had an apartment that included all utilities….and then my landlord never paid them. My neighbors and I discovered when the electricity was shut off one day in the middle of a blistering heat wave. I found out after the whole debacle that if it’s a tenant/landlord situation the utility must also provide notice to the tenants about the impending shut off AND give them the chance to pay the bill to keep their power on. The company didn’t provide us notice or an opportunity to pay the bill and had we known better we could have used that regulation to get our power turned back on while we fought with the landlord. 

Post # 6
5232 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

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crazychickenlady :  in my state, if a mental health professional contacts the electric company and tells them that shutting the power off will be detrimental to the mental health of their patient, the company cannot shut the electric off for a certain amount of time

If your state allows it, if she has a doctor, can the doctor reach out?

Post # 8
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

It depends.  Look into the law, call the power company and consider referring these folks to other services who help with utilities.  I know when I worked at a United Way most of our winter assistance was with utility bills. 

Post # 9
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - City, State

I’ve never heard “They can’t turn it off if it’s winter,” all I know is that there are typically special grants for utilities in inclement weather (ex: seniors get an extra heating dividend in my area, stuff like that). I don’t know what the laws in your state are. I would suggest calling the electric company. I know someone who had their power shut off TWICE in 6 months, apparently here they either wait until it’s 90 days overdue OR when it reaches $500, but again it varies state to state. 

Post # 10
982 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Has she tried to get them to agree to a payment plan? In my experience (in my irresponsible and financially unstable early 20’s), they’re always willing to work with you if you can at least pay SOMETHING and agree to a payment plan. It will also help if she provides proof of financial hardship. That’s in my area, anyway.

Post # 11
10008 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Depends on the state I think. In my state they have a ban through certain months where they cannot turn off your power because people would freeze to death.

They will turn it off the second that ban lifts though lol. Happened to a friend of mine who thought she could just like, not pay her bills all winter…

Post # 12
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I used to work in the collections department of a utility company. It truly does depend on the state tarrifs and the amount past due. There are “cold weather rules” in certain states where if it’s a certain temperature, they can’t shut it off, but the second it goes above that, they can shut it off. In other states, the rule runs from November to April and nothing can be shut off during that time. It’s best to call the company and ask. We also took “guantees” from charity agencies, and as long as the charity pledged the money, we would cancel the shut off.

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