RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is seeking comments on a proposed regulation designed to establish reasonable limits on the ability of electric and water service providers to terminate service to residential customers who have a serious medical condition. The SCC was directed by the Virginia General Assembly to have such regulations in place by October 31, 2011.
Enacted by the legislature to promote public health and safety, the new requirement expands existing law that currently prohibits termination of a customer’s service without 10 days notice, by mail, to the customer. The SCC was directed to establish a rule consistent with the public interest.
Under the proposed regulation, any customer who provides the certification of a licensed physician that the customer has a serious medical condition or the customer resides with a family member with a serious medical condition could seek an additional 30 days before service is disconnected.
Eligible customers should be encouraged to have a serious medical condition form on file with the utility. If not on file, the proposed regulation includes a 10-day period for supplying such to the utility in order to have service termination delayed for 30 days from the original termination notice.
The proposed regulation provides additional time for a residential customer to enter into a payment plan with the utility or make arrangements for housing or medical care. As proposed, the regulation allows a customer to delay service termination twice within a 12-month period.
Comments on the proposed regulation are due by August 16, 2011, and must refer to case number PUE-2011-00060.
Written comments may be sent to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118.
Those who desire to submit comments electronically may do so at the SCC’s website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Click on the PUBLIC COMMENTS/NOTICES link and then the SUBMIT COMMENTS button for the specific case.
Case Number PUE-2011-00060