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home : state news : state news May 25, 2020

3/31/2020 4:34:00 PM
New Order Prohibits Utility Shutoffs

Lincoln Herald Staff
lh@lincolnherald.net


Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday afternoon (March 31st) another step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. 

The order directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment.

Telecommunication companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are urged (but not required) to follow the same rules. 

“This action is particularly important since tomorrow is the first of the month, and I know that’s a date many families fear when they can’t make ends meet,” said Cooper. “These protections will help families stay in their homes and keep vital services like electricity, water, and communications going as we Stay at Home.”

Additionally, the order encourages (but does not require) banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties. Landlords are strongly encouraged in the order to follow the spirit of Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s Order and delay any evictions that are already entered in the court system. 

Governor Cooper was joined by Attorney General Josh Stein to announce the order and he thanked companies that have already voluntarily announced policies to prevent shutoffs, including Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, AT&T, and local electric co-ops, among many others. Monday’s order follows the Governor’s Stay At Home order, which is in effect until April 29th.

Read the full order here.

Read an FAQ about the order here.

The NC Department of Revenue also announced expanded tax relief measures Monday, waiving penalties for late filing or payments of multiple state tax categories. Learn more about this tax relief here.

Make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. For more information, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which includes daily updates on positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

South Carolina Henry McMaster issued a stay at home order for his state Monday.  It differs somewhat from North Carolina's but does include shutting down some businesses considered non-essential including barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, gyms, theaters, bowling alleys and strip clubs.

 



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