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Thu Oct 1, 2020, 04:13 PM

Millions of Americans risk losing power and water as massive, unpaid utility bills pile up

Source: Washington Post

Millions of Americans risk losing power and water as massive, unpaid utility bills pile up

More than 179 million people may be at risk for shut-offs as many state protections end.

By Tony Romm
10/1/2020, 2:40:01 p.m.

-snip-

The worst economic crisis in more than a generation has thrust potentially millions of Americans across the country into a similar, sudden peril: Cash-strapped, and in some cases still unemployed, they have fallen far behind on their electricity, water and gas bills, staring down the prospect of potential utility shut-offs and fast-growing debts they may never be able to repay.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many states acted quickly to ensure their residents would not lose their power or other utilities if their jobs or wages were slashed. Now, however, only 21 states and the District of Columbia still have such disconnection bans in place. That leaves roughly 179 million Americans at risk of losing service even as the economy continues sputtering, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, which is tracking the moratoria. Millions more in nine other states are set to lose their protections starting Thursday and throughout the fall, the group found.

Americans nationwide also appear to be racking up massive unpaid bills in the process. Electric and gas debts alone threaten to reach or exceed $24.3 billion by the end of the year, according to a new NEADA analysis, released Thursday, based on roughly two dozen states’ regulatory filings. In some cases, the delinquencies appear to be severe. In Indiana, for example, more than 112,000 households are behind 120 days or more on their power bills, a Washington Post analysis of the largest local energy companies’ records found. The debt, totaling millions of dollars, is four times greater than the arrears accrued during the same period in 2019, the data shows.

“The people who were struggling before are struggling even more,” said Mark Wolfe, the NEADA’s executive director.

Utility companies generally are not required to disclose how many Americans are behind on their payments, and by how much, complicating efforts to study the effects of the pandemic and craft effective policy responses. In some cases, power, water and gas providers have actively lobbied against the kind of robust shut-off moratoria that advocates say are essential.

-snip-

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/10/01/power-water-gas-bills/

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Reply Millions of Americans risk losing power and water as massive, unpaid utility bills pile up (Original post)
Eugene Oct 1 OP
LizBeth Oct 1 #1
BeckyDem Oct 1 #2
BeckyDem Oct 3 #3

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 04:16 PM

1. I was in a thread last night how we are doing good, don't need it, Pelosi was blowing it helping

people. That it was a bad political move and we should wait until after election. When Republicans had no incentive to help the people. I am reading all kinds of things today, including the airlines loss of jobs, why that stimulation is so important.

I know it is, I am applying but I am getting nothing, since I lost my job due to covid in March.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 07:15 PM

2. Shameful.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 07:14 PM

3. kick

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