RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has
adopted a rule that establishes limits on the ability of electric and water service
providers to disconnect service to residential customers who have a serious medical
condition. The SCC was directed by the Virginia General Assembly to have such a
regulation in place by October 31, 2011.
Enacted by the legislature to promote public health and safety, the new rule 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 new 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 may seek an additional 30
days before service is disconnected.
Eligible customers are encouraged to have a serious medical condition form on file
with the utility. If not on file, the regulation includes a 10-day period for supplying
such form to the utility in order to have service termination delayed for 30 days
from the original termination notice.
The form (SMCC) is available from the utility service provider or can be downloaded
from the SCC website at: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/pue/rules.aspx.
The new 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. And, the new regulation allows a customer to delay service termination twice
within a 12-month period.
The new regulation takes effect October 31, 2011.
Case Number PUE-2011-00060