Taxpayers and ratepayers in Virginia will foot bill on utility shutoff moratorium

Electric, water and other utilities will be unable to shut off services on people who are not paying their bills until Oct. 5, and some of the cost to these companies ultimately will fall on ratepayers who are paying their bills or taxpayers as a whole.

Although the moratorium on utility shutoffs, which began more than six months ago, was supposed to expire in mid-September, the State Corporation Commission extended it at the request of Gov. Ralph Northam. The governor made the request to give the General Assembly more time to address legislation regarding unpaid utilities, which includes debt forgiveness proposals and repayment plans for customers.

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