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Tennessee Public Utility Commission: Actions Taken to Assist Customers During COVID-19 Outbreak

TPUC Adopts Lifting Service Disconnection Motion

Monday, August 10, 2020 | 04:30pm

Nashville, Tennessee – The Tennessee Public Utility Commission today adopted a motion that the Commission’s moratorium on service disconnections for nonpayment be lifted effective August 29, 2020.  The moratorium was a pro-active measure enacted by the Commission in March of this year to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 during Tennessee’s State of Emergency status invoked by Governor Bill Lee.

Customers must be provided a minimum 30-day written notice of the utility’s intent to resume its procedures for
disconnection of service due to nonpayment of bills.   The written notice shall provide the date on which the utility will resume its procedures for cutoffs for nonpayment of services, which can resume no sooner than September 28, 2020, thirty days after the moratorium is lifted.

In view of the pandemic’s impact on Tennessee customers and businesses, the Commission recognized the need to
balance the unprecedented challenges customers and businesses faced as the state transitioned to reopening safely into an environment of normalcy for its citizens. Today’s approved motion marks the first affirmative steps towardsthat end.

“I want to be the first to acknowledge the responsiveness with which Tennessee’s regulated utilities along with the Attorney
General’s, Consumer Advocate Unit, addressed the matter of service disconnections,” said Tennessee Public Utility Commission Chairman Kenneth C. Hill.

“Your cooperation and willingness to partner with us in this effort undoubtedly reduced the economic burden of
countless businesses and households during a time of great uncertainty for our citizens. Thank you.”

The Commission’s regulatory jurisdiction and authority extends only to private investor-owned public utilities and not
to utility services provided by any city, county, utility district or cooperative entity. Moreover, telecommunications companies that have elected market-based regulation under Tennessee Code Annotated 65-5-109 are also not subject to the Commission’s order prohibiting service disconnections.

Contact: Greg Mitchell, Media
(615) 741-6883