Big North Carolina utilities told to stop disconnections longer

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Utilities (Electricity, Gas and Water) (Photo: Pixabay/ Freepik.com)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina regulators have told the state’s big for-profit electric, natural gas and water utilities to keep delaying disconnections through August as customers still struggle financially from COVID-19.

The state Utilities Commission issued an order late Wednesday, the same day a provision expired in Gov. Roy Cooper’s separate executive order that prevented shutoffs for all residential customers.

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The expiration meant local governments and cooperatives could resume disconnections, but the commission wrote to say for-profit companies like Duke Energy and Dominion Energy must wait until at least Sept. 1.

Unpaid utility bill expenses statewide at the end of June were at least $258 million.