2020 Special Session I

Budget Amendments - HB5005 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Aird
Utility Disconnection Moratorium and Emergency Debt Repayment Plan (language only)

Item 4-14 #4h

Item 4-14 #4h

Effective Date
Effective Date


Page 241, strike lines 1 through 20, and insert:

"7. a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon the declaration by the Governor of a state of emergency pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia in response to a communicable disease of public health threat as defined in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia, electric companies, natural gas suppliers, and water service providers (“utilities”) are prohibited from disconnecting service for non-payment of bills or fees until at least 60 days after such declared state of emergency ends. The following provisions shall apply:

1.) The utilities shall notify all residential customers of this extension of the utility disconnection moratorium and the Emergency Debt Repayment Plan (EDR Plan); and

2.)The utilities and residential customers shall agree in writing to engage in a EDR Plan.

b. No more than 60 days after the enactment of this act, utilities must offer residential customers the right to enter into a EDR Plan for arrearages accrued during the aforementioned state of emergency. The following provisions shall apply:

1.) The EDR Plan shall not require any new deposits, down payments, or fees to enroll, nor shall such plans accrue any fees, interest or penalties, including prepayment penalties;

2.) The EDR Plan can amortize the repayment over no more than 24 months;

3.) The monthly amortized payments shall be limited to such amount that can be affordable and sustainable throughout the repayment period for the residential customer, and shall be determined by means established by the utility and agreed to by the customer, otherwise such payment shall be no more than $45.50;

4.) The utilities shall not apply eligibility criteria, such as installment plan history, nor shall utilities report anything to credit bureaus or other debt collectors on payments owed while residential customers on the EDR Plan;

5.) Residential customers shall be able to enroll in and begin repayment under an EDR Plan prior to the end of the state of emergency, if mutually agreed between the utility and the residential customer;

6.) At any time a residential customer can seek relief from an EDR Plan and enter into another payment plan offered by the utility, or ask to renegotiate the terms of their EDR Plan

c. Nothing herein shall limit or prevent the utilities or the residential customers from applying or seeking debt relief or mitigation from any available resource."


(This amendment establishes the Emergency Debt Repayment plan for residential customers and utility companies to address past due accounts that stemmed from the public health emergency.)