PUC Confirms Regulated Utilities Have Suspended Service Disconnections and Late Fees During COVID-19 Emergency

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) has confirmed that utilities it regulates across the state have taken steps to ensure that customers have continued access to essential utility services during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The regulated energy utilities that have confirmed discontinuation of service disconnections and late payment fees include Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp, Idaho Power, NW Natural, Avista, and Cascade Natural Gas. Similarly, the state’s two largest landline telecommunications carriers, CenturyLink and Frontier Communications, as well as smaller landline companies, have confirmed these same customer protections are in place. Regulated water utilities, including Avion, Cline Butte, and Running Y have also stepped up to protect their customers during this time.

“The actions taken by these regulated utilities will help ensure continued access to essential utility services without fear of disconnects or penalty charges for families experiencing hardships during this health crisis,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair.  

Although these efforts help ensure continuation of utility services during this unprecedented time, they do not relieve customers from having to pay their utility bills. Individuals having trouble making utility payments are encouraged to contact their utility service provider directly to learn about bill payment options. For bill payment assistance information, visit www.211info.org.

The PUC will continue to work with the utilities they regulate to ensure continued access to utility services for Oregonians. If customers receive notification that their utility service will be disconnected for non-payment, or if future bills indicate late fee penalties, please contact the PUC’s Consumer Services office by email at puc.consumers@state.or.us or call 503-378-6600 or 800-522-2404.

The PUC is charged with regulating the state’s investor-owned utilities. Our mission is to ensure Oregon utility customers have access to safe, reliable, and high quality utility services at just and reasonable rates. The PUC does not regulate the rates of consumer-owned utilities, municipal utilities, or wireless and broadband communications providers.