Utility companies are deferring bill payment during COVID-19 pandemic

NORTH MISSISSIPPI (WCBI)- During this pandemic, families across the U.S. are facing many unknowns.

People who are now unemployed are left to figure out how to pay their bills and provide for their families.

That’s why electric companies are giving customers a way to keep their lights on.

“Working with our members is always number one and making sure they get what they need,” said Jon Turner of 4-County Electric.

Turner says the Mississippi Public Service Commission is working with utility companies to temporarily suspend any disconnection fees for all customers.

If families find themselves needing assistance to pay, there are a few options to choose from.

“We have a certain type of billing which keeps your monthly bill fairly even so you don’t get much fluctuation. It’s nice in times like this because you kind of know what the bill is going to be. We also have our pre-paid program so folks can pay as they go so you’re not having a big bill and you can pay a little bit as it suits you,” said Turner.

Turner says nearly $500,000 in payments have been deferred for customers who can’t afford it.

And the numbers are almost the same for Starkville Utilities.

“We’ve seen an up-tick of about 25% additional customers that fit into that category which would be past due amounts. If we look at the amount of dollars that it’s affected during this past month we’ve seen an up-tick on that of about 12%,” said General Manager Terry Kemp.

Kemp says although you may not see your bill now, it’s important to still pay what you can to avoid a bigger payment in the future.

“Each time we visit with them, although there won’t be a disconnect we encourage them to pay as much as they can. That will help them and make the process much easier. If they run into an issue with some billing questions, we encourage them to call early and then bill comes out so we can talk through it and come up with the best plan that fits their needs,” said Turner.

You can call your local utility company provider for more information on their payment plans.

Categories: Coronavirus Information, Local News

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