Many lower-income households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout face financial turmoil. This crisis threatens their access to essential water and electric services. Recognizing this, on Saturday, Gov. Roy Cooper extended the utilities cutoff moratorium.
“North Carolinians need relief to help make ends meet during the pandemic,” said Gov. Cooper. “Extending housing and utility protections will mean more people can stay in their homes and stay safe as we all work to slow the spread of this virus.”
The Council of State concurred with Cooper’s order without objections. The council is composed of the following independently elected state executive officials: the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, secretary of public instruction, and the commissioners of labor, agriculture, and insurance.
The order (PDF) applies to essential utilities such as water and electricity, and:
- Continues effective immediately and lasts 60 days
- Prohibits utility disconnections for all customers
- Prohibits billing or collection of late fees, penalties, and other charges for failure to pay
- Extends repayment plans at least six months, and sets the default term for repayment to six months for cases when the utility and customer cannot agree on the terms of an extended repayment plan.