Washington state regulators extend utility cutoff protections

State regulators extended protections for electric and natural gas utility cutoffs for people who can’t pay due to financial hardships during the pandemic.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission ordered investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington to continue a moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment until Sept. 30, 2021. Also, utilities will continue to waive deposits for new customers and all late fees through March 29, 2022.

This comes after Gov. Jay Inslee issued an extension of the statewide ratepayer assistance proclamation.

In April 2020, Inslee issued a proclamation banning energy, water and telecommunication companies from disconnecting customers due to nonpayment. It has been extended multiple times.

Customers who are struggling should contact their utilities to ask about their options.

Officials said UTC staff are available to assist customers who need help working with their utilities and are available at 888-333-WUTC (9882) or via chat during regular business hours at www.utc.wa.gov.