Cuomo will propose moratorium on utility disconnections for regions in state of emergency

Posted 10 January 2021 at 5:55 pm

Legislation will include electric, gas, water, telecommunications, cable and internet

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a proposal to prohibit utility disconnections in regions that are under a state of emergency as part of the 2021 State of the State.

The Governor will propose legislation that will apply to electric, gas, water, telecommunications, cable and internet services. Utilities that fail to comply will be subject to penalties.

“In a year in which we dealt with an unprecedented pandemic, ferocious storms added insult to injury by knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “Utility companies provide essential services, and we need to make sure they continue to provide them, rain or shine. That’s why we’re proposing legislation to make sure that New Yorkers, especially those living in regions under states of emergency, have access to these critical services to provide for themselves and their families.”

Cuomo has taken a series of actions to protect New Yorkers’ access to utilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, the Governor signed legislation extending a moratorium that prevents utility companies from disconnecting utilities to residential households that are struggling with their bills due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Utility companies must instead offer these individuals a deferred payment agreement on any past-due balance.