A utility may shut off your service for any of the following reasons:
- You don’t pay a deposit by the due date;
- You don’t pay a past due bill that you owe;
- You don’t pay an installment on a deferred payment arrangement;
- You don’t pay a deposit required because of Payment Avoidance by Location;
- You tamper with the lines or the equipment;
- The residence is unsafe;
- You are stealing service;
- You don’t allow the company to have access to the meter; or
- The bill is in someone else’s name who does not live with you.
A utility company must give you written notification before before it can shut off any services. This written notification must be on red paper and separate from any bills. The notice must be mailed by US mail or hand delivered. The shut off may not happen until at least 10 days from the sending or delivery of the notice to the customer.
If 45 days have passed without the utility company shutting off the utility, then they must send you a new notice. This time the utility company must contact you at least 48 hours before the shut off. The utility must call again within 24 hours of the shut off if the utility was not able to reach you, someone in your household, or leave a message with an answering machine.
Before October 1, utility companies that provide the main heating service to a home must tell customers whose service has been shut off due to nonpayment from the previous December until September 15, how they can restore service.