RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–Thousands of Dominion Energy customers in Virginia, who have fallen more than two months behind on payments, are facing disconnections.
The company resumed power disconnections Monday after keeping utilities on for all customers regardless of payment in the pandemic. Rayhan Daudani, a spokesperson for Dominion, said those who haven’t paid their bill in over 60 days and are not considered vulnerable customers will have to start paying up.
“If you ever received utility assistance or you ever received assistance from the state in terms of SNAP or WIC, you should not have to worry about disconnection until at least March,” he said.
Some people were in financial strains before the pandemic began and fell way behind on their power bills. Daudani said because of legislation, some of those people would be considered vulnerable customers. He said most customers who paid their bill on time before the pandemic are the ones struggling to keep up with their utility bills now.
“There’s people who probably were never behind on their bill because they never had to really look for these options about payment plans and financial assistance like Energy Share before because they’ve never been in this situation,” he said.
This includes people like Doris Fuquay, who lives in Richmond’s Southside. She has been a Dominion customer for several years said she recently fell six months behind on her bill.
“I got behind, so I felt so bad about that. I was up to date on everything until then,” she said.
Fuquay said she had a few injuries and bills began piling up in April. Her medical bills and house repairs took priority, but Dominion Energy came out recently to make repairs to her home. Crews insulated her walls, attic and under her home to keep the air from escaping.
“I had it pretty bad because I’m on oxygen, now I’m on it 24/7,” she said.
However, she’s set up a payment plan with the power company and won’t have to worry about her lights going off. Daudani said customers can set up a payment plan with Dominion that stretches up to two years. They can also apply for funding from EnergyShare to avoid having their power disconnected
To set up a payment plan you can visit their website by clicking here or calling 866-366-4357.