(WYTV) – First Energy customers who have not set up a payment plan or are not actively making payments on their bills may want to do that soon. The company will be starting disconnections again in less than a week.
Earlier this year, First Energy started suspending payments and wasn’t shutting anyone’s power off. Now it’s going to resume disconnections if you haven’t made any kind of payment.
Those disconnections are going to start up again in Ohio October 5.
This is posted to First Energy’s website:
“In Ohio, we will restart service terminations no sooner than October 5, 2020. If the termination date on your disconnection notice is on or after October 5, 2020, your service may be terminated for non-payment. These notices can be used as proof of situation by agencies who provide financial support to assist with bills.”
This all had to be approved by the utility commission First Energy has to work with to resume disconnections. First Energy was originally going to resume in September, but the commission didn’t approve that plan until now.
“When we made the decision to suspend disconnections for overdue accounts at the beginning of the pandemic, we emphasized to our customers that this is temporary. We received the approval from the utility commission to move forward with our plan to resume pre-COVID operations and that means we will be resuming disconnections as early as next month,” said Lauren Siburkis, a First Energy representative.
If you haven’t made any type of payment yet, don’t worry — we have you covered. There are some options to get you set up before October 5.
You could call First Energy directly at 1-800-633-4766 if you live in Ohio or 1-800-720-3600 if you live in Pennsylvania. The company can work with you to set up a percentage payment plan, which allows customers to pay a percentage of their income instead of their actual bill amount.
There are also different grants and funds customers can use if they qualify for them, or you can apply for emergency hardship funds if you’re still unemployed, for example.
First Energy said it wants to work with customers so it doesn’t have to turn off their lights.
“We realize that life hasn’t returned to normal for a lot of our customers. A number of programs will forgive all or part of your bills so that you’re not on the hook for paying a huge sum all at once,” Siburkis said.