Legislation to prohibit public utilities from terminating service for nonpayment unless customer is provided certified letter at least 10 business days prior to scheduled termination date was released by the Assembly Telecommunication Committee on Monday. The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Danielsen.
Danielsen said the intent of the legislation is to create a statute for termination of service consistent with the rules and regulations of the BPU approved tariffs of public utilities, and current public utility practice. He aims to correct the injustice of people having their utilities shut off without an exact time of when that may occur.
“Laws regulating disconnection of public utilities in New Jersey must be clear and must help protect the elderly, families with children, disabled, and people with medical conditions,” said Danielsen (D- Middlesex, Somerset). “Disconnection of public utilities can be a health hazard for our most vulnerable populations. Residents should be ensured notification of disconnection in advance so that they are able to respond and resolve the matter quickly.”
This bill would amend current law to provide that a public utility is not to terminate a customer’s service for nonpayment unless the public utility provides the customer a certified letter no less than 10 business days prior to the scheduled termination date notifying the customer that the customer’s service will be terminated for nonpayment on the scheduled termination date.
This act would take effect immediately.
The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.