A new analysis by the Public Utility Law Project shows that the number of households in New York with owed electric and gas bills increased by more than 30% over the last year.
In March 2020, there were 948,177 accounts totaling $745 million. Currently, there are 1.2 million households that collectively owe in excess of $1.5 billion.
Here’s the problem, activists say: When the public health emergency ended in New York- the moratorium on utility shutoffs ended.
That means thousands of households and businesses across the state are at risk of having their utilities shut off due to owed payments.
“Self-certification is literally picking up the telephone and reaching out to the utility and saying ‘my finances have been harmed by the COVID pandemic.’ That’s it,” Richard Berkley told Spectrum News. “You then say you want to claim your six-month grace period.”
After December 21, a total of 1.5 million households are in danger of being shut-off, according to Berkley.