Hartford, CT – In a formal petition today with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Attorney General William Tong sought an emergency moratorium on electric, natural gas, and water utility shut-offs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The petition seeks to cease all utility service terminations for a 30 day period subject to renewal to ensure all residents may safely remain home during the epidemic.
“Running water and a way to heat that water—through electricity or natural gas— are essential for COVID-19 prevention sanitization. There are many Connecticut families heeding public health and safety warnings by staying at home in quarantine due to COVID-19 infection, potential exposure to COVID-19, or flu-like symptoms. In order to maintain Connecticut’s public health and safety, such families must be able to comfortably stay at home under safe conditions which include running utilities that are essential for hygiene, cleaning, cooking, and climate control,” Attorney General Tong states in the petition. “In addition, many families are staying at home—or may be forced to stay at home—due to work and school closures in response to the pandemic virus. It would be impossible for home schooling in households with no electricity, which raises educational equity issues as students from low-income or otherwise vulnerable families would not have the same at-home learning opportunities without electricity for internet services.”
Assistant Attorneys General Lauren Bidra, John Wright and Consumer Protection Department Head Michael Wertheimer are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.