CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Utilities Commission in North Carolina has extended an order that prevents utilities from being disconnected if a user cannot pay for the service. The order has been extended through September 1. That's good news for thousands of families in Mecklenburg County who are worried about paying bills during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the order, customers must pay the September bill and work on paying the past due amounts on an account. When it comes to mortgage and rent and utilities, there have been some protections built in, but it is on the customer to make good by at least communicating the circumstances and paying something, even if it’s just a little bit.
Crisis Assistance Ministry has been offering help during the pandemic. Liana Humphry said the organization has helped more than a thousand families in Mecklenburg County.
She also said many people in the community have stepped up to make donations to help neighbors in need. "We have had examples of people sending in notes with checks saying they still have their job and that their stimulus money could better help someone else. That money helps keep people in their homes and their lights on and water flowing," said Humphry.
Those who need help with paying utility bills can contact Duke Energy. Customers should download the company's mobile app or visit the website for more information and most service transactions. Customers can also call Duke Energy Carolinas at 1-800-777-9898.
Duke Energy’s customer service specialists are available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to assist customers with customized payment plans that meet their specific situations.
Those wishing to donate to help others who are struggling can do so through Crisis Assistance Ministry or by donating unused gift cards to the organization.
Here are a list of resources in surrounding counties for help: