A 'Tidal Wave' of Power Cuts May Be Coming as Electric Companies Resume Shutoffs

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Now, the beginning of September looms as yet another deadline as utility companies resume cutting power to customers who have fallen behind on their bills. In some states, moratoriums preventing them from doing so are ending, and in other states, utility company pledges to keep customers connected are winding down. Residents in Ohio, Florida, Maryland, Indiana, and Illinois are all at risk of shutoffs in early September; shutoffs can resume in late September or October in North Carolina,Tennessee and Texas.

“We’re facing a tidal wave of terminations,” says Charlie Harak, senior attorney for energy and utilities issues at the National Consumer Law Center.

There is no national account of how many customers could lose power, but there are certainly millions of people who risk disconnection at a time when people need their utilities the most. Kids need electricity to attend online classes, which will be the norm for hundreds of thousands of them as schools reopen. They need light in the evening to do homework. And in large swaths of the country facing extreme heat, life without power means no fans or air conditioning. Additionally, cutoffs can increase risks of COVID-19 infection by forcing some people to leave their homes and squeeze into cramped quarters with friends or relatives who have electrcity."

-- Alana Semuels, Time Magazine

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