ATLANTA - Georgia Power will stop the suspension of disconnections Wednesday, July 15. The power company kept everyone on the grid since March and the start of the pandemic regardless of if a customer was able to pay right away or not, but that is changing this week.
Anyone who hasn’t been able to make Georgia Power payments since March will have to start thinking about what’s next for their account soon, even though many people are still financially burdened from lasting coronavirus related issues.
The virus forced people across the country to re-examine their budgets including basic utility bills.
Some of those cost-saving adjustments are simple lifestyle changes.
"Use your fans in your house versus air conditioning," Georgia Power representative Allison Gregoire said.
"Get outside and grill, use your microwave instead of the oven, use the dishwasher at night, that’s going to save you money on your bill," she explained.
But times have been especially hard.
The electric company reduced fuel rates by just over 17 percent and suspended disconnections among other measures in March and extended the suspension of disconnections in June. That non-stop service was extended through mid- July, but starting Wednesday, the disconnection suspension ends.
Georgia Power says customers who cannot make payments still have options.
First, there is a payment plan.
"If you, for any reason, did not pay your bills from mid-March arch through July 15 you don’t have to pay until mid-October as long as you sign up for that payment plan," Gregoire said.
The six payments won’t even start until October 2020 through March of next year
Second, for those who aren’t already enrolled, representatives say customers should consider prepaying.
It’s a service that allows users to make current payments, with 25 percent of the bill going toward the outstanding balance.
There are no late fees if an account is up to date by April of 2021.
Simply put, Georgia Power won’t leave anyone in the dark this year, so long as customers put a plan in place. The company is monitoring the shelter in place order that is still in effect for seniors. Should it be extended, those customers will have their service extended, too.
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