- In what situations may a utility terminate my service?
- If an ill or injured occupant of my residence depends on utility service for health reasons, can I prevent or delay disconnection of my service for failure to pay the bill?
- How much notice does a utility have to give me before my service can be disconnected?
- Can my utility service be shut off on a weekend or holiday?
- What are the rules that apply to restoration of service if a customer is shut off for failure to pay the bill?
- Where can I find the rules that electric and gas utilities must follow when it comes to terminating and restoring service?
1. In what situations may a utility terminate my service?
In general, electric, gas, water, and telecommunications utilities may terminate service, after providing notice to the occupant, for failure to pay a delinquent bill or provide a security deposit, or for violating a rule applicable to the utility service. Utilities may terminate service without notice in certain limited situations, for example, unsafe or hazardous conditions, theft, fraud, or abandonment of a service location.
Telecommunications companies must continue to provide access to call 911 and a number to contact the utility when they shut off basic service temporarily due to nonpayment. A telecommunications company may block calling features (like caller ID or voicemail) for delinquent telephone service charges. Blocking of these features is not regulated by the PUCN. The telephone company is not required to give notice prior to the actual blocking of the feature. To dispute or remove this block, you can contact the company for an explanation and request removal of the block, or meet the company’s payment criteria.
2. If a medically fragile occupant of my residence depends on utility service for health reasons, can I prevent or delay disconnection of my service for failure to pay the bill?
Yes, if the electric, gas, water, or telecommunications utility is notified before it shuts off the service. Your doctor or a public health official must provide a statement to the utility that termination of utility service would be especially dangerous to the health of someone in the home. The utility company must postpone termination of service for 30 days. The postponement may be extended for 30 more days if the utility company is provided with a renewed medical certificate.
The statement from the doctor or public health official must state that the termination of service would be especially dangerous to a permanent resident of the home. The statement must be in writing and include:
- The address where service is provided.
- The name of the person who is ill or injured.
- A clear description of the health issue.
- The name, title and signature of the health care professional.
A medical postponement does not relieve the responsibility of the customer to pay the bill. A customer who obtains a medical postponement will be asked to sign a payment plan.
3. How much notice does a utility have to give me before my service can be disconnected?
Before a gas, electric, or water company may disconnect service, the company must provide a 10-day written notice explaining, among other things, the reason for the disconnection, the amount which must be paid in order to avoid shut-off, and the earliest date you will be disconnected if you fail to pay the amount owed. If not paid after the first notice, the utility must provide a second notice at least 48 hours before termination your service.
Telephone companies are required to give you a disconnection notice at least five days before shutting off your service.
4. Can my utility service be shut off on a weekend or holiday?
Utilities may not disconnect or terminate service the day before a weekend, on the weekend, or on a State holiday, unless there is a safety issue that requires that service be disconnected.
5. What are the rules that apply to restoration of service if a gas or electric customer is shut off for failure to pay the bill?
After NV Energy has shut off gas or electric service, it is required to restore service promptly once payment is made or once credit arrangements satisfactory to the utility have been made. Except for reasons beyond its control and for multiunit residential complexes, the utility shall restore service on the same day if payment is received by the utility at or before 10:00 a.m. If payment is received after 10:00 a.m., service shall be restored within 24 hours after the time payment is received by the utility.
After Southwest Gas Corporation has shut off service, the utility shall restore service to a customer as soon as conditions permit once the customer has complied with all rules pertaining to payments, deposits, and safety.
To avoid inadvertent delay, the customer should contact the utility to ensure that any payment submitted by the customer has been received by the utility.
6. Where can I find the rules that electric and gas utilities must follow when it comes to terminating and restoring service?
The rules that electric and gas utilities must follow when it comes to terminating service are contained in the utilities’ tariffs. Click on the links below to view the tariffs.
Please contact the PUCN for help obtaining other utilities’ tariffs.