Governor, PSC halts power disconnects

Most Louisiana utility customers put at economic risk by coronavirus won’t have to lose service for missing a payment, thanks to an emergency order by Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

The Governor signed LPSC issued an order drafted by PSC commission Executive Secretary Brandon Frey on Friday.  It directs Entergy, Cleco and SWEPCO — and a host of other electric, natural gas, telephone, water and sewer companies regulated by the LPSC — to immediately stop disconnecting customers for non-payment of their bills.

The comprehensive order covers millions of utility customers across all parts of Louisiana.  It only exempts situations where concerns of public safety cause a utility to disconnect a customer, such as a gas leak.  It will remain in place until the LPSC changes or revokes it.

The order cites Gov. John Bel Edwards’ March 11th declaration of a public health emergency.  It says: “Given the severity of these events, and the uncertain impact it may have on Commission-jurisdictional ratepayers, immediate action is required to ensure utility service is not disconnected for non-payment.”