Early Moratorium Results From the 2021 Utility Fee Survey

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We are all acutely aware of the impact COVID-19 has had on utility operations and the ability of your customers to pay their bills. For that reason, I included questions in the 2021 Utility Fee Survey asking if utilities suspended late fees and cut-offs for non-payment due to the pandemic and, if they did, have they have resumed.

As the preliminary results for the 2021 Utility Fee Survey continue to come in, I’ve taken an interest in how utilities are responding to those questions. I knew many suspended late fees and cut-offs for non-payment and was curious to see how many are still operating under a moratorium.

Suspending late fees

So far, there have been 66 responses to the 2021 Utility Fee Survey, and 57 of those utilities (86.4%) suspended late fees due to COVID-19, as shown below (clicking on any of the graphs will open a larger image in a new window):

Of the 57 utilities that suspended late fees, 42 of them (73.7%) have resumed charging a late fee:

Cut-off moratorium

Of the responses so far, 58 utilities (87.9%) also suspended disconnects for non-payment.

Two of the responding utilities don’t disconnect for non-payment, so excluding those increases the percentage to 90.6%.

Of the 58 utilities that suspended cut-offs, 40 of them (69.0%) have resumed disconnecting for non-payment:

Conclusions

From the early results, it’s apparent that most utilities suspended both late fees and cut-offs, but most of them have resumed charging penalties and disconnecting for non-payment.

It’s not too late!

If you haven’t already participated in the 2021 Utility Fee Survey, please click here to do so. It should take less than five minutes to complete.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at gsanders@edmundsgovtech.com or call me at 919-673-4050.

I’m hoping for as much participation as possible in the survey, so please feel free to pass this on to your colleagues at other utilities.

Thank you in advance for your participation in the 2021 Utility Fee Survey.

Is your fee schedule up-to-date?

If, after completing the 2021 Utility Fee Survey, you’re wondering if your fee schedule is up-to-date, please contact me by completing this form for more information about how a business review could help review your current fee structure.

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