Updates in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency



 
Recent Updates  We are committed to caring for the health and well-being of District residents and employees as well as playing an active role in supporting the Mayor, D.C. Council and local health officials during this crisis.
 
Use this resource page to stay abreast of Commission decisions in addition to our actions in response to the public health emergency. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
 
Is the Commission still open for business? How can I contact your office?

Yes — you can reach us Monday-Friday from 9am-5:30pm, but our staff are working remotely until further notice. Our office at 1325 G St, NW, is closed and we will not accept any walk-in meetings, filings or deliveries.

 

Consumers can still submit complaints or inquiries to our Office of Consumer Services online by phone at (202) 626-5120 (available M-F, 9am-5:30pm). Note that utility consumer protections are still in place but utility scams are unfortunately becoming more common.


Will my utilities be disconnected/reconnected during the public health emergency?

Electric, gas or telecommunications providers cannot disconnect your service for non-payment during the public health emergency (and for 15 days after it’s been lifted).

 

Pepco is reconnecting residential customers who have had their electric service disconnected in the last 12 months — call (202) 833-7500 to speak to a Pepco representative. Pepco is also working with residents to identify assistance programs to ensure your service stays connected after the public health emergency has been lifted. We’re working with Pepco to help with any safety issues before your service is reconnected.


Do I still have to pay my utility bills? What if money is tight right now — is there any help available?

Although utilities cannot disconnect your service for non-payment during the public health emergency, you’ll still be billed as usual for what you’ve used. If you’re able to pay your bill, we recommend you do so to avoid a potentially large future bill.

For consumers having trouble paying their utility bills, it’s important to contact your utilities as soon as possible (see contact information at the bottom of this page). The utility companies will help you weather this crisis by providing payment arrangements and other assistance. For help figuring out what assistance may be available to you, call our Office of Consumer Services at (202) 626-5120.

Assistance programs
Verizon, Pepco and Washington Gas also offer discount programs for low-income residential customers, as well as seniors and persons with disabilities.

If you’ve received a disconnection notice or are currently disconnected, you may be eligible for an annual grant of up to $1,000 through the Washington Area Fuel Fund. Customers in wards 1-6 can call (202) 332-5000 and those in wards 7-8 can call (202) 678-9771 to learn more.

The Greater Washington Urban League also provides up to $500 in assistance to eligible customers facing disconnection. Call (202) 265-8200 to lean more.

The Coronavirus Air, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided an additional $2.78 million to the District’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) year-round program that assists income-eligible District households with heating and cooling energy costs through one-time assistance payments of $250-$1,800. Consumers having trouble paying their Pepco or Washington Gas bills are encouraged to apply for the program online through the Department of Energy & Environment. 

Qualified District residents may also apply for the Utility Discount Programs to secure a reduced rate on their electric and natural gas bills.


What’s changed at the Commission because of the public health emergency? What’s stayed the same?

Policies and practices
We’ve requested that all electric and natural gas suppliers (and their third-party marketing companies) stop all door-to-door solicitation and marketing for the duration of the public health emergency (and for 15 days thereafter).

In response to a request from the Office of the People’s Counsel to examine D.C.’s utility companies’ COVID-19 response, we’ll be conducting a technical conference where we'll bring parties together and see if the issue warrants a deeper inquiry, such as public hearings.
 
We’re also waiving the notarization requirement for all documents related to Commission rules, policies or procedures. In lieu of notarization, you must provide a statement attesting to the accuracy of the information that is submitted. For questions, email the Commission Secretary or call (202) 626-5150.

Continuing operations
We’re holding all Commission Open Meetings via phone/video conferencing. Recordings of each meeting will be posted by close of business the day of each meeting.

All public utilities, competitive electric suppliers, competitive natural gas suppliers and CLECs are required to file their mandatory annual survey responses electronically via our e-Assessments Portal. For questions about assessments, email the Commission Secretary.

For real-time updates on Commission proceedings, subscribe to e-Docket.

We’re still maintaining a list of current public notices for various Commission proceedings.


More resources
  • Coronavirus DC
    Find information from Mayor Bowser on food resources, health guidance, resources for businesses and individuals, the operating status of DC Government, and more
  • Pepco
    Pepco is helping customers through temporary or extended financial hardship and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. Call (202) 833-7500 for more information.
  • Washington Gas Washington Gas is suspending disconnections, waiving late fees and offering payment arrangements. Call (844) 927-4427 for more information.
  • Verizon
    Verizon will not charge a late fee or terminate service during this difficult period. This policy is currently in effect through May 13, 2020. Call (800) 922-0204 for more information.
  • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
    Stay up to date with the latest media coverage, dockets, press releases and more from your state utility commissions.
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
    FERC is taking steps to protect the health and safety of its employees and the public, and to help mitigate or slow the transmission of the coronavirus within our communities.
  • Federal Communications Commission
    The FCC is working to ensure that Americans stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic and is also taking steps to protect the health and safety of its staff.
    • Keep Americans Connected Pledge
      774 broadband internet and telephone providers have taken the Keep Americans Connected Pledge as of May 15, 2020. By taking the pledge, each company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They’ll also waive any late fees and open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
  • coronavirus.gov
    This is the primary portal for public information curated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force at the White House, working in conjunction with CDC, HHS and other agency stakeholders, and links to the appropriate Federal agency website as the authoritative source for that information as necessary.