Dominion Energy Boosts Support for Customers Struggling Financially During Pandemic
Cayce, S.C. – Dominion Energy is expanding assistance to South Carolina customers facing financial hardship by offering more flexible payment plans, extending our “no disconnection” policy until mid-September and providing additional funding to EnergyShare, our year-round assistance program. The efforts come as the pandemic continues to impact Americans across the country.
“We are committed to making it easy for customers to work with us and to find payment arrangements or plans that best match their individual budgets and circumstances,” said Rodney Blevins, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “This is a difficult time for everyone. We want to help make it a little less stressful.”
On March 12, Dominion Energy voluntarily implemented a “no disconnection” policy for South Carolina customers who had fallen behind on their bills. The company also began offering a range of assistance programs and payment options to help customers. These included short and long-term payment arrangements, as well as waiver of reconnection fees and late fees. The state’s formal policy suspending disconnections, which was implemented after the company’s initial action, expired May 14. Since then, the company has continued the “no disconnection” policy. To provide further certainty for customers, Dominion Energy is now extending the policy in South Carolina until Sept. 14, four months from expiration of the state mandate. The company also will continue waiving late fees, reconnection fees and interest on arrears balances through that period. The extension and expanded support apply equally to gas and electric customers.
“During this time, we encourage customers to work with us to develop payment plans for their unique circumstances and to continue paying their bill as they normally would, if able,” Blevins said. “This will help customers avoid a larger balance later. In the coming months, we will evaluate next steps based on a range of factors, including the needs of our customers and economic conditions.”
Blevins also announced today that Dominion Energy is contributing another $500,000 to EnergyShare to help qualified low-income, disabled and elderly customers with bill assistance for their electric and natural gas services. “This contribution is in addition to $250,000 our company committed to EnergyShare just a few weeks ago,” Blevins said. “We recognized the need to quickly grow this energy assistance program with even more funds that will be allocated among the 12 community action agencies in our service area.” Additionally, Dominion Energy is currently offering customers in South Carolina the opportunity to take advantage of a new installment plan, allowing them to spread past due balances over a six-month period, with no interest charges.
Many of the company’s assistance options can be conveniently accessed 24/7 through a customer’s online account or Dominion Energy’s mobile app. Options include:
Payment plans: If a customer is having trouble paying their bill, the company will help them determine the best option for their unique situation. Both short-term payment extensions and long-term payment plans are available. In May, we expanded our budget billing program to help some customers address past due balances. Starting this month, we are offering a special installment plan that spreads past due balances over a six month period, with no interest charges.
Payment assistance: Assistance is offered through EnergyShare, which is funded with company contributions, along with donations from customers, employees and retirees. The South Carolina Department of Administration’s Office of Economic Opportunity administers the EnergyShare program through community action agencies. Payment assistance is also offered through state and federal programs, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). More information is available at DominionEnergySC.com/assistance.
Energy efficiency tips: Managing energy wisely will always help customers save on natural gas and electric costs. Dominion Energy provides customers with information and tips on how to be more efficient with their energy usage. Customers can visit DominionEnergy.com/WaysToSave for tips on reducing energy usage.
Scam awareness: Amid the pandemic, scam activity spiked in South Carolina. Dominion Energy reminds customers that the company will never call and demand immediate payment or ask for payment on a pre-paid debit or gift card. If customers are unsure that a call is valid, even if a valid-looking number shows on the caller ID, they should not provide information before verifying their account/payment status by signing into their online account, reviewing their account via the company’s mobile app, or by calling the company at 800-251-7234.
For more information about Dominion Energy’s coronavirus response, visit DominionEnergy.com/Coronavirus.