NORFOLK, Va. - As the pandemic continues, Dominion Energy will not be disconnecting anyone's service for lack of bill payment.
An order preventing utility companies from disconnecting service has now expired, but Dominion Energy said they're keeping the policy in place for the time being.
"The last thing we want to do is add more stress on people by having them worry about whether they can pay their bills," said Rayhan Daudani, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy.
The State Corporation Commission originally put a moratorium in place in March on utility disconnections. The order has been extended several times, but the regulators did not approve Gov. Northam's request to extend it until December.
The solution rests with the General Assembly. Lawmakers are in the final stages of working out a budget that's expected to extend the moratorium until after the pandemic and provide additional aid for people behind on their bills.
The Senate and House need to pass the same version of the budget before it heads to the governor. "We have two very different budgets, so negotiations are going to be important, but I am hopeful we can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel here," said Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News).
As everyone waits for the light at the end of the tunnel in the pandemic, Dominion Energy is promising to keep the lights on. "We don't want someone to be sitting at home saying, 'Do I pay my Dominion Energy bill or do I pay for this medicine or do I pay my rent?'" said Daudani.