North Carolina Executive Order 124 Public Notice
Pender County Utilities have suspended all shut-offs, late fees, and reconnection fees for residential connections starting April 1, 2020 following Governor Roy Cooper’s Order. On March 31, 2020 Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 124, assisting North Carolinians by prohibiting utility shut-offs, late fees, and reconnection fees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This notice and Executive Order does not include irrigation or commercial water services.
Pender County Utilities have suspended all shut-offs, late fees, and reconnection fees starting April 1, 2020 following Governor Roy Cooper’s orders. Customers are encouraged to pay as much of their bill as they can each month to avoid having an extremely large amount due once shut-offs are reinstated.
North Carolina Executive Order 124 states the following for our water customers:
1. Customer account disconnections for nonpayment are suspended, likely for at least 60 days.
2. Pender County Utilities will not impose new penalties for late payments or collect on penalties that were imposed on residential accounts as of April 1, 2020 for at least 60 days. Normal usage fees will still apply for utility services you receive.
3. Customers with unpaid balances at the end of this grace period will be allowed a six (6) month, interest-free time to pay off any balances with no late fees charged. Customers who need this payment plan must contact Pender County Customer Service at 910-259-1570.
4. To help our customers, we will follow our normal procedures in reconnecting customers whose accounts were disconnected prior to March 31st. Customers who already may have been disconnected and wish to be reconnected during this period can call Customer Service at 910-259-1570 to arrange for service to be restored.
Pender County Utilities assures you that your drinking water is safe. Our employees are on the job and are taking extreme precautions to protect themselves and you from the effects of COVID–19.
If you have any questions about this information, please go to www.pendercountync.gov/utl/ or call Customer Service at 910-259-1570. For additional information on COVID–19 go to www.ncdhhs.gov (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).
More information on the NC Executive Order 124 can be found on the web at: https://governor.nc.gov/documents/executive-order-no-124
“COMMITTED TO QUALITY AND OUR CUSTOMERS”
Pender County Utilities
605 East Fremont Street
Burgaw, NC 28425
FAQs for Executive Order No. 124
When does this Order go into effect, and when does it expire?
This Executive Order is effective on March 31, 2020. It will remain in effect for sixty days or until adjusted by a superseding Executive Order. An Executive Order rescinding the State of Emergency in North Carolina will rescind this Executive Order.
Assisting North Carolina Utility Customers
What protections does this Executive Order provide to residential utility customers?
The Executive Order provides reasonable protections to residential utility customers in light of the COVID-19 emergency.
• Prohibits utilities from shutting off people’s electricity, natural gas, and water service for nonpayment.
• Prohibits utilities from billing or collecting any fees, penalties, or interest for late or untimely payment.
• Directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills without owing interest fees.
• Reminds customers they are responsible for paying bills for utility services received.
• Requires utilities to inform residential customers of important provisions in the Executive Order.
Why are customer protections needed?
Because of the Stay at Home Order, many North Carolina residents are at home and need access to electricity, water, and natural gas service. These services will help ensure that residents will be able to wash hands regularly and follow other best practices for safety and hygiene.
So my utility service provider cannot shut off my electricity, natural gas, or water service?
Correct. Your utility cannot shut off your residential service while the Executive Order is effective. But you are still responsible for paying your bills.
Does this mean I don’t have to pay my electricity, natural gas, or water bills?
No. All customers are still responsible for paying their utility bills.
Can I have more time to pay off my bills?
Utilities will offer extended repayment plans that allow residential customers at least six months to pay unpaid bills without owing interest charges. This six-month period will apply to outstanding bill payments accumulated during the effective period of this Executive Order plus 120 days.
Can utility providers charge me late fees?
As of March 31, 2020, no utility may bill or collect any fee, charge, penalty, or interest for a late or otherwise untimely payment.
To which types of utility customers does the Executive Order apply?
This Executive Order applies to residential customers.