NORFOLK, Va. — Leaders with Dominion Energy say they don't want you to fall behind on your energy bills. If you do by more than 60 days, you could lose your service starting in November.
"We've been extending our payment deadlines since March of 2020," said Dominion Energy's Regional Policy Director, Bonita Billingsley Harris. "Some people may have let their bills pile up and they may be worried."
When Virginia went into a state of emergency during the pandemic, state leaders told utility companies to hold off on disconnecting services. Now, this extension expired, meaning thousands of customers could be at risk of losing their service.
However, another Virginia law could help extend your late payment deadline to March of 2022, if you qualify.
Here are the requirements to be eligible for this extension:
- You must have received utility payment assistance at any time between January 1, 2019, and July 31, 2021
- You must have a medical account designated with your utility service as of July 31, 2021
- You must have received benefits from federal or state programs such as SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
However, this isn't the only way to get help. Harris says you can work with Dominion Energy to create a payment plan.
"You can call us and make a payment plan, which are up to 24 months," said Harris. "We also have an energy assistance program for customers who are in trouble financially. Customers can also call 2-1-1 to find out options for them if they simply cannot afford to pay."
Harris says if you received a notice from Dominion Energy, but did not call the company for help, your service could get disconnected as early as November 18.
She says with customers behind on their payments, it's easy for scammers to try to trick you into giving them money. She says Dominion Energy will never ask you to make an immediate payment or use a gift card. If you feel this is a scam, you should hang up immediately.
Virginia Natural Gas also wants to remind customers today is the first day to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Applications are accepted from October 12 through November 12.