Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 21. Franchises; Sale and Lease of Certain Municipal Public Property; Public Utilities

§ 15.2-2121.3. Notice procedures for nonpayment; disconnecting utility service.

A. Each utility subject to the provisions of this article shall provide to each of its residential customers a copy of its disconnection for nonpayment policy (i) at any time a new residential account is established, (ii) when any disconnection for nonpayment of bills or fees is scheduled by including a copy of the policy with such notice, or (iii) by publishing the disconnection policy on the utility's website. Each such utility shall provide all required notices in English and Spanish. Such required notices shall include information regarding payment plans and state, federal, or utility energy assistance programs.

B. Each utility subject to the provisions of this article shall deliver notice of nonpayment of bills or fees to its residential customers prior to disconnection by using at least one of the following methods: (i) mail, (ii) email, (iii) text message, (iv) phone call, or (v) door hanger.

C. Utility disconnections due to the nonpayment of bills or fees are prohibited for residential customers until the customer's account is 45 days in arrears. After each missed payment, the utility shall provide notice pursuant to subsection B and make contact with the customer and offer bill payment assistance, arrange a payment plan, or provide information to the customer for other bill payment assistance or energy savings programs.

D. No electric or gas utility shall require a deposit of more than 25 percent of the arrearage amount for service, exclusive of nonpayment fees, penalties, or interest, in order to restore service to any residential customer where such utility received funding from the Department of Social Services for such customer through the Home Energy Assistance Program pursuant to § 63.2-805 within the last 12 months. A customer is eligible for this provision once every three years.

2024, cc. 790, 824.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.