Back to normal? Dominion Energy reinstates late fees, disconnects

For the past few months, Dominion Energy customers didn’t need to worry about penalties for late payments. Also, the company wasn’t disconnecting customers. Now, the rules are back but fortunately, the company has ways to help those who need it.

On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Dominion Energy reinstated its late fees and disconnections due to late or missing payments. This pause started in April when the company switched to a new customer service and billing service. This pause allowed both customers and employees to get used to the new system before serving penalties. Now that a few months have passed, the disconnects and late fees will be back for those who miss or skip payments. 

“We understand that we provide a critical service,” said Cherise Newsome, spokesperson for Dominion. “We work with the customers to make sure they have what they need.”

Grace for Dominion Energy customers

Even though the policy is reinstated, there is still some grace for customers. Dominion will give customers multiple warnings before disconnecting the electricity. According to Newsome, each plan is different so the customer should receive the notices either by email or mail, whichever they get for their regular bill. For disconnection, they will also use both methods to make sure the customer is informed. 

For those struggling to make their payments, Newsome encourages them to contact Dominion as they have numerous programs and want to help. One of them is the Energy Share program which is not income based. 

What is the energy share program? 

The Energy Share Program helps cover costs during different seasons of the year for heating and cooling as Virginia can see the extremes of both temperatures. During the cooling season from June 1 to Sept. 30, customers can get $300 off their bill. During the heating season from Oct. 1 to May 31 when energy costs are usually higher to keep warm, customers can get $600 off their bill. This is run through non-profit organizations and social services to help people who have fallen on hard times and need a little bit of help to get back on track. 

Dominion also offers different payment plans to help fit various customer needs. This can give extensions or average out the months to avoid large fluctuations. 

“We understand with this economy people are experiencing financial issues,” said Newsome. “Customers shouldn’t feel embarrassed or shy. Let us know so we can work with you.”

Anyone looking for assistance can visit the Dominion website or call 1-866-DOM-HELP. 

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