While the Ohio EPA’s order suspending water disconnections expires on July 10, the Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) moratorium on both water and electric disconnections remains in effect until further notice.
The City of Cleveland suspended utility disconnection as part of Mayor Jackson’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency on March 13, well in advance of Governor DeWine and the Ohio EPA’s order on March 31. Because Mayor Jackson has extended the Proclamation of Civil Emergency until July 31, the City will continue its moratorium beyond the July 10 date.
City staff is currently in the process of evaluating policies and procedures for when disconnections for non-payment are reinstated. This is being done with great concern and awareness for the financial difficulties and other vulnerabilities many of our customers are currently facing due to the pandemic.
Considerations include having financial relief tools in place in addition to current affordability programs, coordinating with outside agencies to refer customers to for additional relief, and offering extended payment plan options. Also being evaluated are efforts to ensure customers receive plenty of notice prior to any shut-off occurring in addition to the current multi-notice procedures.
A date when the moratorium will be lifted and any corresponding changes will be communicated to customers via multiple methods, including brochures included with bills and City and department websites and social media. Customers should watch these outlets for updates.