13 Organizations Call for Alabama PSC to Halt Disconnections, Late Fees
Today, 13 organizations formally requested the Alabama Public Service Commission issue an emergency order to halt utility shutoffs and late fees for all customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Alabama Power issued a statement that it “had no plans” to cut off service for “those impacted by COVID-19.” That’s not good enough. This is a matter of life and death for some people, especially those we serve. We have members with COPD, asthma, cancers, and heart disease — serious health conditions that are exacerbated by Alabama Power’s pollution.
Since last Friday, we have been asking Alabama Power to make an official statement that it is company policy not to disconnect any customer’s service during this public health and economic crisis and not to charge any late fees. Because their statements have been half-measures, we felt we needed to go one step further.
In this letter, we are asking the Alabama Public Service Commission to issue a decisive order suspending shutoffs and the accrual of late fees for all regulated electric, gas, water, and telecommunication utilities.
Cutting off power in the midst of a global pandemic could be deadly. Folks aren’t online refreshing Alabama Power’s twitter feed to see what most recent tweak they’ve made to their statements. Our members certainly aren’t looking at the PSC website to see what Twinkle has said. They need across-the-board, decisive action.
The co-signers of the letter are: GASP, Energy Alabama, Alabama NAACP, Cahaba Riverkeeper, Alabama Interfaith Power and Light, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Cahaba River Society, Faith in Action Alabama, Adelante Alabama Worker Center, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, and Birmingham Indivisible.
Read our statement here: Letter-to-Alabama-Public-Service-Commission-to-Suspend-Shutoffs-and-Late-Fees
Michael joined GASP in 2013 as communications specialist. He has lived in Birmingham since 2008, and is an active member of the Birmingham community. He’s a passionate advocate for health equity, civil rights and equality. He is currently serving as executive director. Email Michael