No Floridian deserves to have their
power turned off during a crisis

We’re calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide moratorium on utility disconnects

The Issue

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the livelihood of Floridians throughout the state. With the social distancing measures and statewide stay-at-home order necessary to fight this virus, many businesses are closing or downsizing operations, leaving their employees with significant pay cuts or no jobs at all.

This is hindering many Floridians’ ability to pay for life-sustaining essentials like food, medication, and utilities, and is disproportionately affecting low-income families and communities of color. As Floridians struggle to adjust to the new lifestyle of staying at home – many with the added pressure of schooling their children or trying to find work remotely – it is crucial that they continue to have access to power.

We’ve seen action from some utility companies who have agreed to payment deferrals and/or waivers, but with several dozen utility providers across the state, Floridians need comprehensive statewide action to ensure that everyone has reliable access to power.

Solutions

For as long as this public health threat exists, no Floridian should have their electricity turned off because of an inability to pay. We are calling on Governor DeSantis to institute a moratorium on all utility disconnections until after this crisis. This is the only way to ensure the safety of the Floridians who must now stay home to protect themselves and their communities.

Utility Updates

We’ve worked to compile information about the policies that each utility provider has shared in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. More than three out of four Floridians receive their electricity from one of the following utility providers. If you are not served by one of these four providers, please continue scrolling for an alphabetical list. If you’re not happy with the policies your provider has regarding disconnects, we encourage you to take action and urge the governor to suspend utility disconnects for all Floridians.

Florida Power and
Light Company

FPL is making a decrease of nearly 25% for the typical residential customer bill, beginning May 1, 2020. The utility will not be disconnecting customers who can't pay and is offering payment extensions as well as waivers on some late fees to customers facing economic hardship.

Contact:
1 (800) 375-5566

Duke
Energy

Duke Energy will not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment. The utility is also waiving late payment fees and fees for returned payments for its customers beginning Saturday, March 21 until the national state of emergency is lifted. For residential customers, the company will also waive fees for credit and debit card payments.

Contact:
Homes
(844) 378-6352
Businesses
(800) 653-5307

Tampa
Electric Company

Tampa Electric Company is not disconnecting customer's service for non-payment at this time. TECO is encouraging customers to stay as current as possible on utility bills to avoid accumulating a large balance.

Contact:
Toll-free
(888) 223-0800

Gulf
Power Company

Gulf Power Company is suspending electrical disconnections and providing payment extensions for customers in hardship, which will remain in effect while Florida is under a state of emergency. Gulf Power Company is encouraging customers to view available resources or contact them directly. Representatives will work with personal situations and come up with solutions to ensure that customers can fulfill personal responsibility for their Gulf Power balance.

Contact:
1 (800) 225-5797

Alphabetical List of Utility Providers

Beaches Energy customers will not be billed a bulk power cost adjustment fee for the months of April and May 2020. Beaches Energy has also suspended all disconnections for nonpayment and will waive late fees for both homes and businesses for the time being although they encourage customers to stay current with payments to avoid facing a large balance later.

Contact:
Toll-free
(888) 223-0800
Hillsborough
(813) 223-0800
Polk
(863) 299-0800

Utility bills are not being waived. This is only a temporary suspension of late fees and disconnections to help those affected financially by the virus. At the end of this relief period, May 11 2020, bills will still be due.

Contact:
(352) 493-2511

CHELCO has suspended disconnections and will work with members who are struggling financially due to the economic impacts caused by COVID-19. Members will be responsible for their account balance when disconnections are resumed. CHELCO will be lenient and will give members adequate time to catch up on their bills should they need it.

Contact:
1 (800) 342-0990

The City of Alachua has suspended service disconnections and late payments through April. Electric customers will not be billed a bulk power cost adjustment charge for billings in May and June 2020, resulting in an 11 percent savings on customer bills.

Contact:
(386) 418-6100

The City of Bartow is suspending utility disconnects for non-payment through April 30, 2020.

Contact:
(863) 534-0188
[email protected]

The City of Blountstown is suspending the disconnection of utilities and late fees for the month of May 2020 in an effort to assist our customers who have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note, this is merely a payment extension and any remaining balance not paid prior to May 25, 2020, will be rolled over to your June billing.

Contact:
(850) 674-5488

The City of Bushnell has implemented a suspension on late penalties and service disconnections for non-payment, effective immediately. This suspension will apply to both residential and commercial customers. The City of Bushnell will reduce the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) for bills going out in May and June, cutting the PCA from its current level of $19 per 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) for residential customers to $10 per 1,000 kWh. The total electric bill will decrease by nearly 8% for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours. Commercial customers will also benefit from the reduction.

Contact:
(352) 793-8012

All late fees are waived for extension requests for two months for the months of April through May 30th.

Contact:
(850) 663-4046

To help customers cope with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the City of Clewiston will reduce the Bulk Power Cost Adjustment (BPCA) for bills going out in May, cutting the BPCA by one-third. Customers experiencing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 should contact the city before their bill becomes due and we will work with you. However, they encourage customers to stay current with your payments as much as possible.

Contact:
863-983-1454

The City of Fort Meade has suspended utility Late fees and service disconnects have been suspended. Two drop box locations are available for utility payment by check and money order, but cash is prohibited.

Contact:
(863) 285-1100

Starting Thursday, March 26, 2020, the City of Green Cove Springs will be suspending utility disconnections on past-due accounts until April 30, 2020. The City of Green Cove Springs encourages customers to continue paying toward their bill as current amounts due and future charges will still be owed.

Contact:
(904) 297-7500
[email protected]

In response to the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the City of Lake Worth Beach is suspending utility disconnections through April 30.

Contact:
(561) 533-7300

The City of Lakeland is suspending service disconnections for non-payment until further notice. Customers are encouraged to contact customer service for payment arrangements or to learn about other programs that may be beneficial. Lakeland Electric will also lower the electric fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers for May and June.

Contact
(863) 834-9535
[email protected]

The City of Leesburg is suspending its late fee and disconnection policies. The utility is also sharing fuel savings reductions with all electric customers. Leesburg Electric will reduce its Power Cost Adjustment to $0.00 per kWh effective May 1. The PCA will remain at $0.00 kWh during May and June, providing an approximate 9% reduction in monthly electric costs for the typical residential customer. The utility will review fuel savings in late June to determine whether the reduction can continue.

Contact:
(352) 728-9800

The City of Mount Dora is reducing its power cost adjustment (PCA) on customers’ bills by about 10 percent starting in April and running for six months.

Contact:
(352) 735-7105

The City of New Smyrna Beach Utilities Commission is suspending disconnects for non-payment and waiving late fees through June 1. Every UCNSB electric customer will see a reduced bill for May and June as the utility suspends the Fuel Adjustment Fee, passing on the savings the utility will receive from our bulk electric power purchases. (The average residential electric customer with 1000kWh usage/month, could see about a 22% reduction.)

Contact:
(386) 427-1361

The City of Newberry Utility Department will postpone cutoffs for all essential utility services to include water, sewer and electricity. However, the city encourages regular payment for customers to stay current with their accounts when normal operations continue.

Contact:
(803) 321-1018

The City of Ocala has temporarily suspended service disconnection until May 16, 2020 and will reevaluate the policy and timeframe as the situation develops. Effective Friday, May 1, the power cost adjustment (PCA) rate of $0.014 per kilowatt hour (kWh) will be lowered to $0.00 per kilowatt hour (kWh). For a residential customer, this will reduce their overall rate by approximately 12 percent per month for the months of May and June.

Contact:
(352) 629-2489
[email protected]

The city of Quincy will postpone utility cutoffs for non-payment. However, the city encourages regular payment for customers to stay current with their accounts.

Contact:
(850) 618-0040

The City of Starke discontinued shut-offs for non-payment of utilities during the duration of the emergency. Customers will benefit from a 15 percent reduction in their May and June bills due to removing the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA).

Contact:
(904) 368-1334

The City of Tallahassee is halting the disconnection of utility services for non-payment including electric and water for 60 days as of March 12, 2020. City of Tallahassee Electric Utility customers will see a 27 percent discount on their May bill, meaning the savings for each customer will vary based on their usage. On average, a typical household may see a reduction of $30, while a medium-sized business may see a reduction of $1,800. To provide customers with the discount now, the City is passing along projected fuel cost savings that the Electric Utility anticipates receiving in the coming months.

Contact:
(850) 891-4968

Effective at 12:00pm on Friday, March 20, 2020, the Customer Service Lobby will be closed until further notice. The City of Vero Beach will continue to accept utility payments through the drive through window, drop box, mail, online, or by phone.

Contact:
(772) 978-5100

No guidance listed.

Contact:
(863) 773-3131

No guidance listed.

Contact:
(701) 577-8100

The City of Winter Park has suspended its disconnection for nonpayment policy until further notice. The city approved a temporary suspension of electric fuel costs on residential and commercial customer’s bills for two months. Fuel costs make up approximately 18% of residential customer’s bill and 22% of commercial customer’s bills. This fuel rate holiday is a $750,000 savings to the city’s electric customers overall.

Contact:
(407) 599-3371

Clay Electric Cooperative is suspending disconnections on past-due accounts effective March 17 until April 15. The utility is encouraging members to pay their bill if they are able as current amounts due and future payments will still be owed. Clay Electric Cooperative is also lowering the cost of power for its members in April with a one-time decrease of 25 percent, or an average of $30 in savings.

Contact:
(352) 473-8000

Duke Energy will not disconnect any customer’s service for non-payment. The utility is also waiving late payment fees and fees for returned payments for its customers beginning Saturday, March 21 until the national state of emergency is lifted. For residential customers, the company will also waive fees for credit and debit card payments.

Contact:
Homes
(844) 378-6352
Businesses
(800) 653-5307

Effective Wednesday, March 18, Escambia River Electric Cooperative closed the lobbies of their offices to the public until further notice. However, the drive-through of the Jay Office remains open to the public.

Contact:
Phone
(850) 675-4521
Toll-free
(800) 235-3848

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative is temporarily suspending disconnection of electric service for non-payment. FKEC members who find themselves unable to partially or completely pay their electric bill should call member service to customize a payment plan to manage their balance and maintain electric service. FKEC is working to help affected members make payments to prevent the accumulation of a larger balance. Normal disconnect practices will resume within a reasonable period. Florida Keys Electric Co-op board has authorized the return of nearly $2.5 million in capital credits to help active account holders during the financial impact of COVID-19. Members will see the bill credit on May FKEC electric statements.

Contact:
(305) 852-2431

FPL is making a decrease of nearly 25% for the typical residential customer bill, beginning May 1, 2020. The utility will not be disconnecting customers who can't pay and is offering payment extensions as well as waivers on some late fees to customers facing economic hardship.

Contact:
1 (800) 375-5566

Florida Public Utilities is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment fees through at least May 1, 2020. However, customers are encouraged to make payments as scheduled to avoid excessively large bills in June. If customers need assistance with paying your bill, please contact FPU for available payment options.

Contact:
1 (800) 427-7712

Fort Pierce Utilities Authority continues its commitment to assist customers navigate these uncertain times by implementing measures such as suspension of disconnects and waiving all penalties and late fees. Additionally, the FPUA Board approved reducing the Power Cost Adjustment by $2.00 until further notice.

Contact:
(772) 466-1600, ext. 3900.

Gainesville Regional Utilities is suspending service disconnections for nonpayment as well as late fees until May 15 at least. The utility is also lowering customer fuel charges through September and anticipates customers will save 17 percent on these charges over the next six months.

Contact:
(352) 334-3434
Toll-free
1 (800) 818-3436

Glades Electric Cooperative is temporarily suspending service disconnections and waving late payment penalties until May 17. The utility is urging members to pay what they can to avoid a large amount due at the end of the relief period.

Contact:
(863) 946-6200

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative suspended disconnections and is waiving late payment fees. The utility is encouraging customers to pay portions of their bills as simple steps to avoiding large balances when the pandemic is over.

Contact:
Southport
(850) 265-3631
(800) 568-3667
Wewahitchka
(850) 639-2216
(800) 333-9392

Gulf Power Company is suspending electrical disconnections through May 31. The utility is encouraging customers to make payment extension plans and pay their bills to avoid building up a large balance.

Contact:
1 (800) 225-5797

Homestead Energy Services is temporarily suspending disconnections until further notice. Customers will benefit from a 27 percent reduction in their May bills due to a Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) reduction.

Contact:
(305) 224-4800

JEA will issue a one-time rebate for all residential and commercial electric customers, which will arrive in the form of a credit on their May bill. Effective March 31, any newly accrued late fees will be waived until further notice. Any late fees accrued prior to March 31, 2020 will still apply. Beginning April 6, all credit and debit card convenience fees will be waived for payments up to $10,000 for the next six months. JEA is not disconnecting electricity or water for late payments while Florida is in a state of emergency. Contact JEA to discuss special payment options that can help if you need more time to pay your bill.

Contact:
Residential
(904) 665-6000
(800) 683-5542
Commercial
(904) 665-6250

Keys Energy Service implemented a temporary 10% decrease to all energy bills in May and June. The board will reevaluate if additional relief is needed for July. KEYS has suspended all disconnections until May 15 at least, while encouraging those who are capable to stay current with their bills. Late fees are also suspended until at least May 15. Customers experiencing hardship should contact customer service to make a plan.

Contact:
(305) 295-1000
[email protected]

Effective April 1, KUA extended its moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment. The suspension now remains in effect until further notice. KUA encourages customers who are experiencing difficulty paying their electric bill for any reason to notify them as quickly as possible so they can make arrangements that can help avoid a worsening financial situation.

Contact:
(407) 933-9800

Lee County Electric Cooperative is asking customers who are having trouble paying their bills to please contact them so they can work to develop a plan including allowing extra time to pay if needed. LCEC will continue to read meters and send bills and they encourage everyone to stay as up to date with their payments as possible to avoid building up a large balance that will eventually be due. Late fees will not apply at this time.

Contact:
(239) 656-2300
(800) 599-2356

No guidance listed.

Contact:
(863) 946-0711
[email protected]

Okefenoke Rural Electric Membership has suspended disconnections and late fees through May 15, 2020. The utility is also encouraging customers to contact customer service to make payment arrangements in order to avoid a higher balance when disconnects and late fees are reinstated. OREMC is pointing those who may qualify to agencies offering financial assistance.

Contact:
1 (800) 262-5131

The Orlando Utilities Commission is waiving late fees and suspending service disconnections due to nonpayment until further notice. OUC Power Pass accounts also will be exempt from disconnections due to non-payment until further notice. In addition to waiving late fees and suspending service disconnections due to nonpayment, OUC is working with customers on payment plans and encouraging them to pay what they can now to avoid building large balances. OUC is also offering energy efficiency audit help over the phone.

Contact:
(407) 423-9018

Peace River Electric Cooperative is offering payment extensions and payment assistance during COVID-19.

Contact:
1 (800) 282-3824

No guidance listed.

Contact:
(850) 729-6848

No guidance listed.

Contact:
(407) 824-4185

Seminole Electric Cooperative is not accepting visitors at this time.

Contact:
(813) 739-1402
[email protected]

Sumter Electric Cooperative is offering members who request a payment arrangement an extended period of time greater than normal payment arrangement parameters. Members can do this through SECO’s virtual assistant on the automated telephone system or by logging into their accounts. The utility can also assist members in need through Pennies from Heaven, a corporate citizenship initiative.

Contact:
(352) 793 -3801

Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative is pausing disconnects for non-payment and waiving late fees until further notice. SVEC encourages those who can still pay their bill to do so. If customers are struggling to make a bill payment, please contact them and they will arrange a payment plan.

Contact:
Toll-free
(800) 447-4509

Talquin Electric Cooperative is taking safety precautions and encouraging online or mail payments. Talquin Electric Cooperative also postponed its annual meeting until September.

Contact:
Headquarters
(850) 627-7651
[email protected]
Quincy
(850) 627-9666
Hosford
(850) 379-8679
Lake Jackson
(850) 562-0125
Bradfordville
(850) 893-6853
Crawfordville
(850) 926-7422

Tampa Electric Company is not disconnecting customer's service for non-payment at this time. TECO is encouraging customers to stay as current as possible on utility bills to avoid accumulating a large balance.

Contact:
Toll-free
(888) 223-0800

No guidance listed.

Contact:
(850) 539-2820

Effective immediately, Tri-County Electric Cooperative will not be disconnecting power for non-pay and late fees will be waived until further notice, including Pre-Pay accounts.

Contact:
(850) 973-2285
1 (800) 999-2285

West Florida Electric Cooperative is encouraging members experiencing hardship to contact the office as Member Services Representatives are there to help them. Members can manage their accounts through the WFEC App, online, over the phone or by visiting their drive-thrus.

Contact:
1 (800) 342-7400

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative is suspending disconnects for non-payment and late fees until further notice. The utility is also asking that members pay what they can and make arrangements to avoid building up a large balance. Members who are having trouble paying their bills can call customer service to develop a plan.

Contact:
(352) 567-5133

Resources

Volusia County COVID-19 Rental Assistance (Source)

  • Provides relief to families and individuals, including up to $2,000 in rent and utility assistance
  • Assistance may be provided to eligible households for up to three months.
  • Applications will be released @ 8:00 a.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020

Heart of Florida United Way ALICE Recovery Fund for COVID-19 (Source)

  • Heart of Florida United Way has established a fund to support Central Florida residents whose financial stability is being impacted
  • $100,000 initial investment

    Qualifications:

    • residents must demonstrate financial need by presenting documentation including, but not limited, to bank statements, pay stubs, rent agreements and utility bills.
    • Application

Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program for the Elderly (EHEAP) (Source)

  • Helps Hillsborough County residents pay for energy bills
  • Prioritizes financial assistance appointments to households that have members who are part of the most vulnerable population (persons 60 years or older, school-age, or with a disability)

    Qualifications:

    • Be a U.S. Citizen or an alien resident who is eligible for federal benefits
    • Be a resident of Hillsborough County
    • At least one household member must be age 60 or older
    • Have a household gross income of no more than 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
    • Be responsible for paying their home energy bills
    • Must have a recent energy bill

Florida United Ways

Heart of Florida United Way (Orlando, FL)

  • Heart of Florida United Way has established a fund to support Central Florida residents whose financial stability is being impacted by COVID-19
  • ALICE Recovery Fund created to help people experiencing hardship due to decreased hours or unpaid leave
  • Can help pay for housing, food, utilities, etc.

United Way of Miami-Dade (Miami, FL)

  • Getting Ahead Program
    • Helps individuals experiencing an interruption of income due to loss of employment or illness to pave a path to financial independence by providing rent, mortgage, utility and food assistance. Funding: $30,000
  • Emergency Family Services
    • Focuses on homeless prevention by providing individuals with rent, utilities and food assistance. Funding: $100,000

United Way of Emerald Coast (Fort Walton Beach, FL)

  • COVID-19 Relief Fund
    • can help keep a family’s utilities on, fill an emergency prescription for a college student, supplement a veteran’s food supply, or provide a working mother with a few extra hours of childcare

United Way of North Central Florida (Gainesville, FL)

  • “United We Care” Emergency Relief Fund for COVID-19
    • designated to help provide assistance with rent, utilities, food, toiletries and gas (as needed).

United Way of Charlotte County, Inc. (Port Charlotte, FL)

  • Charlotte County Human Services Department
    Family Services (Self Sufficiency/Utility Assistance)

United Way of Collier and the Keys (Naples, FL)

  • ALICE Program

United Way of St. Johns County

  • Catholic Charities | 904.829.6300 | ccbstaug.org
    • Services through Food Pantry, Emergency Assistance for rent and utilities, Farm Worker Ministry and Family Reunification

United Way of Suwannee Valley (Lake City, FL)

  • Catholic Charities Bureau
    • Emergency assistance with utility, rent and sustaining food pantry.

United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties, Inc. (Leesburg, FL)

  • Family Stability Services Program
    • We are able to provide the following services:
      • Utility Assistance
      • Rental Assistance
      • Food Assistance
      • Financial Literacy Courses
      • Health Care Access Referrals
      • Networking & Community
      • Referral Services

Recent News

Floridians rack up an estimated $335 million in unpaid utility bills. What should we do?

The Capitolist May 14, 2020

Florida residents are racking up some hefty utility bills during the coronavirus lockdown. In addition to the obvious spikes in home electricity and water usage, people are also gulping down gigabites of internet data, too, and in many cases, wracking up data overages.

More than a million Floridians struggling to pay utility bills amid COVID-19, new survey suggests

WPTV May 7, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — About 15 percent or 1.4 million Florida households may not be able to pay their utility bills. That’s according to a new survey from national energy nonprofit Vote Solar.

Green Cove Springs no longer suspending shut-offs for utility customers

News4Jax April 30, 2020

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Starting Friday, the City of Green Cove Springs is no longer suspending disconnections for utility customers who are unable to pay their bill.

Environmental groups ask Florida Gov. DeSantis to require utilities to keep power on

Tampa Bay Times April 23, 2020

Four major utilities in Florida have already committed to keeping customers connected during the pandemic.

Clean Energy and Social Justice Organizations Call on Governor DeSantis to Issue Moratorium on Utility Disconnections

Capital Soup April 22, 2020

Statewide clean energy and social justice organizations are united in asking Governor Ron DeSantis to order all energy utilities in Florida to immediately suspend power disconnections for non-payment, reconnect households that were disconnected before the state of emergency was declared on March 9, and waive associated late fees and other fines for residential customers.

OUC coronavirus response to reduce May bills, bolster payment-assistance programs

Orlando Sentinel | April 9, 2020

Orlando’s utility plans to cut power bills in May by 11 percent for residential and 19 percent for commercial customers and contribute several million dollars to customer-assistance programs, all in responding to economic strife from COVID-19.

Electric utilities cutting bills temporarily for COVID-19 economic hit

Orlando Sentinel | April 3, 2020

The state’s largest utilities such as Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light Co. and some municipal utilities such as Mount Dora’s are reducing power bills temporarily in response to the COVID-19 hit on the economy.

Duke Energy to cut customer bills in May; TECO to spread savings out over the summer

Fox 13 Tampa Bay | April 3, 2020

Pointing to an “unprecedented national emergency” caused by COVID-19, Duke Energy Florida on Thursday proposed giving customers a break on their May electric bills.

How utility, phone and internet companies are giving consumers a break during coronavirus pandemic

USA Today March 23, 2020

Many utilities, telecommunications companies and automakers are easing shutoffs and waiving late fees to accommodate consumers who might be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

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