Columbia Gas today announced that it will voluntarily suspend shutoffs for nonpayment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effectively immediately. This suspension will apply to residential, commercial and industrial customers and will remain in effect until further notice. In addition, Columbia Gas will offer its most flexible payment plans to customers who indicate either an impact or hardship as a result of COVID-19 and will suspend late payment charges until May 1. Columbia Gas will continue to monitor current events and support our customers and communities.
“The safety of our employees and customers is at the forefront of everything we do at Columbia Gas,” said Columbia Gas President Dan Creekmur. “We are taking a proactive, coordinated approach to prevent, mitigate and respond to COVID-19.”
Any customer who has received a termination notice or is having trouble paying his/her bill should call 1-800-344-4077 to discuss payment arrangements and/or financial assistance programs.
In addition to the shutoff moratorium, Columbia Gas is doing the following in response to the pandemic:
- Our employees are taking all appropriate precautions to keep themselves and our customers safe.
- Columbia Gas has activated its incident management team and is closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and local state and federal health agencies for updates related to the virus.
- To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, until further notice, employees whose positions allow it are working remotely.
- For those critical employees who must report in person to complete their work, additional precautions are being taken to minimize the spread.
- We will continue to ensure that our system is safe and, if an outbreak would occur in our service territories, have plans in place to suspend all non-emergency work if necessary.
“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our customers and employees, and we also have a responsibility to support our communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this pandemic,” Creekmur said.
March 25 update: The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has extended the Winter Reconnect Order through May 1, 2020. This order allows anyone whose gas service is currently off for non-payment or who is looking to establish new service and has a balance due of more than $175 to have their natural gas service reconnected or established by making a payment of just $175 plus any applicable deposit or reconnection fees. Customers will also be required to enter into payment plan arrangements for their remaining balance. Customers who wish to take advantage of the Winter Reconnect Order. Customers who have questions about getting their natural gas service reconnected or established should call Columbia Gas of Ohio at 1-800-344-4077.