SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a tough financial outlook for so many in our community.
For months electric companies put a hold on disconnects and late fees, but that's changing.
Georgia Power’s relief program is set to end next week. Meaning customers will have to pay any outstanding bills.
It’s been a tough four months with more time indoors than normal. With that said some energy bills have been higher and harder to pay.
Georgia Power wanted to help their customers so they suspended the disconnection of services as bills continued through the pandemic.
“We’ve made it so that you don’t have to pay, but you really should be paying if can, but we understand that people are out of jobs, they are furloughed, they have reasons for why they can’t pay right now and that’s where these special payment plans come in,” said Allison Gregoire, Georgia Power Spokesperson.
For the next week customers can sign up for this payment plan that allows them to pay their past-due balances in increments over the course of 6 months beginning in October.
A spokesperson with Georgia Power says the program is free and does not charge late fees, but customers do need to sign up.
While no one has lost service because of the inability to pay yet, that will be changing.
"It's really important that a customer if they have not signed up for the payment plans by July 15th that they can face disconnections. We will begin disconnecting again after July 15th so that is why it is crucial they go ahead and sign up today."
Customers can sign up online or by calling Georgia Power customer service at 1-888-660-5890.
A spokesperson says they are still looking to see how many customers are behind and by how much, but they also recommend you practice energy saving tips like using fans, closing blinds and more in addition to monitoring your usage.
“One other thing that customers can do to measure their energy usage especially during the hot summertime is to go to the my power usage program we have on Georgia Power dot com. It’s a free service it kind of looks at your energy usage every month at your home and helps you tweak things,” said Gregoire.
Customers looking to enroll in the special payment plans should sign up by July 15.