As of 11 a.m. Monday, March 16, eight Maine residents have been confirmed positive and nine others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Monday that it has directed all electric transmission and distribution utilities, natural gas utilities, water utilities and telephone providers of last resort service to halt any disconnection activity until further notice.
This includes the issuance of disconnection notices and actual service disconnections for all classes of customers. Central Maine Power, Emera Maine and Maine Water already had said they would not shut off service.
“No one will lose utility service or be threatened with disconnection during this civil emergency,” commission Chairman Philip Bartlett said. “This applies equally to residential and business customers and is effective immediately.”
The commission is allowed to take emergency actions under its consumer protection rules. Many internet and cable companies also have signed a federal pledge to not shut off service for nonpayment because of the coronavirus.