What Happened when I didn’t pay My Electricity Bill?
Updated: Apr 25
It’s more than just a disconnection of your electricity service. I want to share why is Important to pay your electricity bill.
Most of you may say… well, you just get disconnected, then you pay and your electricity will be restored. Let me tell you that it’s more than just a disconnection of your electricity service. There will be fees added to your account. Yes, a disconnection fee and a reconnection fee. You may think that those extra fees are ridiculous, that all is done by computers. We might live in a technological era, however, there is human interaction in the process of disconnecting and reconnecting an electricity service.
Electricity companies get fined if they disconnect a customer by mistake.
Reports are created, then a person is meticulously inspecting that report and make sure that all customers to be disconnected are in the correct spooler and no mistakes are made. Also, the utilities charge the energy company for each account that is connected and disconnected.
The real problem was when I didn’t pay my electricity bill
There was this time that I was away from home for a few days, my debit card was stolen and I got a replacement and I forgot to change the autopay on my electricity account. The electricity company disconnected the energy service, and since I was away, I did not notice it. When I came back on a Friday night, I saw that there was no power at home, I called the energy company and no one answered. I was without power until Tuesday since this energy company was closed for the weekend and Monday landed on a major holiday. This was disastrous, all my food in the fridge was ruined, and my plants and my fish died.
Additional fees to reconnect an electricity service
Besides all that, I end up paying about $70 extra fees because of the disconnection and reconnection of the electricity service.
Worst case scenario when not paying an electricity bill
If the electricity bill stays unpaid for a few days, the electricity company can ask the utility to issue a switch hold. This switch hold is to prevent the electricity user to change the energy supplier until this customer pays the remaining balance on the electricity account.
This means that if you think that it’s ok to switch to a new electricity company until the current one disconnects your service, sorry to tell you this but this is a big mistake. We still need to pay for the last few days we were with an electricity company, the final bill. If we leave that “last bill” unpaid, the electricity company we owe, can send the debt to a collection agency. The electricity company can’t damage your credit, however, a collection agency can. This is because your debt is not with the electricity company, it’s with the collection agency.
If you move out from a house or an apartment and forget to cancel the electricity account, the energy will continue running, the energy company will keep sending bills, and if those bills are not paid the electricity company will issue a switch hold. Now, a new resident comes to the address you left and he will try to connect his or her energy service that will not be possible since there is a switch hold and they need to go through a messy process to remove that switch hold. Document to send to the utility and provide a new occupant statement. This process can take a few days.
What to do to switch to a new energy company?
I strongly suggest that all bills are paid in full. Don’t leave an energy company with an open account. They can go back in and issue a switch hold. The utilities are here for many reasons; infrastructure, energy delivery, and maintenance of poles, generators, transformers, and wires. Equally important is that the energy customers and the electricity companies are treated fairly.
For your and everyone’s sake, please don’t leave an electricity bill unpaid. It can get ugly, not only for you but for someone else too.
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