top of page

Emergency Utility Regulation



(español abajo)
Available for Rhode Island utility consumers of National Grid to restore or maintain utility service at a discount rate!


ONLY now through Dec. 31st, 2019






















 The George Wiley Center at the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) after they voted to approve our request for temporary emergency rules. We proposed (and won!) a regulation to allow affordable down payments for all Rhode Island utility consumers with National Grid. 



Does your household have no electric or gas service?
Did you receive a utility termination notice?
Is the utility company asking for a down payment you can’t afford?



Emergency Regulation to Restore Utility Service

for all utility consumers in Rhode Island who are shut off or facing shut-off with National Grid


>>>  Get heat, light, and electricity service turned back on before winter! <<<


To qualify for this lower down payment, you must enroll before Dec. 31st, 2019

Contact your utility company to make use of this plan. Your CAP Agency or other charities may be able to offer assistance if you are unable to afford the 10% down payment.


This Emergency Regulation, “Restoration of Utility Service Based on Imminent Peril to Public Health, Safety and Welfare from October 14th, 2019 through December 31st, 2019” was approved by the Public Utilities Commission at the request of the George Wiley Center, on behalf of the thousands of utility consumers we work with every year who are facing the stress of utility termination.


This time of year it is especially important to have the basic needs of heat, light, and electricity as the cold weather begins and winter protections against shut-offs DO NOT provide utility restoration for those who are currently shut off. Thanks to collective efforts, together we won these rules! Now it is crucial to spread the word to anyone who is shut off and unable to afford a down payment, as these rules allow a much more affordable down payment than is usually demanded by the utility company, but are only available through Dec. 31st.

For more information, practical support, ways to prevent shut-offs, utility consumer rights presentations and meetings, and to get involved in making more humane utility policies in Rhode Island, contact us: 401-728-5555,

IMPORTANT: This does not apply to people whose utilities are provided by Pascoag or Block Island Utility Districts. The PUC provided exceptions to these two companies. 

From the report:

Pascoag expressed concern for its ability to manage its finances if it there were additional constraints on its ability to manage its collections efforts. Pascoag described its outreach efforts to assist customers and explained the flexibility it already provides through its payment plans. Pascoag has historically been exempted from the previously described modified payment plans. In response to PUC inquiry, Pascoag provided additional information that showed it had no qualifying customers with balances in excess of $999. Most of Pascoag’s 232 customer arrearages, (228 of that total) have balances less than
$500. Moreover, not all customers may be eligible for termination.

BIUD represented that it has had success in offering affordable payment plans and has had very few defaults. BIUD noted that it has not had the need to even offer many payment plans. Finally, BIUD related that it has only two payment plans in effect.10 BIUD also has been historically exempted from the modified payment plans.


PUC Emergency Utility Regulation Oct 14 to Dec. 31 2019:

Open Meeting at RIPUC (Public Utilities Commission), October 14th, 2019, 10:00am


At the open meeting the Commission adopted emergency termination rules. This section of the termination rules (pg. 37) is temporarily amended to read:

From October 14, 2019 through December 31, 2019, any residential customer whose utility service has been terminated by National Grid for non-payment or who has a Termination date scheduled will be entitled to have such service restored by National Grid upon satisfaction of certain conditions:

(a) for a customer owing less than $1000, 10% of the balance owed must be paid and the remainder of that balance must be paid within 18 months;
(b) for a customer owing at least $1000 but less than $2500, 10% of the balance owed must be paid and the remainder of that balance must be paid within 24 months;
(c) for a customer owing $2500 or more, 10% of the balance owed must be paid and the remainder of that balance must be paid within 36 months unless the Company chooses to extend such time period;
(d) to participate in a payment plan under this Order, as per, Part V, Section 4(G) of the Rules, the customer either (1) did not participate in one of the plans listed in a prior year or (2) did participate and currently has a balance due on his or her account that is the same or 6 less than the balance that customer had upon enrollment in the prior year plan listed in the Rules, or (3) did participate last year and currently has a higher balance but makes an additional down payment to bring the current balance down to or below the balance at enrollment last year.

In addition to the down payments specified above, customers must pay current bills within the time period allowed by National Grid. A formal commitment to receive funds from any social service agency by December 31, 2019 for all or part of the additional down payment shall be considered compliance with the provisions of the Rules, provided that the customer has satisfied the other conditions set forth above.

3. From October 14, 2019 through December 31, 2019, customers who are eligible for the Arrearage Management Plan under R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-2-1(d)(2) may enroll in an Arrearage Management Plan with an initial payment of 10% of the unpaid

4. At the time a customer seeks a payment plan under the terms adopted by this order, if the customer is not on the income-eligible rate, National Grid, shall determine whether the customer is eligible for the income-eligible rate and, if so, enroll the customer in the appropriate income eligible rate for either gas or electric service.


5. National Grid shall comply with the reporting requirements included in Appendix A, attached to this Order and incorporated by reference.




Sus servicios públicos están siendo terminados?

  Su casa no tiene luz, electricidad o servicio de gas?
La compañía de servicios te está pidiendo un pago inicial que está fuera de tu alcance?


>> Mantente informado <<    >> Corre la voz <<


Regulación de Emergencia para recuperar o mantener servicios



Para todos consumidores de servicios en Rhode Island que han sido apagados o están enfrentando la terminación de los servicios públicos


>> Obten los servicios de calefacción, luz y electricidad nuevamente
y con un plan razonable de pagos, antes del invierno <<


Para calificar para esta reducción de pago depósito, debes de enrolarte antes del 4 de Diciembre del 2015.


Ponte en contacto con tu compañía de servicios para hacer uso de este plan. Tu agencia de acción comunitaria local (BVCAP, CCAP, CAPP, Tri-Town, etc.) u otra organización benéfica pueden estar disponibles para ofrecerte asistencia en caso de que no tengas la posibilidad de hacer el pago depósito de 15%.


Esta regularización de emergencia, “Restauración de Servicio de Utilidades Basado en el Peligro Aproximado Hacia la Salud Pública, Seguridad y Bienestar desde Noviembre 4 del 2015 hasta Diciembre 4 del 2015” fue aprobada por la Rhode Island Comisión Pública de Servicios de Utilidades como una solicitud del Centro George Wiley, en representación de los miles de consumidores de servicios con los cuales trabajamos cada año y quienes están enfrentando el estrés de terminación de servicios públicos. En este momento del año es especialmente importante tener las necesidades básicas de calefacción, luz y electricidad mientras comienza el clima frío y las protecciones de invierno en contra de los apagones NO proveen restauración de servicios para aquellos que actualmente han sido apagados. Gracias a los esfuerzos colectivos, ganamos estas reglas! Ahora es esencial regar la voz a cualquiera que ha sido apagado y que no tiene la disponibilidad de hacer un pago inicial, como estas reglas permiten un pago inicial mucho más asequible de lo que usualmente es requerido por la compañía de los servicios de utilidades, pero solamente están disponibles por UN MES (durante Diciembre 4).

Para más información, soporte práctico, maneras de prevenir terminación de gas o luz, presentaciones y reuniones de derecho del consumidor de servicios públicos e involucrarse en hacer más normas humanitarias de servicios de utilidades públicos en Rhode Island, contactenos:  401-728-5555,


bottom of page