A power outage is often unexpected, especially from power lines suddenly snapping in winter storms, substation damage in icy conditions, or power equipment damaged from rogue rodents chewing or clawing through. These power failures are problematic. In the winter months when the temperatures can be fatally freezing, there are thankfully some state laws that prevent companies from shutting down power until temperatures reach a livable range without electricity. Also, many of these states have laws that protect those who have medical conditions, provided proper documentation has been filed with their electric company. Additionally, most states have a law with specific conditions and regulations within their state that prevents companies from shutting down power for people's safety. These are some examples:
According to the Missouri Public Service Commission, from November 1 - March 31 of each year, residents who require heat for health, meet a certain age requirement, and file this documentation with their electric company can be awarded lenient payments and no disconnection if they are unable to meet payment requirements.
Another state that has similar laws to Missouri is North Carolina, that has age and medical requirements available for residents who require heat for their daily health and can provide medical documentation to confirm. According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, there are steps available that must be taken by residents. Anyone having trouble making payments should be contacting the company.
LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is a federal assistance program available to US residents that are having financial difficulties paying their electric bill. Depending on your personal needs and finances, you may qualify for programs like HEAP, ECIP, or LIHEAP Weatherization. These programs are good for different circumstances, including if you need a one-time assistance service, are recovering from a tragic situation or immediate crisis, or if you require essential upgrades that can lower your electric bill and make it more affordable.
Unfortunately, despite all, these laws cannot prevent power shutting down due to animal damage. Animal damage, especially from squirrels and other small critters, is one of the leading causes of power outages in the United States. Depending on how significant the damage, power loss could be for hours to a few days. No rules or regulations can prevent that to keep you safe. For those who depend on heated homes and electricity for survival, preventing this type of damage is essential. Whether you are a homeowner or a contract utility company, the importance of protecting your lines and poles are critical in the winter months. Contact us today for the necessary guard systems to protect your power and utility lines to keep your home or building safe and warm this winter season.