Louisville utility, water disconnections resume; resources available for at-risk families

LG&E put a hold on disconnections during the pandemic. Now, they’ve resumed and some are already without power
In the heat of the summer, thousands of Louisville families are at risk of losing electricity and air conditioning.
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:59 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2021 at 9:55 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In the heat of the summer, thousands of Louisville families are at risk of losing electricity and air conditioning.

In March 2020, utility companies put a hold on disconnections during the pandemic; now, they’ve resumed and some are already without power. More than a year after utility disconnection was suspended amid the pandemic, the moratorium was lifted in June and some have already had power cut-off.

So far, 3,600 LG&E customers have been disconnected for non-payment; another 21,000 customers are at risk if no payment is received.

“It’s been a difficult time for our customers so what we want them to do is when they received the disconnection notice is to reach out to us,” LG&E Communications Director Natasha Collins said.

The utility is encouraging customers to make contact, and set up a payment plan before disconnection; LG&E will also match customers with community organizations that can provide assistance like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP within the city’s office of Resilience and Community Services.

“It’s so vital to households, especially those that have been impacted by COVID. It just makes a big difference, in a lot of cases these are vulnerable households,” Debbie Belt said.

In the past year, LIHEAP has provided assistance to nearly 18,000 households. The nearly $1.4 million LIHEAP summer cooling program will provide one-time benefit from $100 to $400 for those who qualify based on income, and up to $600 dollars to those facing “energy crisis” situations like disconnections.

The program will begin to accept applications July 12; appointments can be booked now online or by calling (502) 991-8391.

Customers with Louisville Water are also facing disconnection concerns; the company has resumed normal business with 12,000 households behind in payment.

Through their program Drops of Kindness, customers who qualify can receive a one-time credit; customers who don’t make contact with the utility will automatically be put on payment plans.

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