If your service provider turned the power off, you’re not the only one struggling with this issue. A 2021 study showed that Americans owed roughly $20 billion in utility and water bills. Obviously, some failed to pay what they owed, and they lost power. If you count yourself among that unfortunate number, and you’re wondering when your service provider will reconnect you, this guide may help you.
How Long Does It Take To Get Electric Turned Back On?
A company can reconnect a home with a digital smart meter within hours. However, if you have an analog meter, you may have to wait the full 48 hours, especially if your service provider doesn’t have any available technicians to attend to your situation.
If you want a more accurate estimate, call your service provider. You should also reach out to them if your power remains off for longer than expected. Some people can fall through the cracks.
Don’t forget that human beings operate these organizations. Therefore, if someone fails to send the reconnection order, the company won’t realize that your house is still disconnected until you reach out to them.
Sometimes, the service provider is not at fault. They will only reconnect you after processing your payment. As such, if your payment has an error, your electricity may stay off for longer than expected.
Reconnecting Electricity After Disconnection – Step by Step Guide
- Access your service provider’s portal
- Open your account and determine the amount you owe
- Pay the amount you owe
- There are some websites that offer a reconnection form for consumers to fill out. But in other cases, the system will alert the service provider once you pay the due balance. The service provider will tell you when you can expect their technicians to reconnect your power.
This Scottish Power video has highlighted the fact that people with smart meters don’t have to follow this procedure. If they have credit on their account, they can just pay the money they owe, and the power will return.
This assumes that your electricity has only been off for a few months. If the service provider disconnected you over six months ago, North Power expects you to acquire a Certificate of Verification.
Crown Energy has mentioned another concern that conventional homeowners rarely consider. What if you want to move into a home the service provider is permanently disconnected?
What if they removed the wires and conduits? In such a situation, it isn’t a simple matter of reconnecting you. Your service provider has to create a new connection.
The duration and cost will depend on the volume of work the technicians have to perform, the complexity of the task, and the kinds of permits they have to acquire. Reconnections are not all the same.
Can I Get Electric Turned Back On With No Money?
Some service providers will create a program that allows you to pay what you owe over several months. Some companies offer these programs of their own volition. Others are compelled to do so by the local authorities.
If your utility company isn’t quite as generous as you would like, talk to LIHEAP. They provide assistance to poor consumers struggling to pay their energy bills.
But you have to meet their financial requirements. LIHEAP helps low-income families. You should read their terms and conditions to see if you qualify.
Some people turn to credit cards, especially if they have hours to pay what they owe before the service provider disconnects them. But credit cards are dangerous because the interest will put you deeper in debt.
You are better off asking your friends and family to recommend local organizations with crisis funds that can help you during your emergency. Local churches are a decent starting point.
Certain groups of people have charities specifically designed to assist them during desperate times. For instance, veterans have organizations that cater to the needs of former soldiers.
Some consumers are fortunate enough to live in states that prohibited utility companies from performing disconnections at the height of the COVID 19 pandemic.
If your service provider is threatening to disconnect your power, take a moment to find out whether those laws are still in effect. If they are, reach out to the utility company and remind them of your rights.
These are not the only protections local governments offer. In some places, utility companies are not allowed to disconnect consumers during extreme weather conditions such as hot summers and freezing winters.
If they have already disconnected your power, you may have difficulty convincing them to reconnect you if you haven’t paid your bill. Your best bet is to prevent the utility company from disconnecting you in the first place.
Fortunately, low-income households have the internet. A simple Google search will point you in the direction of organizations in your area that can help you avoid disconnection.
Service providers would rather work with you to create a suitable payment plan. Disconnecting your power doesn’t necessarily help them. All they want is the money you owe them. However, while they have every reason to work with you, they can also take an uncompromising stance. As such, you cannot count on them to make things easy for you.
How Much Does It Cost To Reconnect Electricity?
|Reconnection charges after being cut off
|High Voltage Up to 36 kV
|High Voltage 36 > 72,5 kV
|High Voltage over 72,5 kV
Reconnections are not cheap. According to Endesa, the reconnection fee is typically twice as much as the original connection cost. The utility company is not willing to swallow the cost of the reconnection.
The exact amount will depend on your location. There are no strict regulations informing the reconnection costs utility companies charge. Therefore, reconnection may cost you a few dollars in one place and thousands of dollars in another.
The complexity of the task will shape the final amount. How long ago was the power disconnected? What sort of disconnection did they perform? Did they remove any of the wires and conduits?
Do you expect the service provider to make new installations? The company will take several factors into account before sending you the bill.
If you don’t have the money to pay the reconnection fee, some service providers will add the cost to your next bill. They can either ask you to pay the entire sum or spread it out over several months.
How Does Electricity Get Disconnected?
A company gives you 34 days to pay your bill before turning the power off. Technically speaking, you have 19 days to make the payment. But before American utility companies can disconnect you, they will send a 15-day notice, which amounts to 34 days in total (19+15).
The exact duration will vary depending on your location and the rules that govern utility companies in your area.
But what if you are exempted from disconnection? What if COVID 19 rules or your status as a military veteran, disabled person, and the like prohibits the service provider from terminating your connection to the grid?
You’re not out of the woods yet. You should contact your supplier if they have threatened to disconnect you. But if they don’t believe that you qualify for the exemption you have cited, the people at Citizens Advice expect the company in question to seek a court warrant permitting them to disconnect your power.
This applies to the UK. The utility companies are also expected to inform you that they have taken your case to court. Electricity suppliers in other places may follow different rules.
If the company secures the warrant, they can remotely disconnect homes with smart meters. If you have an analog meter situated outside the property, they can disconnect you without a warrant.
The court warrant grants them access to your home. But if they have to climb the electricity pole to cut your power, they may perform this task without a warrant. Many organizations secure the warrant all the same because it gives them additional legal protection.
But you have more time than you realize. You can extend that time even further by contacting the electricity supplier.