Update on Utility Shutoff Moratorium
While the Ohio EPA’s order suspending water disconnections expires on July 10, the Department of Public Utilities’ (DPU) moratorium on water disconnections remains in effect until further notice.
On March 10, 2020 Toledo City Council passed ORD 108-20, placing a moratorium on water shut offs and waiving late fees for City of Toledo residents until the threat of COVID-19 is diminished, well in advance of Governor DeWine and the Ohio EPA’s order on March 31.
Department of Public Utilities Director Ed Moore wants to ensure customers that while the City of Toledo’s moratorium remains in place, preventing residential service termination within Toledo during this time, the Department of Public Utilities will continue meter readings and sending monthly invoices. All customers are strongly encouraged to make every effort to continue to pay their bill. “We understand this is a very challenging time and we want to encourage those customers needing assistance to reach out sooner rather than later for flexible payment plan options,” Moore said.
City staff, in conjunction with the recently formed Water Affordability & Consumer Protection Task Force, are currently in the process of evaluating policies and procedures that will help customers when disconnections for non-payment are reinstated.
The Water Affordability & Consumer Protection Task Force stated that we are still under the COVID-19 pandemic and it would be a very bad idea to start implementing water shut offs. “We want to make sure every effort is made to keep families safe in their homes and be good stewards of their welfare so thank you to the Department of Public Utilities for your decision to keep water turned on."
This evaluation of the Toledo water system is being done with great concern and awareness for the financial difficulties and other vulnerabilities many City of Toledo customers are currently facing due to the pandemic. Presently, the considerations include having financial relief tools in place in addition to current affordability programs, coordinating with outside agencies to refer customers for additional relief, and offering extended payment plan options. The City of Toledo is also evaluating efforts to ensure customers receive plenty of advance notice prior to any shut-off occurring in addition to the current multi-notice procedures.
Customer service representatives are available over the phone Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 419-245-1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Representatives will be available to assist customers with answering questions about bills, ensuring eligible discounts are applied, and providing flexible payment options.
Although the Customer Service Walk-In Center at 420 Madison Avenue remains temporarily closed to the public, there are still a number of ways for customers to pay their bill:
- Make a payment through their bank or credit union
- Drop payment into the drop box in front of 420 Madison Avenue
- Mail check or money order via U.S. postal mail
- Make a credit card payment through Paymentus at 866-417-0726 *Please note, a $3.95 transaction fee for every $400 will be applied
A date when the moratorium will be lifted and any corresponding changes will be communicated to customers via multiple methods, including brochures included with bills, and City and department websites, and social media. Customers should watch these outlets for updates.