Menu Close

Energy Disconnection & Reconnection Rights

Office of Ohio's Consumer Council
Short Description:

website has information about your rights with utility disconnections and reconnections.

Quick Tips

Rights include:

When utility bills are unpaid, the utility must give you advance notice of an opportunity to arrange a payment plan to prevent disconnection of your electric or natural gas service.

  • You have at least 14 days to pay each month’s bill. If payment is not received by the time the next bill is generated, the utility may begin the disconnection process.
  • The utility must provide you notice at least 14 days before disconnection. Notice can either be a message on your utility bill or sent separately.
  • The utility must attempt to personally contact you before disconnection. Its representative may be able to accept payment during that contact but may not be able to accept cash at the residence. If you are not at home and miss the utility’s visit, written notice must be posted by the utility in a visible location at the premises prior to disconnecting service. Unfortunately, utilities are not required to make in-person visits prior to disconnection of consumers who have smart meters; instead the utility may contact the smart-meter customer by phone or text message.
  • Disconnection can only occur during normal business hours.
  • Consumers are entitled to a second ten-day notice before any disconnection occurring on and after Nov. 1 until and including April 15. The utility must make contact either with the customer or other adult at the premises at least 10 days prior to disconnection. The utility may contact the consumer in person, over the telephone or by hand-delivered written notice. This process provides additional time for the consumer to arrange a payment plan.

Protections Against Disconnection include:

Medical Certification Waiver

If disconnection of utility service would be especially dangerous for the health of someone living in your home, a medical professional (under certain circumstances) can help prevent shutoff or restore service. Medical certifications can be used up to three times in a 12-month period. Certification forms are available from the utility or a health facility and must be completed for each use.

Medical certifications can also be used if disconnection would make the operation of needed medical or life-support equipment impossible or impractical.

Skip to content