AEP asks customers to communicate financial struggles amid COVID-19 pandemic

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Appalachian Power and other utility companies decided they will not shut off power for late or unpaid bills.

Appalachian Power Spokesman, Phil Moye, said they saw people facing unprecedented difficulties, including loss of income.

“We haven’t been disconnecting customers for nonpayment since probably mid March,” Moye said. “That helps people along but at the same time, at some point, it’s gotta get back to where we are trying to resume normal operations.”

As people are beginning to get a taste of normalcy again, Moye asks customers to communicate with the company if they still cannot afford their bills.

“Let us know your situation,” Moye said. “And our folks are very well equipped to find ways to help people spread a payment out over a couple of months or find payment assistance. There are a number of things we can do, but the first and best step is just to communicate with us and let us know the situation.”

While they have not been disconnecting customers for unpaid bills, those bills are still adding up. As the summer heat starts to hit and people start using their air conditioning, power bills are expected to rise.

“Those unpaid bills mount up and add up, and you really just don’t want to find yourself at the end of the summer in such a deep hole of five or six months of electric bills,” Moye said.

Moye said Appalachian Power employees will work with their customers during these uncertain times, but communication is key.

Moye said the company will not be disconnecting customers through the summer. He added you can contact Appalachian Power’s call center for information on payment plans or financial assistance.

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