Thousands of Duke Energy customers face disconnection, options available

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In March, Duke Energy launched a sweeping series of changes to help customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including suspending disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late payment fees, as well as fees for credit and debit card payments.

As Duke Energy returns to standard billing and payments, customers began receiving notices on August 24.

According to a press release, disconnections will begin on September 2.

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Currently, there are a variety of payment options and financial assistance programs available to customers.

Duke Energy spokeswoman, Ana Gibbs, said, “If customers don’t take action now, those opportunities may not be available in the future.”

Duke Energy customers should call 800-700-8744 or visit duke-energy.com/ExtraTime to make payment arrangements or request payment assistance. For commercial customers, visit duke-energy.com/Extension.

Duke Energy said they have been proactively working with customers who are accumulating past-due balances on their utility bills, offering payment plans to mitigate potentially more significant financial challenges in the future.

“Some customers are currently not paying any portion of their bill, building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later. Some customers will continue to build a debt that will become difficult or perhaps overwhelming to pay back, ” said Gibbs.

Gibbs said, “Currently there are a variety of payment options and financial assistance programs available to customers. If customers don’t take action now, those opportunities may not be available in the future. This is why we are asking customers to reach out to us.”

There are approximately 88,000 Duke Energy Florida customers who are 60+ days delinquent and eligible for disconnections.

Duke Energy said customers should also be on high alert for scammers.

“Now that we are doing email, robocalls, and text reminders, there are scammers who target those most vulnerable and may pose as Duke Energy. We do not ask for prepaid cards and will never make threatening phone calls about shutting off power within an hour. We provide multiple reminders prior to the shut-off date, said Gibbs.