Dover Shutting off Electricity Because of Overdue Balances - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Shutting off Electricity Because of Overdue Balances

Posted: Updated:
A Dover electric bill. The red circles indicate where it lists the bill must be paid by to avoid disconnection. (Photo: WBOC) A Dover electric bill. The red circles indicate where it lists the bill must be paid by to avoid disconnection. (Photo: WBOC)
A notice sent out to residents on Feb. 3 explaining the city's intention to start shutting off power to overdue accounts Feb. 1. (Photo WBOC) A notice sent out to residents on Feb. 3 explaining the city's intention to start shutting off power to overdue accounts Feb. 1. (Photo WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- Some people in Dover have had their electricity shut off as the city has started enforcing non-payment rules starting this past Monday.

Lorraine Loper is a resident who had her power shut off because of an outstanding balance on her account. She said she would usually pay the overdue month and not have a problem. The rules now require her to have no balance on her account.

She came home Monday night to a cold, dark house with no electricity. 

"I just went on and stayed in here with a candle," she said. "I did, I stayed in the cold. But imagine the people that had lifelines and stuff like that. [They] didn't think about them."

The Dover City Council voted in December to begin enforcing rules that are already on the books, according to Kay Sass, the Dover public affairs coordinator.

Sass said there are currently $900,000 in outstanding customer electric bills. 

Mayor Robin Christiansen told WBOC it was a business decision, one that was financially responsible for the city.

"The city has to pay up front for energy that we purchase, and that's why [the council] felt 100 percent payment now was necessary for us to pay for the energy we pass on to our customers," Christiansen said. 

Lorraine Loper said she feels like she should have had more notice, because a lot of people are on a fixed income. 

"If it went in effect February the 1st, I would say six months before that they should have said... They're saying they sent out a letter January 1st letting you know," she said.

Everyone in Dover did receive a notice with their January bill that outlined new fee changes. The notice lists a bad check fee, a bill reprint fee and an after hours service fee.

The notice did not mention the decision to begin enforcing shut-off rules. Warning signs were posted in customer service, and the shut-offs began Feb. 1. An explicit notice stating their intention to strictly enforce disconnections did not go out until Feb 3. 

Mayor Christiansen said there are deferment and payment plan options for those who have cases of genuine hardships. He said the payment plans must be strictly adhered to or there will be shut-offs.

"The city is very generous in the fact that we do have mechanisms in place for genuine cases of hardship," he said. "It's my contention to everyone, and I hope that's the reflection of the council that we have compassion if we can justify it."

City Hall did not have numbers of how many people are affected, but the mayor's office did say the $900,000 in outstanding bills is from both residential and commercial accounts. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"

    Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"

    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:15 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:15:39 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:15 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:15:39 GMT
    Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"
    The town of Ocean City prepares for "College Beach Weekend". The three day event starts today and according to the events organizer, the town is expected to see an influx of about 40,000 college students.More
    The town of Ocean City prepares for "College Beach Weekend". The three day event starts today and according to the events organizer, the town is expected to see an influx of about 40,000 college students.More
  • UPDATED: Lewes Man Arrested for Kidnapping and Assault

    Lewes Man Wanted for Alleged Assault, Kidnapping

    07/19/2017 17:17:00 -04:002017-07-19 21:17:00 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 12:05 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:05:03 GMT
    Delaware State Police are searching for Michael H. Debarr of Lewes.Delaware State Police are searching for Michael H. Debarr of Lewes.
    UPDATED: Delaware State Police found and arrested the Lewes man wanted for kidnapping and assault from earlier this week on Thursday.More
    UPDATED: Delaware State Police found and arrested the Lewes man wanted for kidnapping and assault from earlier this week on Thursday.More
  • People of Cambridge Remember H. Rap Brown

    People of Cambridge Remember H. Rap Brown

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:39 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:39:06 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:39 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:39:06 GMT
    "The streets are yours. Take 'em." Those were the words that came from H. Rap Brown - a 1960s civil rights activist.More
    "The streets are yours. Take 'em." Those were the words that came from H. Rap Brown - a 1960s civil rights activist.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices