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ORS logo over utility lines and COVID-19 image
Wed, 06/03/2020

If you have been unable to pay your bill during these unprecedented times, it is important that you contact your utility as soon as possible to discuss your situation and your ability to pay any balance you owe.

If you are behind on your utility service payments, do not wait until you receive a notice of disconnection to discuss payment options. Contact your utility as soon as possible. It is likely that call volumes to utility providers will increase over time and may require you to be placed on hold longer than usual.

Regulated electric and natural gas utilities offer “safety net” programs or benefits (PDF) to help consumers in certain situations who may struggle to pay their bills. You may be able to take advantage of one or more of the following safety nets:

  • Special consideration or protection due to a medical condition
  • Referral to a local community organization to arrange for financial assistance
  • Specialized payment plans
  • Third-party notification to alert a friend, relative or organization if utility service is in danger of being disconnected

Financial help for consumers to assist in paying utility bills is available through local community organizations. Consumers are encouraged to contact local community organizations to ask about financial assistance. Additionally, use the Energy Office's Energy Saver Tool to help you determine what opportunities may be available to you.

For the latest utility updates during COVID-19, visit the Office of Regulatory Staff’s COVID-19 page.

Consumers need to recognize scams. Utility companies will not call and threaten disconnection of service. If you see a scam, report the scam immediately.

Don’t wait to call if you are behind on your utility service payments. Utility companies are encouraged to work with their consumers, and representatives are standing by to help.


The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) represents consumers of investor-owned utilities in South Carolina before the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC). The PSC is the state agency that sets utilities’ rates. The ORS must look at the impact to the consumer and utilities’ continued investment in reliable and high-quality services.