SMITHFIELD – Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 142 that temporarily suspended residential utility service disconnections for non-payment and waived penalties and fees on utility billing from March 31 until July 29, 2020 has expired. With the expiration, utility providers can now disconnect services due to non-payment.
Johnston County Public Utilities (JCPU) has announced that residential customers with balances accrued since March 31 can enroll in a payment plan to avoid interruption of services. The voluntary payment plan allows delinquent balances from April through July to be spread over six months.
Any balance due prior to April 1st must be paid prior to enrollment, and the installment plan does not offer debt forgiveness or reduction in amounts owed, in accordance with State law.
According to Chandra Farmer, Director of Johnston County Public Utilities, there were 2,840 accounts with a past due balance at the end of June 2020. Combined $278,000 in payments were past due. Compared to a the same time last year, there were 330 customers delinquent on their account.
Although the JCPU office is currently operating with restricted public access, they are waiving transaction fees for online bill pay and the automated phone system (844-845-2151) until their offices are fully open to the public. A drop box for payments is located at the rear parking lot entrance of the building at 309 E. Market Street in Smithfield.
Customers can review the details of the payment plan at www.jcutil.com, and can contact Johnston County Public Utilities at 919-989-5075 or firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll in an installment plan.
Customers struggling with financial hardship due to COVID-19 related job loss are encouraged to contact Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action at 919-934-2145 for financial assistance.