RD322 - Report on Status of Municipal Utility Customer Accounts March 16, 2020 – December 15, 2020 – December 2020
Item 4-14.00 Paragraph 7h of the 2020 Appropriations Act, as amended, requires utilities not subject to regulation by the State Corporation Commission (municipal utilities) to submit information on the status of customer accounts to the Commission on Local Government (CLG).(*1) Each utility is required to report to the CLG information covering specific time periods. For this report, that time period covers March 16, 2020, through December 15, 2020 and covers the following information: (*2)
a) The number and value of accounts that are at least 30 days in arrears;
b) the number and value of accounts that are at least 60 days in arrears;
c) The number, total value, and average debt of accounts that are participating in the Repayment Plan, or another repayment plan as set forth by the utility;
d) The number of accounts removed from the Repayment Plan, or another repayment plan as set forth by the utility, categorized by reason;
e) The amount of and average debt still remaining for accounts removed from the Repayment Plan or another repayment plan as set forth by the utility;
f) the carrying costs of the debt for accounts participating in a repayment plan and any associated administrative costs incurred;
g) The number, total value, and average debt of accounts offset by the funds provided in Item 479.10, paragraph B.2. of this act and local programs using Coronavirus Relief Funds, categorized by days in arrears, customer account type, and Coronavirus Relief Fund type; and,
h) The cumulative level of customer arrearages by locality.
Upon receipt of such information, the CLG is directed to compile an aggregated anonymized report and provide it to the Chairs of the House Committees on Labor and Commerce and Appropriations, the Senate Committees on Commerce and Labor and Finance and Appropriations, and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
On December 10, 2020, CLG staff shared advanced notice of the reporting requirement and questions with points of contact for municipal utilities and the chief administrative officers for cities, counties, and towns. On December 15, 2020, an email was sent to the same individuals with a link to a survey for purposes of collecting this information.(*3) Responses were received from 146 municipal utilities, which does not appear to account for every municipal utility system that is within the Commonwealth of Virginia; however, an analysis and listing on unresponsive municipal utilities is not provided in this report.(*4)
Please note that the CLG has not formally adopted the report because the reporting deadlines established in the Appropriations Act do not comport with the CLG’s adopted meeting schedule. This report will be presented to the CLG for formal consideration at their next regularly scheduled meeting on January 5, 2021.