Stop Utility Shut-Offs! Call for a Nationwide Moratorium
While the economic shockwaves of Covid-19 continue to grow and reverberate across the economy, millions of Americans are facing deep financial hardship and are making painful choices about which bills to pay.
And right now in the midst of this public health emergency, millions of families may face losing access to electricity, water, or critical communication services — and some have been cut off. But so far, only 25 states and the District of Columbia have committed to stopping shutoffs of these essential services for families who cannot afford to pay.
Everyone should be able to wash their hands, keep the lights on, and stay in touch. So we’ve joined over 800 organizations to call for a national moratorium: STOP cutting off water, heat, electricity, telephone, and broadband services. Are you with us?
As we continue to face the daily tragedy of lives and livelihoods lost, it’s increasingly clear that while we are all affected, this pandemic is disproportionately impacting low-income families and communities of color.
These are the same communities that have borne the brunt of environmental injustice, living with increased rates of asthma, lower air quality and less access to healthcare.
This is not a coincidence, but the consequence of generations of unjust and racist systems and policies.
We need to address the urgent crises of utility shut offs now. Many of the larger utilities have created their own plans to ensure power, heat, water, telephone, and broadband are connected and working even for those families who cannot afford to pay, but there is no national moratorium on utility shut-offs at this time. In the hard-hit state of Michigan, the Governor has a state order on water only, with no protections for residents on other utilities.
We need universal protections, not a patchwork response that fails to protect the most vulnerable.
Now you can help protect vulnerable families who could lose their utility service. Without a ban on utility shut-offs, millions of families may see access to electricity, water or critical communication services cut-off during a time when these necessities are critical to keeping people healthy at home.
Join this urgent call to action: Tell your representatives in Washington, D.C. and your elected state leaders to commit to an immediate moratorium on shut-offs of electricity, water, heat, broadband, and all other essential utilities for the duration of the pandemic.
Local, state and nationwide moratoria on shut-offs is a vital, temporary fix, not a solution. We need big systemic change in the near future to address these injustices, and rebuild in a way that is more just, more equitable, and creates resilient, healthy communities.
Our first efforts are to help the most impacted and the most vulnerable. Going forward, Vote Solar is focused on catalyzing economic renewal through clean energy. We have a huge job ahead to rebuild our clean energy future, and we believe that the way out of this crisis can — and should — also prevent the next. There is much more work ahead of us, at both the federal and state level, so stay tuned for more in the days ahead.
We’re all in this together. Thank you for raising your voice today.
Read the Letter to Congress Caling for a Nationwide Moratorium – Signed by 830 organizations