Arkansas utility companies are subject to State Consumer laws, including those providing natural gas, electricity, cable, and telephone services. Arkansas’ Public Service Commission, the state agency governing most utilities statewide, has taken many steps to ensure customers of these companies have adequate notice of, and protection from, unnecessary suspension of their utility service. The information contained in the fact sheet sets forth the notice requirements you must follow to ensure adequate utility service, and your rights, duties, and protections guaranteed as a regulated public utility customer.
No one likes having utility service shut off, including those who regulate such actions. The Public Service Commission, also known as the PSC, follows certain rules or regulations which ensure that utility service may only be shut off, or disconnected in severe situations.
If your utilities are disconnected or shut off, you must contact the utility company immediately. Your goal should be to have the utility service turned on as quickly as possible.
If there is information or something else that has not been discussed before, be sure to tell the utility company, so you can have your utilities turned back on.
Keep in mind that once the service has been disconnected, the utility company can normally charge you a reconnection fee and require payment of all past due bills before reconnecting your utility service.
If the utility is reconnected after normal business hours, an approved fee may also be charged for this service.
The PSC requires that regulated utility companies offer special protections against disconnection for customers under the following conditions:
If you have an informal complaint, you can file a grievance or complaint with the Public Service Commission (PSC) under Rule 9.01 "Informal Complaints." The complaint will be investigated by PSC staff. These complaints are not formally registered or kept on file with the agency.
If you have a formal complaint, you can file it with the PSC under Rules 3.02 and 9.02. This complaint is a formal pleading asking for relief as authorized by Arkansas law. The utility company has 20 days to respond to the complaint.
If you have additional questions about a regulated utility or a utility-related problem that you have not been able to fix, contact the Consumer Services Office. You can visit the local utility office in person, write a letter, or call them at the toll-free number listed on your bill.
Little Rock: (501) 682-1718
P.O. Box 400
Little Rock, AR 72203
1000 Center Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Arkansas consumers are normally responsible citizens who meet their financial obligations, which includes utility bill payment. However, personal emergencies can arise, making payment difficult. Customers can avoid encountering utility non-payment shut-off by promptly contacting the utility company if they will have bill payment emergencies to make arrangements for payment. Personal emergencies can happen that make paying your utilities hard. You can avoid having your utilities shut off by calling the utility company immediately. Let them know. Sometimes, the utility company may extend the date for payment due or work out ways to pay in installments.
The utility company may also have a type of "good neighbor" or other compassion program to help you in making payments. There may also be a government agency that can help if you qualify for that kind of help.
Always be sure to have pencil and paper, so you can write down any agreement or arrangements made with the utility company. You should write the information down and mark any deadlines on a calendar as a reminder. Try to keep all payment or other arrangements you make with the utility company. Do not miss a payment. If you have an issue in the future, contact the utility company immediately to let them know. By doing so, you and the utility company know what is happening on the account.