JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – JEA will start cutting power to thousands of customers on Monday.
That’s because the freeze on late fees and disconnections expired on Sunday. A JEA spokesperson said in a statement sent to News4JAX that as of Sunday morning, 3,948 customers are facing disconnection this week.
According to JEA, the temporary disconnections will be staggered starting with customers with debt dating back the furthest.
“We are committed to working with customers to restore service as quickly as possible after payments are made,” the spokesperson said.
The utility started the grace period back in July to help those struggling with payments.
JEA said typically utility bills are at their highest during July and August months.
Lori Moore told us she cries when she opens her bill.
Moore said she didn’t know about the disconnections as well. Her bill has increased from $170 to $500 over the last few months.
“They’re trying to tell me I use 32,000 gallons of water in a month, and I have no pool. My irrigation system has been unplugged since probably March. I’m one person,” Moore said.
Moore had a plumber check for possible leaks, drips and broken pipes, and they did not find anything. She also tried to set an appointment with JEA but was unsuccessful.
Moore said something has to change.
Utility leaders are offering some long-term relief. Starting next month, JEA is eliminating customer fees for using a credit or debit card.
The company will also return deposits after a year instead of two years as long as you have a good payment history.
The end of the grace period comes as some Jacksonville residents continue to get hit by unusually high bills.
“My JEA has gone up to about $150 more than I usually pay. I am already on low income due to my disability. It’s not fair!” one News4JAX viewer said.
“My bill is double what it should be, this is ridiculous! Total bill is $454 this month and we bumped our thermostat up to 80 degrees!!!
“As a community-owned utility, we do not want any customers to lose the services they depend upon daily. This is why we have worked so diligently to notify customers about their options and the upcoming deadline,” the spokesperson said.
JEA encourages customers to log into jea.com to make payments or set up payment arrangements at any time.