Legal Logic: Defining consumer utility rights

There was a class action suit filed this week in RI against National Grid & the DPU to stop illegal utility shutoffs.

Thousands of people in the state are affected by these shutoffs and with the cold winter arriving, consumers may want to know about their rights regarding utility shutoffs in both in RI and Massachusetts.

The RI Association for Justice, a class action lawsuit, claims on behalf of vulnerable RI consumers that they have been victimized by the actions of National Grid and the PUC in failing to abide by the law with respect to the disconnection of their utilities. If you are one of these persons, you may wish to contact them at 401-491-1101 to participate in the suit.

In addition, there may be some help available to RI and Mass. consumers who are eligible for heating and electrical assistance through the federally sponsored “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program” . Eligibility is generally limited to persons and families with household  income at or below 75% of the median income for the state. For example, In RI for a family of four, eligibility  is limited to household income of approximately $53,000 or less and in Massachusetts to approximately $63,000.00 or less per year. For other size families and individuals, the eligibility requirements are available through the plan and generally available on-line.

Brian Cunha, of Brian Brian Cunha & Associates, joined The Rhode Show Tuesday, to shed some legal insight on this matter.

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