Advocates for the poor are raising concerns about proposed changes in Rhode Island’s utility shut-off rules.
For years, Rhode Island law has forbidden utility shutoffs from November 1st through April 15th. Under new rules being considered by the state Public Utilities Commission, that window would be closed April 1st and people would have earn less to be protected.
Debbie Clark of the George Wiley Center, a non-profit that advocates for the poor, said an April 1st moratorium shutoff is far too early for chilly New England.
New rules regarding the operation of limousines and other non-taxi public sedans go into effect Monday. The state Public Utilities Commission will hold off on enforcing a controversial provision of the new rules.
The public is invited to comment Tuesday on a proposed rate increase by the Providence Water Supply Board. Because Providence sells its water to other municipalities, the rate increase would affect residents in nearly 60 percent of the state.
It’s the first rate hike in four years, and for city residents it means a 24 percent increase. The water board says that’s an additional $6.00 for the average customer.
For the cities of Warwick and East Providence, and for the Kent County and Bristol County water authorities, rates would go up 32 percent.