In an effort to “cushion the pain of unemployment”, the Cabinet has decided to instruct APUA to cease disconnections of water and electricity to households for three months.
This decision comes as the island braces for an economic downturn as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The dreaded disease has changed many circumstances, crippled economies and affected the entire globe,” Cabinet notes state.
The notes also acknowledge that “many workers face [likely unemployment] as the hotels close, the airlines lay-off staff [while] other businesses contract and shorten workweeks, reducing or eliminating salaries and wages.”
In addition to the stop-order issued on disconnections, Cabinet and APUA have agreed to re-connect those APUA customers who have been recently disconnected, except in cases where there has been theft of services.
The cost of electricity to households is also to be reduced by 20 percent for the upcoming three-month period – April, May and June.
While enacting these measures, however, Cabinet and APUA are encouraging people to continue to make payments to the utilities authority and reminds them that “the moratorium on payments will cause the customers’ debt to APUA to accumulate and become payable in the future.”