The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 5143. Disconnection of service
(a) No municipality shall disconnect service to a ratepayer unless payment of a valid bill or charge is delinquent as defined herein, and notice of disconnection has been provided previously to the ratepayer. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the occupant of a residential dwelling that will be affected by the disconnection if the occupant is different than the ratepayer.
(b) Disconnection shall not be permitted if:
(1) The delinquent bill or charge, or aggregate delinquent bills and charges do not exceed $15.00.
(2) The delinquency is due solely to a disputed portion of a charge that is the subject of an appeal.
(3) The delinquency is due to a failure to pay a deposit, line extension, special assessment, special construction charge, or other nonrecurring charge.
(4) The disconnection would represent an immediate and serious hazard to the health of the ratepayer or a resident within the ratepayer’s household, as set forth in a physician’s certificate that is on file with the municipality. Notice by telephone or otherwise that such certificate will be forthcoming will have the effect of receipt, providing the certificate is in fact received within seven days.
(5) The ratepayer has not been given an opportunity to enter into a reasonable agreement to pay the delinquent bill or, having made such agreement, has abided by its terms.
(c) The tenant of a rental dwelling noticed for disconnection due to the delinquency of the ratepayer shall have the right to request and pay for continued service from the utility or reconnection of water and sewer service for the rental dwelling, which the utility shall provide. If any water and sewer charges or fees are included in the tenant’s rent, the tenant may deduct the cost of any water and sewer service charges or fees paid to the municipality from his or her rent pursuant to 9 V.S.A. § 4459. Under such circumstances, the utility shall not require the tenant to pay any arrearage greater than one billing cycle. (Added 1977, No. 93; amended 1989, No. 45, § 9; 2013, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Feb. 20, 2014.)