It’s been a tough year this past week! All-Coronavirus-all-the-time on the news.

But in all the bad news utilities around the country are doing the right thing. Many utilities recognize how tough this health issue is, and how it can affect household finances. Many have called a halt to any disconnects for overdue power bills.

“Our customers should not have to worry about losing service during this critical time. Therefore, we have suspended all service disconnections for nonpayment. We know the communities we serve rely on us to provide an essential service,” said Dominion Energy. No end date was announced for this action.

Duke Energy said, “Since many of you may be facing unusual financial hardship, we are suspending disconnection for nonpayment effective immediately. … We will continue to look for ways to support customer needs during the pandemic.” This applies to accounts in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. No end date was announced for this action.

Santee Cooper said it will not disconnect power for delinquent bills through April 2, and will assess the situation on an ongoing basis.

Smaller utilities seem to be following the same course in power and water service. “If washing your hands is the most protective thing we can do, why would we take away the water,” said Clay Duffie, general manager for Mount Pleasant Waterworks, in a Charleston Post and Courier report.

Electric and water are both essential utility services.

Check your power company’s website to see how your provider is responding to the pandemic. This is an evolving situation.