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Keeping the Lights On: Observations from Utility Data

Across the country, many Americans are seeking resources to help navigate financial difficulty stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. Vital services, like 211 are seeing a surge in calls, as those in need seek assistance. In Virginia and Maryland, 211 fielded two to four times the volume of calls in March as it received during the same period in 2019, as individuals sought help on rent assistance and utilities payments.

As many struggle with keeping up with utility bills, the FCC has asked telecom providers to sign a pledge to maintain customers phone and broadband service for 60 days.

Envestnet | Yodlee data on spending trends suggests gas and electric utilities experienced a decline in transaction volume and spend volume in April. Some companies are giving credits to those in need. According to the Wall Street Journal, companies are being required to keep the lights on, as local municipalities and regulators order utilities to refrain from cutting off services around the country.

Specifically, the data indicates that utility companies experienced declines in transactions, ranging from 20% to 30%, month to date through April 26.


Utilities Transaction Volume by Month

Please visit our COVID-19 Insights and Spending Trends homepage for related information>>