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Man with chronic medical issues wants answers after his power was shut off

Posted at 10:34 AM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 10:35:48-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- One CBS 6 viewer turned to the Problem Solvers, hoping we could help him get answers from Dominion Energy. He says because of chronic medical issues, he cannot be without electricity. That’s something his north side apartment has been without for more than two days.

“Going to the hospital. Staying hours in the hospital to get treated,” William Carhuff explained of his plight.

He says that’s what happens when his Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) gets the best of him like it did this week. The apartment he just started leasing had the electricity cut off.

Carhuff says it all stemmed from an outstanding bill left behind by previous tenants that the landlord he’s subleasing from rented to.

He initially thought that was the reason why he couldn’t get the electric service turned on in his name.

"I said I’m a disabled man. You can’t figure out something to help me? They said 'no sir, not until that balance is paid,'" he added.

William Carhuff

Carhuff said the man he was subleasing from made a payment to Dominion for the outstanding balance. Carhuff asked CBS 6 Problem Solvers to reach out to Dominion Energy on his behalf when he still couldn’t get the service in his name.

He’s frustrated that in addition to losing power, he also lost food in the refrigerator and insulin medication.

“It has to be refrigerated. If it goes above 80 degrees, it’s no good. When I went back into the house, it was 90,” Carhuff explained.

A Dominion Energy spokesperson told CBS 6 Problem Solvers that Carhuff’s dilemma was due to paperwork requirements. For customer privacy reasons, Samantha Moore was unable to elaborate on those specific issues.

She did say the company considered his condition and by Wednesday afternoon Mr. Carhuff’s power was restored.

“We were happy to work today to get it on, especially with his medical condition. We want to make sure customers have electricity in their everyday lives. We know it can be difficult without,” Moore said.

She says Dominion Energy will note special medical circumstances when a customer alerts them and provides required medical documentation from a doctor.

She says their goal is to always work with customers who need it.

“Medical condition customers have some flexibility under the law. We can work with them for additional payment arrangements, but they still need to contact us. The earlier, the better. Having a medical notation on the account is an important first step,” Moore added.

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