Mitigating the COVID-19 Bad Debt Crisis: Utility Strategies and Solutions

Learn how public power utilities can leverage their AMI/smart metering systems, along with prepay and automated payment arrangements to better navigate the COVID-19 bad debt crisis and allow their customers to pay down debt over time.
June 22, 2020
2:00pm EDT - 3:00pm EDT


As COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the United States, fear of the escalating public health emergency has been matched only by the shock of the looming financial crisis confronting businesses and their employees. Utilities are on the front-line with services deemed essential and service disconnections discontinued for months in response to the hardships faced by so many Americans. 

With 38 million Americans filing for unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic—and mass predictions of a lingering economic slump—many customers will not be able to pay their past-due utility bills for an extended period and will face disconnection. Even as the economy slowly re-opens, many utilities report that 30 to 40% of their customers currently have negative balances and their aged accounts receivables have more than doubled in just the last 8 weeks. 

Eventually life will return to “normal,” but the most affected will still face insurmountable arrearages and utilities will contend with large bad-debt write-offs and the prospect of grossly unpopular mass shut-offs due to the lingering financial impacts of COVID-19. 

Hear from an industry expert on the state of the issue. Then learn how two public power utilities plan to leverage their AMI/smart metering systems, along with prepay and automated payment arrangements to better navigate this crisis and allow their customers to pay down debt over time. 


  • Reducing utility financial risk and bad-debt write-off exposure
  • Implementing prepay solutions
  • Implementing automated payment arrangements with high success rates
  • Reducing call center traffic related to the payment arrangement negotiations
  • Enabling customers to successfully pay down large arrearages over time
  • Helping customers avoid going further into debt
  • Giving customers greater visibility into daily usage, utility spend and outstanding past due amounts 

Recommended for

Utilities that have implemented AMI or are considering implementing AMI. This webinar is designed for general managers and executive leadership, finance personnel, customer service employees, collections managers, and information technology staff who are responsible for AMI integrations. 



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