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Officials Want Gas Shut-off Moratorium Extended

Secretary of State William Galvin is asking Massachusetts public utilities to extend a winter moratorium on shutting off gas and electric services for home heating.

Galvin said Tuesday that high unemployment and foreclosures have made this winter even more difficult and that companies should keep the moratorium in place until April 15.

The state Department of Public Utilities last week asked utilities to extend until May 1 the moratorium on winter shut-offs for low income, elderly and disabled residents.

The current law forbids gas and electric utilities from shutting off service to residential buildings between Nov. 15 and March 15 if customers fail to pay because of financial hardship.

Galvin says he may attempt to change the law if companies don't agree to the extension.

This program aired on March 11, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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