CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State regulators have opened a general investigation into notifications by utilities and cable providers regarding service outages. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has notified 14 regulated utilities, including those serving the Eastern Panhandle that they should explain how they notify their individual customers when they are affected by service outages.

A press release from the PSC says the companies named in the investigation are Mountaineer Gas Company, Hope Gas Inc., Consumers Gas Utility Company, Union Oil & Gas, Inc., Cardinal Natural Gas Company, West Virginia-American Water Company, Beckley Water Company, Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company, Monongahela Power and The Potomac Edison Power Company, Morgantown Utility Board, Frontier West Virginia Inc., and Optimum.

The utilities have 20 days to respond to the order. They should provide an explanation of how they notify their individual affected customers of service outages; what plans they have, if any, to add, expand, modify, or improve notification systems; describe any technical or physical barriers that exist to providing electronic notifications by email or text message; and describe procedures in place to notify mass communication media of outages.

West Virginia Rural Water Association, West Virginia Municipal League, and the West Virginia Internet and Television Association were provided with a copy of the order so they can inform their members of the general investigation. The Commission says it will welcome responses from the associations’ members, but members are not required to respond.

More information on this case can be found on the PSC website. Click on “Case Information” and access Case No. 24-0338-G-W-E-CTV-GI