TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — On Monday, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced the moratorium on disconnections has been extended. This extension was put in place by several regulated utilities through the Winter of 2021 for eligible low-income residential customers and those who self-report that they are experiencing COVID-19 or financial hardship.
The previous moratorium which was agreed upon by several utility companies extended through Sept. 30.
If you have missed bill payments or you are struggling to pay your bill, the ICC reminds customers to contact their utility company. No documentation or written proof is necessary, but you must make the phone call and verbalize your difficulties. This action will ensure a continuation of your utility service. Deferred payment arrangements are also available for both residential and small business customers needing help managing their utility bill obligation during these difficult times.
At the request of the ICC, the following utilities have committed to extending the moratorium on utility disconnections for low-income (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program qualified) residential customers and those financially impacted by COVID-19 until March 31, 2021: Ameren Illinois, Aqua Illinois, Illinois American Water, Commonwealth Edison, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, and Utility Services of Illinois. MidAmerican will voluntarily extend the moratorium on disconnections for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program qualified residential customers through March 31, 2021 and is further considering additional options to help their customers during this unprecedented time. Additionally, Liberty Utilities and Nicor Gas have agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for all residential customers until March 31, 2021.
“Illinois citizens are facing extraordinary challenges due to the pandemic. Low income families and those impacted by COVID-19 should not have to fear losing basic services like electricity, heat, or fresh water,” said ICC Chairman Carrie K. Zalewski. “The voluntary actions by these utilities will provide our most vulnerable citizens with some peace of mind, especially as cold weather approaches. We appreciate the utility companies for their responsiveness and action.”
On June 18, 2020, the Commission approved landmark COVID-19 utility relief agreements, which were the product of negotiations between thirteen utility companies and numerous consumer advocate groups and parties. The agreements also provided historic consumer protections involving utility credit and collection practices, deferred payment agreements, temporary waivers of reconnection fees and new deposit requirements.
More details on the Stipulations, each utility’s commitments and compliance reports are available on the Commission website in the ICC Docket 20-0309. To learn more about the Commission’s response to COVID-19, please visit: www.icc.illinois.gov/home/covid-19.