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Moratorium on residential disconnections extended by utilities

Ameren Illinois and ComEd have agreed to extend through Sept. 10.
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Power(Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune)
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 2:30 PM CDT
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CHICAGO (WIFR) - The Illinois Commerce Commission announced that several of the state’s regulated electric, natural gas, water and sewer utilities have once again voluntarily agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for residential customers.

Nicor Gas, Northshore/Peoples Gas, Illinois American Water, Aqua Illinois and Utility Services of Illinois agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for residential customers until Sept. 30. Ameren Illinois and ComEd have agreed to extend through Sept. 10.

Consumer Gas and Liberty Utilities had previously agreed to not disconnect customers until six months after the stipulated moratorium period expired, which occurred on June 26, taking them well past September.

“Given the rise in positive COVID-19 cases in communities across Illinois, and the prerequisite for residents to stay connected to school, work and family during a pandemic, I am pleased that several of the state’s larger regulated utilities have once again agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for residential customers,” Chairman Carrie K. Zalewski said. “I also encourage residents struggling to pay their bills to call their utility providers to set up a deferred payment plan so that they do not lose service when the moratorium is lifted.”

On June 18, the Commission approved COVID-19 utility relief stipulated agreements in Docket No. 20-0309, which were the result of negotiations between thirteen utility companies, consumer advocacy groups and parties. In addition to the moratorium on disconnection and late payment fees, the stipulated agreements provided consumer protections involving utility credit and collection practices, deferred payment agreements, and temporary waivers of reconnection fees and new deposit requirements.

“The ICC is continuing to monitor the situation and is working to help residents impacted by COVID-19 from losing access to life-saving utility services,” ICC Executive Director Christy George added.

To learn more about the Commission’s response to COVID-19, please visit here.

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