Illinois Regulators Reach Utility Payments Agreement

The Illinois Commerce Commission entered into an agreement with regulated, investor-owned utilities to help customers maintain service during a difficult economic period.

The agreement extends a moratorium on water, gas, and electric disconnections and suspends late fees until August 1 or when Illinois enters Phase 4 of its reopening, whichever comes first, and for an additional 30 days after that for most customers.

The agreement also gives customers facing financial hardship more time to pay their past-due balances. Customer can qualify simply by saying that they need more time, rather than filling out paperwork.

Utilities, for their part, must reconnect service to homes where it had been disconnected. They must also track bill collections data by zip code, service region, or district so that the Commission can judge the impact on communities.

“The agreement we approved today is significant in that it will help many families from falling too far behind, and places Illinois in a leading role for other states to follow as they develop plans of their own,” said Commissioner Sadzi Martha Oliva in a statement.

The agreement was negotiated along with consumer advocacy groups.

The commission on March 18 ordered a moratorium on water, gas, and electric disconnections and suspended late fees.

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