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All but three regulated utilities agree to extend disconnection moratorium

Friday, Jul 31, 2020

* Press release…

The Illinois Commerce Commission is pleased to announce that several of the state’s large and small regulated electric, natural gas, water and sewer utilities have voluntarily agreed to keep residential customers connected for an additional month due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. The moratorium on disconnections expired on July 26, 2020, however, with the voluntary extension, disconnections for residential customers will not occur for most customers until September 2020. Several utilities have also extended similar relief to business customers and have agreed to continue waiving late fees.

Ameren Illinois, Aqua Illinois, Consumer Gas, ComEd, Illinois American Water, Liberty, Nicor, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, Utility Services of Illinois are among the utilities with extended moratoriums on service disconnections.

“No one should have to fear losing life-saving utility service during a pandemic. The Commission appreciates the companies’ recognition of the continuing public health emergency and their voluntary efforts to provide much needed additional relief to affected customers,” said ICC Executive Director Christy George.

On June 18, 2020, the Commission approved the landmark COVID-19 utility relief agreements in Docket No. 20-0309, which were the product of negotiations between thirteen utility companies and numerous consumer advocacy groups and parties. In addition to extending the moratorium on disconnections and late payment fees, the agreements provided historic consumer protections involving utility credit and collection practices, deferred payment agreements, and temporary waivers of reconnection fees and new deposit requirements.

I followed up with the ICC and was told three utilities have not yet agreed to the disconnection moratorium extension. MidAmerican Energy is the largest, with about 85,000 Illinois customers. Illinois Gas has about 9,000 customers and Mt. Carmel (which is both electric and gas) serves just over 5,000 customers here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments »
  1. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    Someone should get Howard Buffet on the phone, pretty sure MidAmerican is a Berkshire Hathaway company.


  2. - Put the fun in unfunded - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:16 am:

    Warren Buffett would tell you that all this does is shift the cost to everyone who is paying, because they can automatically adjust their rates for any increase in uncollectible bills.


  3. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:27 am:

    - all this does is shift the cost to everyone who is paying -

    He might also tell you it prevents critical utilities from being shut off during an unprecedented pandemic and recession.

    But by all means, continue to wow us with your mastery of Econ 101.


  4. - Chatham Resident - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    No mention of CWLP extending their disconnection moratorium for Springfield city customers past today:

    https://www.cwlp.com/ServicesHome/ServicesInformation/BillAssistance.aspx

    Also an article in yesterday’s Chatham Clarion (local newspaper) stated that the Village of Chatham’s utilities would resume disconnections starting tomorrow.

    What about other government-owned utilities? Any of them extending their moratoriums, or ending them after tonight?


  5. - Fav Human - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:32 am:

    Mt. Carmel

    I wonder if they just haven;t bothered to open the note yet :)


  6. - Put the fun in unfunded - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:32 am:

    Zeke Emanuel says the pandemic will last until November 2021. How about a moratorium on property taxes until then?


  7. - Jibba - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    Put the fun,

    Ayn Rand is pleased you read “Atlas Shrugged.” The rest of us, not so much.


  8. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 11:58 am:

    Ayn Rand died as a penniless welfare recipient…for any record.


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===your mastery of Econ 101===

    If I was king, I’d ban that class.


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