TITLE 83: PUBLIC UTILITIES
CHAPTER I: ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION
SUBCHAPTER b: PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO MORE THAN ONE KIND OF UTILITY
PART 280 PROCEDURES FOR GAS, ELECTRIC, WATER AND SANITARY SEWER UTILITIES GOVERNING ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICE, DEPOSITS, BILLING, PAYMENTS, REFUNDS AND DISCONNECTION OF SERVICE
SECTION 280.50 BILLING
Section 280.50 Billing
a) Intent: This Section establishes minimum billing content and billing disclosure requirements.
b) Billing Cycle:
1) Without prior authorization from the customer, a utility shall not bill a customer account for utility usage in advance.
2) The utility shall bill the customer monthly unless both the customer and the utility have agreed to bi-monthly or quarterly billing.
3) Bills to large, non-residential customers may be rendered more frequently than monthly when agreed to by the utility and customer. More frequent billing may be offered if the large, non-residential customer is subject to disconnection or payment of a deposit. The more frequent billing shall not extend more than six months, at which time monthly billing shall resume.
c) Bill Content: Bills rendered to a retail customer for service, regardless of bill delivery method, shall be itemized to clearly show at least the following:
1) Customer billing information:
A) Customer name;
B) Service address;
C) Mailing address if different from service address;
D) Account number;
E) The date the bill was generated and sent to the customer;
F) For accounts on a budget billing plan, the accrued debit or credit balance for the plan;
G) The total amount owing on a payment arrangement, including the installment amounts due and the number of installments remaining to satisfy the arrangement, and that a late payment may result in the termination of the payment arrangement.
H) The amount of any deposit either held or owing and the accumulated interest on the deposit; and
I) Electric and gas utilities shall provide a graphic comparison, such as a bar chart or pie chart, of the current usage and the customer's previous 12 months of historical usage;
2) Contact information:
A) The utility's toll free phone number and/or local phone number for customer inquiries and complaints;
B) The toll free telephone number for the Commission's Consumer Services Division and a statement indicating that the customer must contact the utility first before seeking assistance from the Commission's Consumer Services Division; and
C) The name and contact information for any supplier or other third parties authorized by the Commission to appear on the bill and with which the customer has contracted;
3) Meter and rate classification information:
A) The meter identification number;
B) The previous and current meter readings and the corresponding dates of those readings;
C) The number of days in the billing period;
D) The energy, natural gas or water used;
E) The meter constant if applicable;
F) The type of services rendered;
G) A complete description of the service or rate classification under which the customer receives service;
H) The type of reading that was used in the bill calculation (actual, estimate or customer reading); and
I) For meters for which beginning and ending meter readings are used as billing determinants, the reading of the meter at the beginning and the reading of the meter at the end of the period for which the bill is rendered;
4) Bills not based on metered usage: In the event that a bill is not based on usage derived from meter readings, the bill must indicate the period of time for which the bill is rendered, the type of service rendered, and a complete description of the service or rate classification under which the customer receives service;
5) Itemization of billing amounts: The following components of the bill and the total amount shall be itemized and listed vertically for ease of reading:
A) The monthly customer charge or any portion of the charge;
B) Any applicable demand charges;
C) Depending upon the type of utility service:
i) Electricity: The cost of energy detailed by the energy used and price per unit of each change in the unit price;
ii) Natural gas: The cost of gas determined by the number of therms used and the price per therm for each change in the unit price;
iii) Water: The volume of water used and the price per gallon or cubic foot and the price for each change in the unit price;
D) Depending upon the type of utility service:
i) Electricity: Any applicable cost of fuel adjustment;
ii) Natural gas: Any applicable cost of gas adjustment;
iii) Water: Any applicable cost of purchased water;
E) Any other applicable adjustments, including other charges not under categories of changes but relating to services, energy, gas, water, sewerage or other programs provided to customers;
F) State tax;
G) Municipal tax;
H) Infrastructure maintenance fee;
I) Optional services listed separately;
6) The bill due date;
7) Definitions or explanations of any abbreviations and technical words used on the bill; and
8) For electric and gas utilities, the average use per day for the period over which the bill is rendered and for the comparable period one year earlier, and an indication of the difference in temperatures between the two periods.
d) Bill Delivery:
1) Bills for utility service sent through the U.S. Mail shall be in envelopes to ensure privacy. Bills that are too large for enclosure in envelopes may be packaged and sent in boxes.
2) If mailed bill envelopes are not postmarked, the utility shall maintain an alternative method of third party verification of the date of mailing. Records to verify each bill issuance or delivery shall be retained for two years.
3) Customers may choose to have bills delivered by electronic means. The utility must have written confirmation, which may include written electronic acceptance, from the customer regarding this choice. Customers choosing this service must retain the right to have all notices, including disconnection notices as provided for in Subpart I, by U.S. Mail at any time.
4) If bills are delivered or made available to customers by means other than U.S. Mail, the utility shall maintain a record to verify each bill delivery or issuance for two years.
e) Due Dates:
1) Bills for residential customers shall be due a minimum of 21 days after the date they are sent to the customer, and bills for non-residential customers shall be due a minimum of 14 days after the date they are sent to the customer.
2) If a bill is mailed from a state or location that does not border Illinois or if payment is received at a state or location that does not border Illinois, the due date shall be:
A) Residential customer: a minimum of 23 days after the date the bill is sent to the customer; or
B) Non-residential customer: a minimum of 16 days after the date the bill is sent to the customer.
3) If a bill is mailed from a state or location that does not border Illinois and is also received at a state or location that does not border Illinois, the due date shall be:
A) Residential customer: a minimum of 25 days after the date the bill is sent to the customer; or
B) Non-residential customer: a minimum of 18 days after the date the bill is sent to the customer.
f) Bill Transfers: When a customer has the same class and type of utility service at more than one location with the same utility, the utility shall not transfer a balance owing from one premises account to another until the customer has failed to pay the final bill rendered for that premises or the customer requests that the final balance be transferred directly to the other premises account. When transferring final balances from one premises account to another, the utility shall indicate on the bill the location where the amount due originated.
g) Each utility shall have an example of its bill form in its tariffs on file with the Commission and on its website.