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.APPENDIX D DISCONNECTION NOTICE INSERT FOR RESIDENTIAL GAS AND ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS
Section 280.APPENDIX D Disconnection Notice Insert for Residential Gas and Electric Customers
Disconnection notices sent to residential gas and electric customers shall include an insert in substantially the following form:
IF YOU CANNOT PAY YOUR ENTIRE BILL NOW
READ THIS NOTICE ABOUT MAKING
ARRANGEMENTS TO PAY OVER TIME
What can I do if I cannot pay my entire bill now?
If you are a residential customer of a public utility and owe for past due service, you may have the chance to make an arrangement with the company to pay over time and avoid disconnection of your utility service.
These arrangements to pay over time are called "deferred payment arrangements" or "DPAs." A DPA will allow you to make a down payment towards the amount you owe and then make monthly payments at the same time as your regular bill payments in order to pay off the past due balance. You must contact the utility in order to see if you can make a DPA and protect your account from disconnection.
How much will my down payment be?
From April 1 through November 30, the utility may require 25% of the amount past due, unless you have qualified for Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP qualified customers may be required to pay 20% of the amount past due.
From December 1 through March 31, the utility may require 10% of the amount past due to put you on a special Winter DPA.
How will the utility and I figure out how much I will pay each month on the DPA?
The total number of installments that you will pay will dictate how much each equal installment will be. The utility will consider the following in choosing how many installments to allow you:
1. how much you owe,
2. your ability to pay,
3. your payment history with the utility,
4. the reasons the amount became past due,
5. if you are LIHEAP qualified, and
6. any other factors that relate to the situation.
From April 1 through November 30, the utility will allow from 4 to 12 months of installments, unless you are LIHEAP qualified.
From April 1 through November 30, LIHEAP qualified customers are allowed 6 to 12 months of installments.
From December 1 through March 31, the utility must allow between a minimum of 4 monthly installments and a maximum number of installments that should not last past the coming November on its Winter DPA program.
Do I have to pay my regular bills in addition to the installments?
Yes. The DPA will default if you don't pay on time or if you don't pay both the full amount of the installment and the full amount of the current bill. Your bill will tell you the total amount to pay each month in order to keep the DPA going.
Can I be on a Budget Payment Plan at the same time as the DPA?
Yes. In fact, by averaging the yearly cost of your bills, this may be a good way to help you plan how much you will likely have to pay each month. Ask us about our Budget Payment Plan.
What happens if my DPA defaults?
If you default either by paying late or failing to pay the full installment and current charges, then your account can be subject to disconnection again after we send you notice.
Can I get back on the DPA after default?
Yes. As long as you have not been disconnected, by paying the total amount of the installments and current charges that are due up to the current date, you can reinstate the DPA. Reinstatement puts you back on the arrangements you originally made. We may charge you a reinstatement fee if you have to reinstate the DPA more than once.
What if my economic situation changes and I cannot afford the original DPA?
Renegotiation allows you to extend your original DPA for a longer term. In order to renegotiate your DPA, you must:
1. not currently be in default on the DPA,
2. have made at least the down payment to get on the DPA, and
3. be willing to discuss the change in your economic situation with us.
How many DPAs can one account have?
As long as your service is still on, you qualify for a DPA any time after you either:
1. complete the last DPA you had, or
2. 12 months have passed since you failed to complete the last DPA you had.
From December 1 through March 31, if your service is used to heat or control the source of heat in your home, then you can get on a Winter DPA for a 10% down payment as long as your service is still on. Heating customers qualify for a Winter DPA whether or not they successfully completed their last DPA.
How soon should I call about a DPA?
Call right away. Do not wait. If your service is shut off, you may not be able to get back on without paying everything you owe us past due. Even if you think you may not qualify for a DPA, please call to see if something can be worked out.