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(220 ILCS 5/8-201.5)
Military personnel in military service; no stoppage of gas or electricity; arrearage.
(a) In this Section:
"Military service" means any full-time training or duty, no matter how described under federal or State law, for which a service member is ordered to report by the President, Governor of a state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States, or other appropriate military authority.
"Service member" means a resident of Illinois who is a member of any component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard of any state, the District of Columbia, a commonwealth, or a territory of the United States.
(b) No company or electric cooperative shall for nonpayment stop gas or electricity from entering the residential premises that was the primary residence of a service member immediately before the service member was assigned to military service.
(c) In order to be eligible for the benefits granted to service members under this Section, a service member must provide the company or electric cooperative with a copy of the orders calling the service member to military service in excess of 29 consecutive days and of any orders further extending the service member's period of service.
(d) Upon the return from military service of a residential consumer who is a service member, the company or electric cooperative shall offer the residential consumer a period equal to at least the period of military service to pay any arrearages incurred during the period of the residential consumer's military service. The company or electric cooperative shall inform the residential consumer that, if the period that the company or electric cooperative offers presents a hardship to the consumer, the consumer may request a longer period to pay the arrearages and, in the case of a company that is a public utility, may request the assistance of the Illinois Commerce Commission to obtain a longer period. No late payment fees or interest shall be charged to the residential consumer during the period of military service or the repayment period.
(e) A public utility shall be permitted to recover the uncollectible costs it incurs in
complying with the requirements of this Section, including through the utility's automatic
adjustment clause tariff authorized under either Section 16-111.8 or Section 19-145 of
this Act. In the event that a public utility does not have such a tariff in effect, then the
public utility shall recover such costs consistent with the rules established by the Illinois
Commerce Commission pursuant to subparagraph (3) of subsection (f) of this Section.
(f) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to
establish rules regarding, at a minimum:
(1) what documents or proof the service member
must provide to the public utility to establish that the residential premises was the primary residence of the service member immediately before the service member entered military service;
(2) what constitutes "hardship to the consumer"
as that term is used in subsection (d) of this Section; and
(3) the mechanism or mechanisms pursuant to which
a public utility that does not have in effect an automatic adjustment clause tariff under either Section 16-111.8 or Section 19-145 of this Act shall recover the uncollectible costs it incurs in complying with the requirements of this Section.
(g) In order to be eligible for the benefits granted to a service member under this Section, a service member who receives utility services from a not-for-profit cooperative must provide the cooperative with documentation that his or her military service materially affects his or her ability to pay for the services when payment is due.
(h) A violation of this Section constitutes a civil rights violation under the Illinois Human Rights Act.
All proceeds from the collection of any civil penalty imposed under this subsection shall be deposited into the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
(Source: P.A. 97-913, eff. 1-1-13.)