Illinois Compiled Statutes
Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
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PUBLIC AID305 ILCS 20/1
(305 ILCS 20/) Energy Assistance Act.
(305 ILCS 20/1)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1401)
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the
Energy Assistance Act.
(Source: P.A. 92-690, eff. 7-18-02.)
305 ILCS 20/2
(305 ILCS 20/2)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1402)
Findings and Intent.
(a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) the health, welfare, and prosperity of the people
of the State of Illinois require that all citizens receive essential levels of heat and electric service regardless of economic circumstance;
(2) public utilities and other entities providing
such services are entitled to receive proper payment for services actually rendered;
(3) variability of Federal low income energy
assistance funding necessitates a State response to ensure the continuity and the further development of energy assistance and related policies and programs within Illinois;
(4) energy assistance policies and programs in effect
in Illinois have benefited all Illinois citizens, and should therefore be continued with the modifications provided herein; and
(5) low-income households are unable to afford
essential utility services and other necessities, such as food, shelter, and medical care; the health and safety of those who are unable to afford essential utility services suffer when monthly payments for these services exceed a reasonable percentage of the customer's household income; costs of collecting past due bills and uncollectible balances are reflected in rates paid by all ratepayers; society benefits if essential utility services are affordable and arrearages and disconnections are minimized for those most in need.
(b) Consistent with its findings, the General Assembly declares that it
is the policy of the State that:
(1) a comprehensive low income energy assistance
policy and program should be established which incorporates income assistance, home weatherization, and other measures to ensure that citizens have access to affordable energy services;
(2) the ability of public utilities and other
entities to receive just compensation for providing services should not be jeopardized by this policy;
(3) resources applied in achieving this policy should
be coordinated and efficiently utilized through the integration of public programs and through the targeting of assistance; and
(4) the State should utilize all appropriate and
available means to fund this program and, to the extent possible, should identify and utilize sources of funding which complement State tax revenues.
(Source: P.A. 96-33, eff. 7-10-09.)
305 ILCS 20/3
(305 ILCS 20/3)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1403)
As used in this Act, unless the context
(a) the terms defined in Sections 3-101 through 3-121 of
the Public Utilities Act have the meanings ascribed to them in that
(b) "Department" means the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity;
(c) "energy provider" means any utility, municipal utility,
cooperative utility, or any other corporation or individual which provides
winter energy services;
(d) "winter" means the period from November 1 of any year through April
30 of the following year.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07; 96-33, eff. 7-10-09; 96-154, eff. 1-1-10.)
305 ILCS 20/4
(305 ILCS 20/4)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1404)
Energy Assistance Program.
(a) The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hereby authorized to institute a program to
the availability and affordability of heating and electric service to low
income citizens. The Department shall implement the program by rule
promulgated pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
The program shall be consistent
with the purposes and objectives of this Act and with all other specific
requirements provided herein. The Department may enter
into such contracts and other agreements with local agencies as may be
necessary for the purpose of administering the energy assistance program.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as altering or limiting the
authority conferred on the Illinois Commerce Commission by the Public
Utilities Act to regulate all aspects of the provision of public utility
service, including but not limited to the authority to make rules and
adjudicate disputes between utilities and customers related to eligibility
for utility service, deposits, payment practices, discontinuance of
service, and the treatment of arrearages owing for previously rendered
(c) The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is authorized to institute an outreach program directed at low-income minority heads of households and heads of households age 60 or older. The Department shall implement the program through rules adopted pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. The program shall be consistent with the purposes and objectives of this Act and with all other specific requirements set forth in this subsection (c).
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07; 95-532, eff. 8-28-07; 96-154, eff. 1-1-10.)
305 ILCS 20/5
(305 ILCS 20/5)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1405)
Policy Advisory Council.
(a) Within the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is created a
Low Income Energy Assistance Policy Advisory Council.
(b) The Council shall be chaired by the Director
of Commerce and Economic Opportunity or his or her designee. There shall be 19
members of the Low Income Energy Assistance Policy Advisory Council, including
the chairperson and the following members:
(1) one member designated by the Illinois Commerce
(3) one member designated by the Illinois Energy
Association to represent electric public utilities serving in excess of 1 million customers in this State;
(4) one member agreed upon by gas public utilities
that serve more than 500,000 and fewer than 1,500,000 customers in this State;
(5) one member agreed upon by gas public utilities
that serve 1,500,000 or more customers in this State;
(6) one member designated by the Illinois Energy
Association to represent combination gas and electric public utilities;
(7) one member agreed upon by the Illinois Municipal
Electric Agency and the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives;
(8) one member agreed upon by the Illinois Industrial
(9) three members designated by the Department to
represent low income energy consumers;
(10) two members designated by the Illinois Community
Action Association to represent local agencies that assist in the administration of this Act;
(11) one member designated by the Citizens Utility
Board to represent residential energy consumers;
(12) one member designated by the Illinois Retail
Merchants Association to represent commercial energy customers;
(13) one member designated by the Department to
represent independent energy providers; and
(14) three members designated by the Mayor of the
(c) Designated and appointed members shall serve 2 year terms and
until their successors are appointed and qualified. The designating
organization shall notify the chairperson of any changes or substitutions of a
designee within 10 business days of a change or substitution. Members shall
serve without compensation, but may receive reimbursement for actual costs
incurred in fulfilling their duties as members of the Council.
(d) The Council shall have the following duties:
(1) to monitor the administration of this Act to
ensure effective, efficient, and coordinated program development and implementation;
(2) to assist the Department in developing and
administering rules and regulations required to be promulgated pursuant to this Act in a manner consistent with the purpose and objectives of this Act;
(3) to facilitate and coordinate the collection and
exchange of all program data and other information needed by the Department and others in fulfilling their duties pursuant to this Act;
(4) to advise the Department on the proper level of
support required for effective administration of the Act;
(5) to provide a written opinion concerning any
regulation proposed pursuant to this Act, and to review and comment on any energy assistance or related plan required to be prepared by the Department;
(6) to advise the Department on the use of funds
collected pursuant to Section 11 of this Act, and on any changes to existing low income energy assistance programs to make effective use of such funds, so long as such uses and changes are consistent with the requirements of the Act.
(Source: P.A. 97-916, eff. 8-9-12.)
305 ILCS 20/6
(305 ILCS 20/6)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1406)
Eligibility, Conditions of Participation, and Energy Assistance.
(a) Any person who is a resident of the State of Illinois and whose
household income is not greater than an amount determined annually by the
Department, in consultation with the Policy Advisory Council, may
apply for assistance pursuant to this Act in accordance with regulations
promulgated by the Department. In setting the annual eligibility level, the
Department shall consider the amount of available funding and may not set a
limit higher than 150% of the federal nonfarm poverty level as established by
the federal Office of Management and Budget; except that for the period ending June 30, 2013, the Department may not establish limits higher than 200% of that poverty level or the maximum level provided for by federal guidelines.
(b) Applicants who qualify for assistance pursuant to subsection (a) of
this Section shall, subject to appropriation from the General Assembly and
subject to availability of funds to the Department, receive energy
assistance as provided by this Act. The Department, upon receipt
of monies authorized pursuant to this Act for energy assistance, shall commit
funds for each qualified applicant in an amount determined by the
Department. In determining the amounts of assistance to be provided to or
on behalf of a qualified applicant, the Department shall ensure that the
highest amounts of assistance go to households with the greatest energy
costs in relation to household income. The Department shall include
factors such as energy costs, household size, household income, and region
of the State when determining individual household benefits. In setting
assistance levels, the Department shall attempt to provide assistance to
approximately the same number of households who participated in the 1991
Residential Energy Assistance Partnership Program. Such assistance levels
shall be adjusted annually on the basis of funding
availability and energy costs. In promulgating rules for the
administration of this
Section the Department shall assure that a minimum of 1/3 of funds
available for benefits to eligible households with the lowest incomes and that elderly households and households with persons with disabilities are offered a priority application
(c) If the applicant is not a customer of record of an energy provider for
energy services or an applicant for such service, such applicant shall
receive a direct energy assistance payment in an amount established by the
Department for all such applicants under this Act; provided, however, that
such an applicant must have rental expenses for housing greater than 30% of
(c-1) This subsection shall apply only in cases where: (1) the applicant is not a customer of record of an energy provider because energy services are provided by the owner of the unit as a portion of the rent; (2) the applicant resides in housing subsidized or developed with funds provided under the Rental Housing Support Program Act or under a similar locally funded rent subsidy program, or is the voucher holder who resides in a rental unit within the State of Illinois and whose monthly rent is subsidized by the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher Program under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; and (3) the rental expenses for housing are no more than 30% of household income. In such cases, the household may apply for an energy assistance payment under this Act and the owner of the housing unit shall cooperate with the applicant by providing documentation of the energy costs for that unit. Any compensation paid to the energy provider who supplied energy services to the household shall be paid on behalf of the owner of the housing unit providing energy services to the household. The Department shall report annually to the General Assembly on the number of households receiving energy assistance under this subsection and the cost of such assistance. The provisions of this subsection (c-1), other than this sentence, are inoperative after August 31, 2012.
(d) If the applicant is a customer of an energy provider, such
applicant shall receive energy assistance in an amount established by the
Department for all such applicants under this Act, such amount to be paid
by the Department to the energy provider supplying winter energy service to
such applicant. Such applicant shall:
(i) make all reasonable efforts to apply to any other
appropriate source of public energy assistance; and
(ii) sign a waiver permitting the Department to
receive income information from any public or private agency providing income or energy assistance and from any employer, whether public or private.
(e) Any qualified applicant pursuant to this Section may receive or have
paid on such applicant's behalf an emergency assistance payment to enable
such applicant to obtain access to winter energy services. Any such
payments shall be made in accordance with regulations of the Department.
(f) The Department may, if sufficient funds are available, provide
additional benefits to certain qualified applicants:
(i) for the reduction of past due amounts owed to
(ii) to assist the household in responding to
excessively high summer temperatures or energy costs. Households containing elderly members, children, a person with a disability, or a person with a medical need for conditioned air shall receive priority for receipt of such benefits.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
305 ILCS 20/7
(305 ILCS 20/7)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1407)
State Weatherization Plan and Program.
(a) The Department shall, after consultation with the Policy Advisory
Council, prepare and promulgate an annual State Weatherization Plan
beginning in the year this Act becomes effective. To the extent
practicable, such Plan shall provide for targeting use of both State and
federal weatherization funds to the households of eligible applicants
pursuant to this Act whose ratios of energy costs to income are the
highest. The State Weatherization Plan shall include but need not be
limited to the following:
(1) a description of the demographic characteristics
and energy use patterns of people eligible for assistance pursuant to this Act;
(2) the methodology used by the Department in
targeting weatherization funds;
(3) a description of anticipated activity and results
for the year covered by the Plan, including an estimate of energy cost savings expected to be realized by the weatherization program; and
(4) every third year, beginning in 2002, an
evaluation of results from the weatherization program in the year preceding the plan year, including the effect of State Weatherization Program investments on energy consumption and cost in the population eligible for assistance pursuant to this Act, and the effect of targeted weatherization investments on the costs of the energy assistance program authorized by this Act.
(b) The Department shall implement the State Weatherization Plan
by rule through a program which provides targeted weatherization assistance to
eligible applicants for energy assistance pursuant to this Act.
The Department may enter into such contracts and other arrangements with
local agencies as may be necessary for the purpose of administering the
(Source: P.A. 92-690, eff. 7-18-02.)
305 ILCS 20/7.1
(305 ILCS 20/7.1)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1407.1)
(Source: P.A. 87-475. Repealed by P.A. 92-690, eff. 7-18-02.)
305 ILCS 20/8
(305 ILCS 20/8)
(Source: P.A. 96-154, eff. 1-1-10. Repealed by P.A. 97-916, eff. 8-9-12.)
305 ILCS 20/9
(305 ILCS 20/9)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1409)
(Source: P.A. 89-507, eff. 7-1-97. Repealed by P.A. 92-690, eff.
305 ILCS 20/10
(305 ILCS 20/10)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1410)
Energy Assistance Funds.
(a) The AFDC Energy Assistance Fund is hereby created as a special fund
in the State Treasury.
The AFDC Energy Assistance Fund is authorized to receive whether by
appropriation, transfer, statutory deposit or fund transfer, all amounts
appropriated from State funds to the Department of Human Services (acting as
successor to the Illinois Department of Public Aid
under the Department of Human Services Act) specifically for energy
assistance payments for persons and families
receiving assistance pursuant to Section 4-1 of the Illinois Public Aid
Code and subsection (c) of Section 6 of this Act, and any administrative
expense related thereto.
(b) Subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, the Department is
authorized to expend monies from the AFDC Energy Assistance Fund for the
(1) for energy assistance payments to or on behalf of
individuals or families who receive assistance pursuant to Section 4-1 of The Illinois Public Aid Code in accordance with the provisions of Section 6 of this Act; and
(2) for the necessary and contingent expenses of the
Department incurred in the administration of that portion of the Act described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(c) The AFDC Energy Assistance Fund shall be inoperative after
September 30, 1991.
(d) Subject to appropriations made by the General Assembly, the Department
is authorized to expend monies from the Low Income Energy Assistance Block
Grant Fund for the purpose of providing assistance pursuant to Section 6 of
(Source: P.A. 89-507, eff. 7-1-97.)
305 ILCS 20/11
(305 ILCS 20/11)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1411)
Payments to Energy Providers.
When an energy provider
supplies winter energy to a participant and customer, the provider shall be
compensated by the State of Illinois pursuant to rules promulgated by the
(Source: P.A. 86-127; 87-14.)
305 ILCS 20/12
(305 ILCS 20/12)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1412)
(Source: P.A. 89-507, eff. 7-1-97. Repealed by P.A. 92-690, eff. 7-18-02.)
305 ILCS 20/13
(305 ILCS 20/13)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2018)
Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund.
(a) The Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance
Fund is hereby created as a special fund in the State
Treasury. The Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund
is authorized to receive moneys from voluntary donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other sources, moneys received pursuant to Section 17, and, by statutory deposit, the moneys
collected pursuant to this Section. The Fund is also authorized to receive voluntary donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other sources, as well as contributions made in accordance with Section 507MM of the Illinois Income Tax Act. Subject to appropriation,
the Department shall use
moneys from the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund
for payments to electric or gas public utilities,
municipal electric or gas utilities, and electric cooperatives
on behalf of their customers who are participants in the
program authorized by Sections 4 and 18 of this Act, for the provision of
weatherization services and for
administration of the Supplemental Low-Income Energy
Assistance Fund. The yearly expenditures for weatherization may not exceed 10%
of the amount collected during the year pursuant to this Section. The yearly administrative expenses of the
Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund may not exceed
10% of the amount collected during that year
pursuant to this Section, except when unspent funds from the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund are reallocated from a previous year; any unspent balance of the 10% administrative allowance may be utilized for administrative expenses in the year they are reallocated.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 16-111
of the Public Utilities Act but subject to subsection (k) of this Section,
each public utility, electric
cooperative, as defined in Section 3.4 of the Electric Supplier Act,
and municipal utility, as referenced in Section 3-105 of the Public Utilities
Act, that is engaged in the delivery of electricity or the
distribution of natural gas within the State of Illinois
shall, effective January 1, 1998,
assess each of
its customer accounts a monthly Energy Assistance Charge for
the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund.
The delivering public utility, municipal electric or gas utility, or electric
cooperative for a self-assessing purchaser remains subject to the collection of
fee imposed by this Section.
monthly charge shall be as follows:
(1) $0.48 per month on each account for residential
(2) $0.48 per month on each account for residential
(3) $4.80 per month on each account for
non-residential electric service which had less than 10 megawatts of peak demand during the previous calendar year;
(4) $4.80 per month on each account for
non-residential gas service which had distributed to it less than 4,000,000 therms of gas during the previous calendar year;
(5) $360 per month on each account for
non-residential electric service which had 10 megawatts or greater of peak demand during the previous calendar year; and
(6) $360 per month on each account for
non-residential gas service which had 4,000,000 or more therms of gas distributed to it during the previous calendar year.
The incremental change to such charges imposed by this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly shall not (i) be used for any purpose other than to directly assist customers and (ii) be applicable to utilities serving less than 100,000 customers in Illinois on January 1, 2009.
In addition, electric and gas utilities have committed, and shall contribute, a one-time payment of $22 million to the Fund, within 10 days after the effective date of the tariffs established pursuant to Sections 16-111.8 and 19-145 of the Public Utilities Act to be used for the Department's cost of implementing the programs described in Section 18 of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, the Arrearage Reduction Program described in Section 18, and the programs described in Section 8-105 of the Public Utilities Act. If a utility elects not to file a rider within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, then the contribution from such utility shall be made no later than February 1, 2010.
(c) For purposes of this Section:
(1) "residential electric service" means electric
utility service for household purposes delivered to a dwelling of 2 or fewer units which is billed under a residential rate, or electric utility service for household purposes delivered to a dwelling unit or units which is billed under a residential rate and is registered by a separate meter for each dwelling unit;
(2) "residential gas service" means gas utility
service for household purposes distributed to a dwelling of 2 or fewer units which is billed under a residential rate, or gas utility service for household purposes distributed to a dwelling unit or units which is billed under a residential rate and is registered by a separate meter for each dwelling unit;
(3) "non-residential electric service" means electric
utility service which is not residential electric service; and
(4) "non-residential gas service" means gas utility
service which is not residential gas service.
(d) Within 30 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, each public
utility engaged in the delivery of electricity or the
distribution of natural gas shall file with the Illinois
Commerce Commission tariffs incorporating the Energy
Assistance Charge in other charges stated in such tariffs, which shall become effective no later than the beginning of the first billing cycle following such filing.
(e) The Energy Assistance Charge assessed by
electric and gas public utilities shall be considered a charge
for public utility service.
(f) By the 20th day of the month following the month in which the charges
imposed by the Section were collected, each public
municipal utility, and electric cooperative shall remit to the
Department of Revenue all moneys received as payment of the
Energy Assistance Charge on a return prescribed and furnished by the
Department of Revenue showing such information as the Department of Revenue may
reasonably require; provided, however, that a utility offering an Arrearage Reduction Program pursuant to Section 18 of this Act shall be entitled to net those amounts necessary to fund and recover the costs of such Program as authorized by that Section that is no more than the incremental change in such Energy Assistance Charge authorized by this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly. If a customer makes a partial payment, a public
utility, or electric cooperative may elect either: (i) to apply
such partial payments first to amounts owed to the
utility or cooperative for its services and then to payment
for the Energy Assistance Charge or (ii) to apply such partial payments
on a pro-rata basis between amounts owed to the
utility or cooperative for its services and to payment for the
Energy Assistance Charge.
(g) The Department of Revenue shall deposit into the
Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund all moneys
remitted to it in accordance with subsection (f) of this
Section; provided, however, that the amounts remitted by each utility shall be used to provide assistance to that utility's customers. The utilities shall coordinate with the Department to establish an equitable and practical methodology for implementing this subsection (g) beginning with the 2010 program year.
(h) On or before December 31, 2002, the Department shall
prepare a report for the General Assembly on the expenditure of funds
appropriated from the Low-Income Energy Assistance Block Grant Fund for the
program authorized under Section 4 of this Act.
(i) The Department of Revenue may establish such
rules as it deems necessary to implement this Section.
(j) The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
may establish such rules as it deems necessary to implement
(k) The charges imposed by this Section shall only apply to customers of
municipal electric or gas utilities and electric or gas cooperatives if
electric or gas
utility or electric or gas cooperative makes an affirmative decision to
charge. If a municipal electric or gas utility or an electric
cooperative makes an affirmative decision to impose the charge provided by
Section, the municipal electric or gas utility or electric cooperative shall
Department of Revenue in writing of such decision when it begins to impose the
charge. If a municipal electric or gas utility or electric or gas
cooperative does not
this charge, the Department may not use funds from the Supplemental Low-Income
Energy Assistance Fund to provide benefits to its customers under the program
authorized by Section 4 of this Act.
In its use of federal funds under this Act, the Department may not cause a
disproportionate share of those federal funds to benefit customers of systems
which do not assess the charge provided by this Section.
This Section is repealed effective December 31, 2018
renewed by action of the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall
consider the results of the evaluations described in Section 8 in its
(Source: P.A. 98-429, eff. 8-16-13; 99-457, eff. 1-1-16
305 ILCS 20/14
(305 ILCS 20/14)
(Source: P.A. 90-624, eff. 7-10-98. Repealed by P.A. 92-690, eff.
305 ILCS 20/15
(305 ILCS 20/15)
Income tax checkoff.
Each individual income tax payer may contribute to the Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund through the income tax checkoff described in Section 507MM of the Illinois Income Tax Act.
(Source: P.A. 94-773, eff. 5-18-06.)
305 ILCS 20/17
(305 ILCS 20/17)
Transfer into Supplemental Low-Income
Energy Assistance Fund.
Immediately upon the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, but no later than 5 business days after that effective date, the State Comptroller shall direct and the Treasurer shall transfer into the Supplemental Low-Income
Energy Assistance Fund $5,201,055, which is equivalent to 50% of the average amount of Gas Revenue Tax paid per residential gas utility customer in State fiscal year 2005 multiplied by the number of residential gas utility customers that received assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program during the State fiscal year 2005 winter heating season.
(Source: P.A. 94-817, eff. 5-30-06.)
305 ILCS 20/18
(305 ILCS 20/18)
Financial assistance; payment plans.
(a) The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP or PIP Plan) is hereby created as a mandatory bill payment assistance program for low-income residential customers of utilities serving more than 100,000 retail customers as of January 1, 2009. The PIP Plan will:
(1) bring participants' gas and electric bills into
the range of affordability;
(2) provide incentives for participants to make
(3) encourage participants to reduce usage and
participate in conservation and energy efficiency measures that reduce the customer's bill and payment requirements; and
(4) identify participants whose homes are most in
(b) For purposes of this Section:
(1) "LIHEAP" means the energy assistance program
established under the Illinois Energy Assistance Act and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981.
(2) "Plan participant" is an eligible participant who
is also eligible for the PIPP and who will receive either a percentage of income payment credit under the PIPP criteria set forth in this Act or a benefit pursuant to Section 4 of this Act. Plan participants are a subset of eligible participants.
(3) "Pre-program arrears" means the amount a plan
participant owes for gas or electric service at the time the participant is determined to be eligible for the PIPP or the program set forth in Section 4 of this Act.
(4) "Eligible participant" means any person who has
applied for, been accepted and is receiving residential service from a gas or electric utility and who is also eligible for LIHEAP.
(c) The PIP Plan shall be administered as follows:
(1) The Department shall coordinate with Local
Administrative Agencies (LAAs), to determine eligibility for the Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) pursuant to the Energy Assistance Act, provided that eligible income shall be no more than 150% of the poverty level. Applicants will be screened to determine whether the applicant's projected payments for electric service or natural gas service over a 12-month period exceed the criteria established in this Section. To maintain the financial integrity of the program, the Department may limit eligibility to households with income below 125% of the poverty level.
(2) The Department shall establish the percentage of
income formula to determine the amount of a monthly credit, not to exceed $150 per month per household, not to exceed $1,800 annually, that will be applied to PIP Plan participants' utility bills based on the portion of the bill that is the responsibility of the participant provided that the percentage shall be no more than a total of 6% of the relevant income for gas and electric utility bills combined, but in any event no less than $10 per month, unless the household does not pay directly for heat, in which case its payment shall be 2.4% of income but in any event no less than $5 per month. The Department may establish a minimum credit amount based on the cost of administering the program and may deny credits to otherwise eligible participants if the cost of administering the credit exceeds the actual amount of any monthly credit to a participant. If the participant takes both gas and electric service, 66.67% of the credit shall be allocated to the entity that provides the participant's primary energy supply for heating. Each participant shall enter into a levelized payment plan for, as applicable, gas and electric service and such plans shall be implemented by the utility so that a participant's usage and required payments are reviewed and adjusted regularly, but no more frequently than quarterly. Nothing in this Section is intended to prohibit a customer, who is otherwise eligible for LIHEAP, from participating in the program described in Section 4 of this Act. Eligible participants who receive such a benefit shall be considered plan participants and shall be eligible to participate in the Arrearage Reduction Program described in item (5) of this subsection (c).
(3) The Department shall remit, through the LAAs, to
the utility or participating alternative supplier that portion of the plan participant's bill that is not the responsibility of the participant. In the event that the Department fails to timely remit payment to the utility, the utility shall be entitled to recover all costs related to such nonpayment through the automatic adjustment clause tariffs established pursuant to Section 16-111.8 and Section 19-145 of the Public Utilities Act. For purposes of this item (3) of this subsection (c), payment is due on the date specified on the participant's bill. The Department, the Department of Revenue and LAAs shall adopt processes that provide for the timely payment required by this item (3) of this subsection (c).
(4) A plan participant is responsible for all actual
charges for utility service in excess of the PIPP credit. Pre-program arrears that are included in the Arrearage Reduction Program described in item (5) of this subsection (c) shall not be included in the calculation of the levelized payment plan. Emergency or crisis assistance payments shall not affect the amount of any PIPP credit to which a participant is entitled.
(5) Electric and gas utilities subject to this
Section shall implement an Arrearage Reduction Program (ARP) for plan participants as follows: for each month that a plan participant timely pays his or her utility bill, the utility shall apply a credit to a portion of the participant's pre-program arrears, if any, equal to one-twelfth of such arrearage provided that the total amount of arrearage credits shall equal no more than $1,000 annually for each participant for gas and no more than $1,000 annually for each participant for electricity. In the third year of the PIPP, the Department, in consultation with the Policy Advisory Council established pursuant to Section 5 of this Act, shall determine by rule an appropriate per participant total cap on such amounts, if any. Those plan participants participating in the ARP shall not be subject to the imposition of any additional late payment fees on pre-program arrears covered by the ARP. In all other respects, the utility shall bill and collect the monthly bill of a plan participant pursuant to the same rules, regulations, programs and policies as applicable to residential customers generally. Participation in the Arrearage Reduction Program shall be limited to the maximum amount of funds available as set forth in subsection (f) of Section 13 of this Act. In the event any donated funds under Section 13 of this Act are specifically designated for the purpose of funding the ARP, the Department shall remit such amounts to the utilities upon verification that such funds are needed to fund the ARP.
(6) The Department may terminate a plan participant's
eligibility for the PIP Plan upon notification by the utility that the participant's monthly utility payment is more than 45 days past due.
(7) The Department, in consultation with the Policy
Advisory Council, may adjust the number of PIP Plan participants annually, if necessary, to match the availability of funds from LIHEAP.
(8) The Department shall fully implement the PIPP at
the earliest possible date it is able to effectively administer the PIPP. Within 90 days of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, the Department shall, in consultation with utility companies, participating alternative suppliers, LAAs and the Illinois Commerce Commission (Commission), issue a detailed implementation plan which shall include detailed testing protocols and analysis of the capacity for implementation by the LAAs and utilities. Such consultation process also shall address how to implement the PIPP in the most cost-effective and timely manner, and shall identify opportunities for relying on the expertise of utilities, LAAs and the Commission. Following the implementation of the testing protocols, the Department shall issue a written report on the feasibility of full or gradual implementation. The PIPP shall be fully implemented by September 1, 2011, but may be phased in prior to that date.
(9) As part of the screening process established
under item (1) of this subsection (c), the Department and LAAs shall assess whether any energy efficiency or demand response measures are available to the plan participant at no cost, and if so, the participant shall enroll in any such program for which he or she is eligible. The LAAs shall assist the participant in the applicable enrollment or application process.
(10) Each alternative retail electric and gas
supplier serving residential customers shall elect whether to participate in the PIPP or ARP described in this Section. Any such supplier electing to participate in the PIPP shall provide to the Department such information as the Department may require, including, without limitation, information sufficient for the Department to determine the proportionate allocation of credits between the alternative supplier and the utility. If a utility in whose service territory an alternative supplier serves customers contributes money to the ARP fund which is not recovered from ratepayers, then an alternative supplier which participates in ARP in that utility's service territory shall also contribute to the ARP fund in an amount that is commensurate with the number of alternative supplier customers who elect to participate in the program.
(d) The Department, in consultation with the Policy Advisory Council, shall develop and implement a program to educate customers about the PIP Plan and about their rights and responsibilities under the percentage of income component. The Department, in consultation with the Policy Advisory Council, shall establish a process that LAAs shall use to contact customers in jeopardy of losing eligibility due to late payments. The Department shall ensure that LAAs are adequately funded to perform all necessary educational tasks.
(e) The PIPP shall be administered in a manner which ensures that credits to plan participants will not be counted as income or as a resource in other means-tested assistance programs for low-income households or otherwise result in the loss of federal or State assistance dollars for low-income households.
(f) In order to ensure that implementation costs are minimized, the Department and utilities shall work together to identify cost-effective ways to transfer information electronically and to employ available protocols that will minimize their respective administrative costs as follows:
(1) The Commission may require utilities to provide
such information on customer usage and billing and payment information as required by the Department to implement the PIP Plan and to provide written notices and communications to plan participants.
(2) Each utility and participating alternative
supplier shall file annual reports with the Department and the Commission that cumulatively summarize and update program information as required by the Commission's rules. The reports shall track implementation costs and contain such information as is necessary to evaluate the success of the PIPP.
(3) The Department and the Commission shall have the
authority to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to execute and administer the provisions of this Section.
(g) Each utility shall be entitled to recover reasonable administrative and operational costs incurred to comply with this Section from the Supplemental Low Income Energy Assistance Fund. The utility may net such costs against monies it would otherwise remit to the Funds, and each utility shall include in the annual report required under subsection (f) of this Section an accounting for the funds collected.
(Source: P.A. 96-33, eff. 7-10-09.)