[ Search ] [ PDF text ] [ Legislation ]
[ Home ] [ Back ] [ Bottom ]
92_HB6318 LRB9218265JSpr 1 AN ACT relating to public utilities. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by 5 changing Section 8-206 as follows: 6 (220 ILCS 5/8-206) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-206) 7 Sec. 8-206. Winter termination for nonpayment. 8 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no 9 electric or gas public utility shall disconnect service to 10 any residential customer or mastermetered apartment building 11 for nonpayment of a bill or deposit where gas or electricity 12 is used as the primary source of space heating or is used to 13 control or operate the primary source of space heating 14 equipment at the premises during the period of time from 15 December 1 through and including March 31 of the immediately 16 succeeding calendar year, unless: 17 (1) The utility (i) has offered the customer a deferred 18 payment arrangement allowing for payment of past due amounts 19 over a period of not less than 4 months not to extend beyond 20 the following November and the option to enter into a 21 levelized payment plan for the payment of future bills. The 22 maximum down payment requirements shall not exceed 10% of the 23 amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the 24 agreement; and (ii) has provided the customer with the names, 25 addresses and telephone numbers of governmental and private 26 agencies which may provide assistance to customers of public 27 utilities in paying their utility bills; the utility shall 28 obtain the approval of an agency before placing the name of 29 that agency on any list which will be used to provide such 30 information to customers; 31 (2) The customer has refused or failed to enter into a -2- LRB9218265JSpr 1 deferred payment arrangement as described in paragraph (1) of 2 this subsection (a); and 3 (3) All notice requirements as provided by law and rules 4 or regulations of the Commission have been met. 5 (b) Prior to termination of service for any residential 6 customer or mastermetered apartment building during the 7 period from December 1 through and including March 31 of the 8 immediately succeeding calendar year, all electric and gas 9 public utilities shall, in addition to all other notices: 10 (1) Notify the customer or an adult residing at the 11 customer's premises by telephone, a personal visit to the 12 customer's premises or by first class mail, informing the 13 customer that: 14 (i) the customer's account is in arrears and the 15 customer's service is subject to termination for nonpayment 16 of a bill; 17 (ii) the customer can avoid disconnection of service by 18 entering into a deferred payment agreement to pay past due 19 amounts over a period not to extend beyond the following 20 November and the customer has the option to enter into a 21 levelized payment plan for the payment of future bills; 22 (iii) the customer may apply for any available 23 assistance to aid in the payment of utility bills from any 24 governmental or private agencies from the list of such 25 agencies provided to the customer by the utility. 26 Provided, however, that a public utility shall be 27 required to make only one such contact with the customer 28 during any such period from December 1 through and including 29 March 31 of the immediately succeeding calendar year. 30 (2) Each public utility shall maintain records which 31 shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the manner 32 by which the customer was notified and the time, date and 33 manner by which any prior but unsuccessful attempts to 34 contact were made. These records shall also describe the -3- LRB9218265JSpr 1 terms of the deferred payment arrangements offered to the 2 customer and those entered into by the utility and customers. 3 These records shall indicate the total amount past due, the 4 down payment, the amount remaining to be paid and the number 5 of months allowed to pay the outstanding balance. No public 6 utility shall be required to retain records pertaining to 7 unsuccessful attempts to contact or deferred payment 8 arrangements rejected by the customer after such customer has 9 entered into a deferred payment arrangement with such 10 utility. 11 (c) No public utility shall disconnect service for 12 nonpayment of a bill until the lapse of 6 business days after 13 making the notification required by paragraph (1) of 14 subsection (b) so as to allow the customer an opportunity to: 15 (1) Enter into a deferred payment arrangement and the 16 option to enter into a levelized payment plan for the payment 17 of future bills. 18 (2) Contact a governmental or private agency that may 19 provide assistance to customers for the payment of public 20 utility bills. 21 (d) Any residential customer who enters into a deferred 22 payment arrangement pursuant to this Act, and subsequently 23 during that period of time set forth in subsection (a) 24 becomes subject to termination, shall be given notice as 25 required by law and any rule or regulation of the Commission 26 prior to termination of service. 27 (e) During that time period set forth in subsection (a), 28 a utility shall not require a down payment for a deposit from 29 a residential customer in excess of 20% of the total deposit 30 requested. An additional 4 months shall be allowed to pay 31 the remainder of the deposit. This provision shall not apply 32 to mastermetered apartment buildings or other nonresidential 33 customers. 34 (f) During that period of time set forth in subsection -4- LRB9218265JSpr 1 (a), no utility may refuse to offer a deferred payment 2 agreement to a residential customer who has defaulted on such 3 an agreement within the past 12 months. However, no utility 4 shall be required to enter into more than one deferred 5 payment arrangement under this Section with any residential 6 customer or mastermetered apartment building during the 7 period from December 1 through and including March 31 of the 8 immediately succeeding calendar year. 9 (g) In order to enable customers to take advantage of 10 energy assistance programs, customers who can demonstrate 11 that their applications for a local, state or federal energy 12 assistance program have been approved may request that the 13 amount they will be entitled to receive as a regular energy 14 assistance payment be deducted and set aside from the amount 15 past due on which they make deferred payment arrangements. 16 Payment on the set-aside amount shall be credited when the 17 energy assistance voucher or check is received, according to 18 the utility's common business practice. 19 (h) In no event shall any utility send a final notice to 20 any customer who has entered into a current deferred payment 21 agreement and has not defaulted on that deferred payment 22 agreement, unless the final notice pertains to a deposit 23 request. 24 (i) Each utility shall include with each disconnection 25 notice sent during the period for December 1 through and 26 including March 31 of the immediately succeeding calendar 27 year to a residential customer an insert explaining the above 28 provisions and providing a telephone number of the utility 29 company which the consumer may call to receive further 30 information. 31 (j) Each utility shall file with the Commission prior to 32 December 1 of each year a plan detailing the implementation 33 of this Section. This plan shall contain, but not be limited 34 to: -5- LRB9218265JSpr 1 (1) a description of the methods to be used to notify 2 residential customers as required in this Section, including 3 the forms of written and oral notices which shall be required 4 to include all the information contained in subsection (b) of 5 this Section. 6 (2) a listing of the names, addresses and telephone 7 numbers of governmental and private agencies which may 8 provide assistance to residential customers in paying their 9 utility bills; 10 (3) the program of employee education and information 11 which shall be used by the company in the implementation of 12 this Section. 13 (4) a description of methods to be utilized to inform 14 residential customers of those governmental and private 15 agencies and current and planned methods of cooperation with 16 those agencies to identify the customers who qualify for 17 assistance in paying their utility bills. 18 A utility which has a plan on file with the Commission 19 need not resubmit a new plan each year. However, any 20 alteration of the plan on file must be submitted and approved 21 prior to December 1 of any year. 22 All plans are subject to review and approval by the 23 Commission. The Commission may direct a utility to alter its 24 plan to comply with the requirements of this Section. 25 (k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no 26 electric or gas public utility shall disconnect service to 27 any residential customer who is eligible for assistance under 28 Section 6 of the Energy Assistance Act of 1989 for nonpayment 29 of a bill or deposit where gas or electricity is used as the 30 primary source of space heating or is used to control or 31 operate the primary source of space heating equipment at the 32 premises during the period of time from December 1 through 33 and including March 31 of the immediately succeeding calendar 34 year. -6- LRB9218265JSpr 1 (Source: P.A. 84-617.) 2 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon 3 becoming law.
[ Top ]