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Public Act 097-0077


 

Public Act 0077 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 097-0077
 
HB1260 EnrolledLRB097 06188 ASK 46262 b

    AN ACT concerning veterans.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
Section 8-206 as follows:
 
    (220 ILCS 5/8-206)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-206)
    Sec. 8-206. Winter termination for nonpayment.
    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no
electric or gas public utility shall disconnect service to any
residential customer or mastermetered apartment building for
nonpayment of a bill or deposit where gas or electricity is
used as the primary source of space heating or is used to
control or operate the primary source of space heating
equipment at the premises during the period of time from
December 1 through and including March 31 of the immediately
succeeding calendar year, unless:
        (1) The utility (i) has offered the customer a deferred
    payment arrangement allowing for payment of past due
    amounts over a period of not less than 4 months not to
    extend beyond the following November and the option to
    enter into a levelized payment plan for the payment of
    future bills. The maximum down payment requirements shall
    not exceed 10% of the amount past due and owing at the time
    of entering into the agreement; and (ii) has provided the
    customer with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of
    governmental and private agencies which may provide
    assistance to customers of public utilities in paying their
    utility bills; the utility shall obtain the approval of an
    agency before placing the name of that agency on any list
    which will be used to provide such information to
    customers;
        (2) The customer has refused or failed to enter into a
    deferred payment arrangement as described in paragraph (1)
    of this subsection (a); and
        (3) All notice requirements as provided by law and
    rules or regulations of the Commission have been met.
    (b) Prior to termination of service for any residential
customer or mastermetered apartment building during the period
from December 1 through and including March 31 of the
immediately succeeding calendar year, all electric and gas
public utilities shall, in addition to all other notices:
        (1) Notify the customer or an adult residing at the
    customer's premises by telephone, a personal visit to the
    customer's premises or by first class mail, informing the
    customer that:
            (i) the customer's account is in arrears and the
        customer's service is subject to termination for
        nonpayment of a bill;
            (ii) the customer can avoid disconnection of
        service by entering into a deferred payment agreement
        to pay past due amounts over a period not to extend
        beyond the following November and the customer has the
        option to enter into a levelized payment plan for the
        payment of future bills;
            (iii) the customer may apply for any available
        assistance to aid in the payment of utility bills from
        any governmental or private agencies from the list of
        such agencies provided to the customer by the utility.
        Provided, however, that a public utility shall be
    required to make only one such contact with the customer
    during any such period from December 1 through and
    including March 31 of the immediately succeeding calendar
    year.
        (2) Each public utility shall maintain records which
    shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the
    manner by which the customer was notified and the time,
    date and manner by which any prior but unsuccessful
    attempts to contact were made. These records shall also
    describe the terms of the deferred payment arrangements
    offered to the customer and those entered into by the
    utility and customers. These records shall indicate the
    total amount past due, the down payment, the amount
    remaining to be paid and the number of months allowed to
    pay the outstanding balance. No public utility shall be
    required to retain records pertaining to unsuccessful
    attempts to contact or deferred payment arrangements
    rejected by the customer after such customer has entered
    into a deferred payment arrangement with such utility.
    (c) No public utility shall disconnect service for
nonpayment of a bill until the lapse of 6 business days after
making the notification required by paragraph (1) of subsection
(b) so as to allow the customer an opportunity to:
        (1) Enter into a deferred payment arrangement and the
    option to enter into a levelized payment plan for the
    payment of future bills.
        (2) Contact a governmental or private agency that may
    provide assistance to customers for the payment of public
    utility bills.
    (d) Any residential customer who enters into a deferred
payment arrangement pursuant to this Act, and subsequently
during that period of time set forth in subsection (a) becomes
subject to termination, shall be given notice as required by
law and any rule or regulation of the Commission prior to
termination of service.
    (e) During that time period set forth in subsection (a), a
utility shall not require a down payment for a deposit from a
residential customer in excess of 20% of the total deposit
requested. An additional 4 months shall be allowed to pay the
remainder of the deposit. This provision shall not apply to
mastermetered apartment buildings or other nonresidential
customers.
    (f) During that period of time set forth in subsection (a),
no utility may refuse to offer a deferred payment agreement to
a residential customer who has defaulted on such an agreement
within the past 12 months. However, no utility shall be
required to enter into more than one deferred payment
arrangement under this Section with any residential customer or
mastermetered apartment building during the period from
December 1 through and including March 31 of the immediately
succeeding calendar year.
    (g) In order to enable customers to take advantage of
energy assistance programs, customers who can demonstrate that
their applications for a local, state or federal energy
assistance program have been approved may request that the
amount they will be entitled to receive as a regular energy
assistance payment be deducted and set aside from the amount
past due on which they make deferred payment arrangements.
Payment on the set-aside amount shall be credited when the
energy assistance voucher or check is received, according to
the utility's common business practice.
    (h) In no event shall any utility send a final notice to
any customer who has entered into a current deferred payment
agreement and has not defaulted on that deferred payment
agreement, unless the final notice pertains to a deposit
request.
    (i) Each utility shall include with each disconnection
notice sent during the period for December 1 through and
including March 31 of the immediately succeeding calendar year
to a residential customer an insert explaining the above
provisions and providing a telephone number of the utility
company which the consumer may call to receive further
information.
    (j) Each utility shall file with the Commission prior to
December 1 of each year a plan detailing the implementation of
this Section. This plan shall contain, but not be limited to:
        (1) a description of the methods to be used to notify
    residential customers as required in this Section,
    including the forms of written and oral notices which shall
    be required to include all the information contained in
    subsection (b) of this Section.
        (2) a listing of the names, addresses and telephone
    numbers of governmental and private agencies which may
    provide assistance to residential customers in paying
    their utility bills.
        (3) the program of employee education and information
    which shall be used by the company in the implementation of
    this Section.
        (4) a description of methods to be utilized to inform
    residential customers of those governmental and private
    agencies and current and planned methods of cooperation
    with those agencies to identify the customers who qualify
    for assistance in paying their utility bills.
    A utility which has a plan on file with the Commission need
not resubmit a new plan each year. However, any alteration of
the plan on file must be submitted and approved prior to
December 1 of any year.
    All plans are subject to review and approval by the
Commission. The Commission may direct a utility to alter its
plan to comply with the requirements of this Section.
    (k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no
electric or gas public utility shall disconnect service to any
residential customer who is a participant under Section 6 of
the Energy Assistance Act for nonpayment of a bill or deposit
where gas or electricity is used as the primary source of space
heating or is used to control or operate the primary source of
space heating equipment at the premises during the period of
time from December 1 through and including March 31 of the
immediately succeeding calendar year.
    (l) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no
electric or gas public utility shall disconnect service to any
residential customer who has notified the utility that he or
she is a service member or veteran for nonpayment of a bill or
deposit where gas or electricity is used as the primary source
of space heating or is used to control or operate the primary
source of space heating equipment at the premises during the
period of time from December 1 through and including March 31
of the immediately succeeding calendar year.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07; 95-876, eff. 8-21-08.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2012