Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4656
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Full Text of HB4656  99th General Assembly




State of Illinois
2015 and 2016


Introduced , by Rep. Michelle Mussman


220 ILCS 5/8-207  from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-207

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that a disconnected natural gas customer who remedies the reason for the disconnection and is not required by the utility to provide information as a new applicant for service shall be reconnected within 3 calendar days. Effective immediately.

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HB4656LRB099 17694 EGJ 42053 b

1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Section 8-207 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/8-207)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-207)
7    Sec. 8-207. Any former residential customer whose gas or
8electric service was used to provide or control the primary
9source of space heating in the dwelling and whose service is
10disconnected for nonpayment of a bill or a deposit from
11December 1 of the prior winter's heating season through April 1
12of the current heating season shall be eligible for
13reconnection and a deferred payment arrangement under the
14provisions of this Section, subject to the following
16    A utility shall not be required to reconnect service to,
17and enter into a deferred payment arrangement with, a former
18customer under the provisions of this Section (1) except
19between November 1 and April 1 of the current heating season
20for former customers who do not have applications pending for
21the program described in Section 6 of the Energy Assistance
22Act, and except between October 1 and April 1 of the current
23heating season for all former customers who do have



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1applications pending for the program described in Section 6 of
2the Energy Assistance Act and who provide proof of application
3to the utility, (2) in 2 consecutive years, (3) unless that
4former customer has paid at least 33 1/3% of the amount billed
5for utility service rendered by that utility subsequent to
6December 1 of the prior year, or (4) in any instance where the
7utility can show there has been tampering with the utility's
8wires, pipes, meters (including locking devices), or other
9service equipment and further shows that the former customer
10enjoyed the benefit of utility service obtained in the
11aforesaid manner.
12    The terms and conditions of any deferred payment
13arrangements established by the utility and a former customer
14shall take into consideration the following factors, based upon
15information available from current utility records or provided
16by the former customer:
17        (1) the amount past due;
18        (2) the former customer's ability to pay;
19        (3) the former customer's payment history;
20        (4) the reasons for the accumulation of the past due
21    amounts; and
22        (5) any other relevant factors relating to the former
23    customer's circumstances.
24    After the former customer's eligibility has been
25established in accordance with the first paragraph of this
26Section and, upon the establishment of a deferred payment



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1agreement, the former customer shall pay 1/3 of the amount past
2due (including reconnecting charge, if any) and 1/3 of any
3deposit required by the utility.
4    Upon the payment of 1/3 of the amount past due and 1/3 of
5any deposit required by the utility, the former customer's
6service shall be reconnected as soon as possible. The company
7and the former customer shall agree to a payment schedule for
8the remaining balances which will reasonably allow the former
9customer to make the payments on the remainder of the deposit
10and the past due balance while paying current bills during the
11winter heating season. However, the utility is not obliged to
12make payment arrangements extending beyond the following
13November. The utility shall allow the former customer a minimum
14of 4 months in which to retire the past due balance and 3
15months in which to pay the remainder of the deposit. The former
16customer shall also be informed that payment on the amounts
17past due and the deposit, if any, plus the current bills must
18be paid by the due date or the customer may face termination of
19service pursuant to this Section and Section 8-206.
20    The Commission shall develop rules to govern the
21reconnection of a former customer who demonstrates a financial
22inability to meet the requirement of 1/3 of the amount past due
23and 1/3 of any deposit requested by the utility. The
24Commission's rules shall establish a means by which the former
25customer's utility service may be reconnected through the
26payment of a reasonable amount and upon entering into a



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1deferred payment agreement.
2    Any payment agreement made shall be in writing, with a copy
3provided to the former customer. The renegotiation and
4reinstatement of a customer and the establishment of a budget
5payment plan shall be pursuant to rules established by the
7    A disconnected natural gas customer who remedies the reason
8for the disconnection and is not required by the utility to
9provide information as a new applicant for service shall be
10reconnected within 3 calendar days.
11    Not later than September 15 of each year, every gas and
12electric utility shall conduct a survey of all former
13residential customers whose gas or electric service was used to
14provide or control the primary source of space heating in the
15dwelling and whose gas or electric service was terminated for
16nonpayment of a bill or deposit from December 1 of the previous
17year to September 15 of that year and where service at that
18premises has not been restored. Not later than October 1 of
19each year the utility shall notify each of these former
20customers that the gas or electric service will be restored by
21the company for the coming heating season if the former
22customer contacts the utility and makes arrangements with the
23utility for reconnection of service under the conditions set
24forth in this Section. A utility shall notify the former
25customer or an adult member of the household by personal visit,
26telephone contact or mailing of a letter by first class mail to



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1the last known address of that former customer. The utility
2shall keep records which would indicate the date, form and the
3results of such contact.
4    Each gas and electric utility which has former customers
5affected by this Section shall file reports with the Commission
6providing such information as the Commission may deem
7appropriate. The Commission shall notify each gas and electric
8utility prior to August 1 of each year concerning the
9information which is to be included in the report for that
11    In no event shall any actions taken by a utility in
12compliance with this Section be deemed to abrogate or in any
13way interfere with the utility's rights to pursue the normal
14collection processes otherwise available to it.
15    The Commission shall promulgate rules to implement this
17(Source: P.A. 92-690, eff. 7-18-02.)
18    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
19becoming law.