Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3104
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Full Text of HB3104  98th General Assembly




State of Illinois
2013 and 2014


Introduced , by Rep. Joe Sosnowski


220 ILCS 5/8-306

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that water or sewer service may be discontinued only on a day followed by a business day. Effective immediately.

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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 8-306 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/8-306)
7    Sec. 8-306. Special provisions relating to water and sewer
9    (a) No later than 120 days after the effective date of this
10amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, the Commission
11shall prepare, make available to customers upon request, and
12post on its Internet web site information concerning the
13service obligations of water and sewer utilities and remedies
14that a customer may pursue for a violation of the customer's
15rights. The information shall specifically address the rights
16of a customer of a water or sewer utility in the following
18        (1) The customer's water meter is replaced.
19        (2) The customer's bill increases by more than 50%
20    within one billing period.
21        (3) The customer's water service is terminated.
22        (4) The customer wishes to complain after receiving a
23    termination of service notice.



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1        (5) The customer is unable to make payment on a billing
2    statement.
3        (6) A rate is filed, including without limitation a
4    surcharge or annual reconciliation filing, that will
5    increase the amount billed to the customer.
6        (7) The customer is billed for services provided prior
7    to the date covered by the billing statement.
8        (8) The customer is due to receive a credit.
9    Each billing statement issued by a water or sewer utility
10shall include an Internet web site address where the customer
11can view the information required under this subsection (a) and
12a telephone number that the customer may call to request a copy
13of the information.
14    (b) A water or sewer utility may discontinue service only
15on a day followed by a business day and after it has mailed or
16delivered by other means a written notice of discontinuance
17substantially in the form of Appendix A of 83 Ill. Adm. Code
18280. The notice must include the Internet web site address
19where the customer can view the information required under
20subsection (a) and a telephone number that the customer may
21call to request a copy of the information. Any notice required
22to be delivered or mailed to a customer prior to discontinuance
23of service shall be delivered or mailed separately from any
24bill. Service shall not be discontinued until at least 5 days
25after delivery or 8 days after the mailing of this notice.
26Service shall not be discontinued and shall be restored if



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1discontinued for the reason which is the subject of a dispute
2or complaint during the pendency of informal or formal
3complaint procedures of the Illinois Commerce Commission under
483 Ill. Adm. Code 280.160 or 280.170, where the customer has
5complied with those rules. Service shall not be discontinued
6and shall be restored if discontinued where a customer has
7established a deferred payment agreement pursuant to 83 Ill.
8Adm. Code 280.110 and has not defaulted on such agreement.
9Residential customers who are indebted to a utility for past
10due utility service shall have the opportunity to make
11arrangements with the utility to retire the debt by periodic
12payments, referred to as a deferred payment agreement, unless
13this customer has failed to make payment under such a plan
14during the past 12 months. The terms and conditions of a
15reasonable deferred payment agreement shall be determined by
16the utility after consideration of the following factors, based
17upon information available from current utility records or
18provided by the customer or applicant:
19        (1) size of the past due account;
20        (2) customer or applicant's ability to pay;
21        (3) customer or applicant's payment history;
22        (4) reason for the outstanding indebtedness; and
23        (5) any other relevant factors relating to the
24    circumstances of the customer or applicant's service.
25A residential customer shall pay a maximum of one-fourth of the
26amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the



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1deferred payment agreement, and the water or sewer utility
2shall allow a minimum of 2 months from the date of the
3agreement and a maximum of 12 months for payment to be made
4under a deferred payment agreement. Late payment charges may be
5assessed against the amount owing that is the subject of a
6deferred payment agreement.
7    (c) A water or sewer utility shall provide notice as
8required by subsection (a) of Section 9-201 after the filing of
9each information sheet under a purchased water surcharge,
10purchased sewage treatment surcharge, or qualifying
11infrastructure plant surcharge. The utility also shall post
12notice of the filing in accordance with the requirements of 83
13Ill. Adm. Code 255. Unless filed as part of a general rate
14increase, notice of the filing of a purchased water surcharge
15rider, purchased sewage treatment surcharge rider, or
16qualifying infrastructure plant surcharge rider also shall be
17given in the manner required by this subsection (c) for the
18filing of information sheets.
19    (d) Commission rules pertaining to formal and informal
20complaints against public utilities shall apply with full and
21equal force to water and sewer utilities and their customers,
22including provisions of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.170, and the
23Commission shall respond to each complaint by providing the
24consumer with a copy of the utility's response to the complaint
25and a copy of the Commission's review of the complaint and its
26findings. The Commission shall also provide the consumer with



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1all available options for recourse.
2    (e) Any refund shown on the billing statement of a customer
3of a water or sewer utility must be itemized and must state if
4the refund is an adjustment or credit.
5    (f) Water service for building construction purposes. At
6the request of any municipality or township within the service
7area of a public utility that provides water service to
8customers within the municipality or township, a public utility
9must (1) require all water service used for building
10construction purposes to be measured by meter and subject to
11approved rates and charges for metered water service and (2)
12prohibit the unauthorized use of water taken from hydrants or
13service lines installed at construction sites.
14    (g) Water meters.
15        (1) Periodic testing. Unless otherwise approved by the
16    Commission, each service water meter shall be periodically
17    inspected and tested in accordance with the schedule
18    specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.340, or more frequently
19    as the results may warrant, to insure that the meter
20    accuracy is maintained within the limits set out in 83 Ill.
21    Adm. Code 600.310.
22        (2) Meter tests requested by customer.
23            (A) Each utility furnishing metered water service
24        shall, without charge, test the accuracy of any meter
25        upon request by the customer served by such meter,
26        provided that the meter in question has not been tested



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1        by the utility or by the Commission within 2 years
2        previous to such request. The customer or his or her
3        representatives shall have the privilege of witnessing
4        the test at the option of the customer. A written
5        report, giving the results of the test, shall be made
6        to the customer.
7            (B) When a meter that has been in service less than
8        2 years since its last test is found to be accurate
9        within the limits specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code
10        600.310, the customer shall pay a fee to the utility
11        not to exceed the amounts specified in 83 Ill. Adm.
12        Code 600.350(b). Fees for testing meters not included
13        in this Section or so located that the cost will be out
14        of proportion to the fee specified will be determined
15        by the Commission upon receipt of a complete
16        description of the case.
17        (3) Commission referee tests. Upon written application
18    to the Commission by any customer, a test will be made of
19    the customer's meter by a representative of the Commission.
20    For such a test, a fee as provided for in subsection (g)(2)
21    shall accompany the application. If the meter is found to
22    be registering more than 1.5% fast on the average when
23    tested as prescribed in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.310, the
24    utility shall refund to the customer the amount of the fee.
25    The utility shall in no way disturb the meter after a
26    customer has made an application for a referee test until



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1    authority to do so is given by the Commission or the
2    customer in writing.
3    (h) Water and sewer utilities; low usage. Each public
4utility that provides water and sewer service must establish a
5unit sewer rate, subject to review by the Commission, that
6applies only to those customers who use less than 1,000 gallons
7of water in any billing period.
8    (i) Water and sewer utilities; separate meters. Each public
9utility that provides water and sewer service must offer
10separate rates for water and sewer service to any commercial or
11residential customer who uses separate meters to measure each
12of those services. In order for the separate rate to apply, a
13combination of meters must be used to measure the amount of
14water that reaches the sewer system and the amount of water
15that does not reach the sewer system.
16    (j) Each water or sewer public utility must disclose on
17each billing statement any amount billed that is for service
18provided prior to the date covered by the billing statement.
19The disclosure must include the dates for which the prior
20service is being billed. Each billing statement that includes
21an amount billed for service provided prior to the date covered
22by the billing statement must disclose the dates for which that
23amount is billed and must include a copy of the document
24created under subsection (a) and a statement of current
25Commission rules concerning unbilled or misbilled service.
26    (k) When the customer is due a refund resulting from



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1payment of an overcharge, the utility shall credit the customer
2in the amount of overpayment with interest from the date of
3overpayment by the customer. The rate for interest shall be at
4the appropriate rate determined by the Commission under 83 Ill.
5Adm. Code 280.70.
6    (l) Water and sewer public utilities; subcontractors. The
7Commission shall adopt rules for water and sewer public
8utilities to provide notice to the customers of the proper kind
9of identification that a subcontractor must present to the
10customer, to prohibit a subcontractor from soliciting or
11receiving payment of any kind for any service provided by the
12water or sewer public utility or the subcontractor, and to
13establish sanctions for violations.
14    (m) Water and sewer public utilities; unaccounted-for
15water. By December 31, 2006, each water public utility shall
16file tariffs with the Commission to establish the maximum
17percentage of unaccounted-for water that would be considered in
18the determination of any rates or surcharges. The rates or
19surcharges approved for a water public utility shall not
20include charges for unaccounted-for water in excess of this
21maximum percentage without well-documented support and
22justification for the Commission to consider in any request to
23recover charges in excess of the tariffed maximum percentage.
24    (n) Rate increases; public forums. When any public utility
25providing water or sewer service proposes a general rate
26increase, in addition to other notice requirements, the water



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1or sewer public utility must notify its customers of their
2right to request a public forum. A customer or group of
3customers must make written request to the Commission for a
4public forum and must also provide written notification of the
5request to the customer's municipal or, for unincorporated
6areas, township government. The Commission, at its discretion,
7may schedule the public forum. If it is determined that public
8forums are required for multiple municipalities or townships,
9the Commission shall schedule these public forums, in locations
10within approximately 45 minutes drive time of the
11municipalities or townships for which the public forums have
12been scheduled. The public utility must provide advance notice
13of 30 days for each public forum to the governing bodies of
14those units of local government affected by the increase. The
15day of each public forum shall be selected so as to encourage
16the greatest public participation. Each public forum will begin
17at 7:00 p.m. Reports and comments made during or as a result of
18each public forum must be made available to the hearing
19officials and reviewed when drafting a recommended or tentative
20decision, finding or order pursuant to Section 10-111 of this
22(Source: P.A. 94-950, eff. 6-27-06.)
23    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
24becoming law.