Ameren Illinois is among a number of gas and electric utility providers in Illinois who have announced they will be voluntarily be ceasing disconnections during the winter months.
The moratorium on disconnects applies only to residential customers according to this week’s announcement by the Illinois Commerce Commission on Wednesday.
The announcement came nearly a week ahead of the statutory winter rules that will take effect on December 1st.
ICC Chairman Carrie K. Zalewski says difficult times lie ahead in Illinois as we experience a dangerous second wave of COVID-19 cases statewide. She says the growing concerns of the virus prompted the state’s largest gas and electric utilities to voluntarily stop disconnections for all residential customers immediacy.
Stipulated agreements reached between the utilities, consumer advocate groups and the ICC have also been put into place, including bill payment assistance programs and extended deferred payment arrangements (DPAs) that vary by utility.
The ICC says through December 26, 2020, residential customers can enter into longer DPAs with smaller down payments. To receive assistance benefits , customers need to act quickly by calling the utility and verbalizing their hardship situation.
For more information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) eligibility and how to apply for assistance with your utility bills, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Utility Assistance page at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CommunityServices/UtilityBillAssistance/Pages/default.aspx
The ICC says if you are experiencing a hardship and are having trouble with or falling behind on your payments, contact your local utility departments to discuss options they may have to help avoid further issues down the road.