ICC Ends Utility Disconnections & Late Fees, Door-To-Door Solicitation by Alternative Electric & Gas Retail Suppliers

By Benjamin Cox on March 19, 2020 at 5:53am

The Illinois Commerce Commission issued two emergency directives yesterday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After holding an emergency special session of its members yesterday, an immediate moratorium on in-person or door-to-door marketing of services by Alternative Retail Electric & Gas Suppliers for the duration of the public health emergency declaration has been put in place. The Commission is authorized by the General Assembly to oversee the operations of public utilities in the State of Illinois under the Illinois Public Utilities Act. Customers who wish to begin taking service from ARES and AGS are able to complete such transactions online, by mail or by telephone. Alternative Retailers are also able to continue to solicit customers online, by mail, or by telemarketing as long as those activities are conducted lawfully.

The commission also voted unanimously to to formalize Governor Pritzker and the ICC’s request of Illinois electric, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities to cease disconnections and the threat of disconnections during the emergency. The order also calls on the utilities to suspend late payment fees until May 1, or the crisis has passed, and to implement flexible utility credit and collection procedures to ensure customers remain connected to essential utility services when the emergency status ends. Each utility will be required to file proposed revised credit and collections procedures with the ICC for consideration and approval within the next week.