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Statement by CUB Executive Director David Kolata on ICC Consumer Protection Measures Amid COVID-19 Crisis

We thank state regulators for their pro-consumer actions today. These are uncertain times, and the last thing consumers need is to have their utility service interrupted, or to have their health threatened by alternative supplier sales representatives knocking on their doors. As this public health crisis unfolds, we need to do everything we can to ease the worries of Illinois citizens.

 Background:

At the request of Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on Wednesday issued a directive requiring a moratorium on disconnections and waiver of late fees until May 1, 2020, or, until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, if it goes beyond May 1.

The ICC action also requires utilities to implement temporary flexible credit and payment procedures.

In addition, the ICC:

  • Ordered a suspension of doorstep sales for alternative suppliers.
  • Opened a Notice of Inquiry regarding energy affordability to gather information on the affordability of utility service.  (Regulators want to establish a uniform definition of “affordability” and “low income,” and they want parties to submit comments 60 days after the end of the state of emergency.)

CUB is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes, secure refunds, and fight for clean, low-cost energy. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.

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