Statement By CUB Executive Director David Kolata: How CUB Is Serving Illinois Consumers During Public Health Crisis

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CHICAGO, March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —

Dear Illinois consumers:

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB), Illinois’ nonpartisan, nonprofit advocate for utility customers, will continue to serve all consumers during this public health crisis. We will do so in a manner that minimizes the risks of exposure to you and our staff. 

Based on the recommendation of Gov. Pritzker and public health experts, I have directed the CUB team to work from home until further notice and to postpone CUB community events through March 31. Our team is well-equipped to continue to perform all of our important tasks for however long this crisis lasts. That includes:

  • Operating our toll-free Consumer Hotline and online complaint system. If you have a complaint or question about your utility service, please do not hesitate to call CUB, 1-800-669-5556, to talk to an expert 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or to file a complaint online. (We will be answering calls from home.)
  • Launching a new service: Virtual Utility Bill Clinics. Our in-person events may be postponed, but we are offering a new option in the meantime. Consumers can email, mail, or fax us their utility bills, and we will analyze them for potential ways to save and give people clean energy tips. That means Illinois consumers can receive the same service we provide at our events—but from the comfort and safety of their own homes. (Please read more about this CUB service.)
  • Holding online events: We are offering to hold special virtual events for Illinois community groups that request it. These presentations can cover a number of utility-related and clean energy topics, such as how to reduce your utility bills, Illinois’ community solar program and other solar options, how to sign up for good energy efficiency programs, and special pricing plans, such as Hourly Pricing and Power Smart Pricing, that are good for the pocketbook and the planet. If your community group is interested in such a program, please please email Anairis Boror, outreach coordinator ([email protected]).  
  • Fighting for lower utility bills, better service and cleaner energy. CUB is involved in battles involving hundreds of millions of dollars in higher utility bills. Our work will continue on those fronts. We are well-prepared to file testimony, teleconference, and do whatever is necessary to fight for lower utility bills.
  • Calling on utility companies to do the right thing. We are pleased that the major utilities have issued a moratorium on shut-offs and waived late-payment charges during this crisis. We call on any remaining telecom/cable, electric and gas providers to follow their lead.

Finally, I want to be clear that CUB stands firmly in the camp of public health experts who recommend tackling this crisis head on with science, facts and prudent, decisive, nonpartisan action. My guidance to CUB’s  staff is the guidance I give to you: Be safe but don’t panic. Being your own best consumer advocate means taking a crisis seriously, but arming yourself with the facts. Please review these reliable resources to help you take all the necessary precautions. We will get through this crisis. Be safe.

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.

SOURCE Citizens Utility Board

Related Links

http://www.citizensutilityboard.org

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March 16, 2020 at 09:27AM

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