Moratorium on utility shutoffs winding down

(The Center Square) – Illinoisans unable to pay their utility bills during the coronavirus pandemic may soon be out of luck.

The shutoff moratorium for many state-regulated electric, water, sewer and natural gas utility companies – such as Illinois American Water, Nicor Gas and Aqua Illinois – expires Sept. 30. Ameren and ComEd’s moratorium ended Sept. 10.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he plans to put pressure on the utility companies.

“It is my intention to continue to lean on them to do the right thing,” Pritzker said. “I must say though that many of them have stepped forward to do the right thing on their own, some slightly more reluctant than others, but they have come to the table and we are going to continue to work on that.”

On Friday, Pritzker abruptly ended a news conference in Macomb after people in the crowd began chanting “No utility shutoffs.”

Jennifer Golz, media relations manager with Nicor Gas, said assistance is available for customers with past due bills.

“If those are customers who have been affected by the ongoing pandemic, they still have time to make account arrangements and learn how we might be able to help them,” she said.

More than 20 groups in Central and Southern Illinois have formed a coalition called “No Ameren Shutoff.”

An organizer with the group encouraged Illinois residents to contact the Illinois Commerce Commission and submit a complaint about utility shutoffs.


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September 19, 2020 at 01:53PM

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