CHICAGO (WMBD) — The Illinois Commerce Commission is working to stop disconnections, threatening notices and fines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday ICC voted unanimously to formalize Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the ICC’s request of Illinois ceasing electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utility disconnections during the COVID-19 crisis. The order also wants utility companies to suspend late payment fees until May 1, or when the virus is contained.
A statement provided by ICC reads,
“Life changed seemingly overnight for all Illinois residents due to COVID-19. As regulators, it is our responsibility to balance the interest of the utilities with the needs of consumers. Now is not the time to be cutting off potentially life-saving utility services. Ceasing disconnections and threatening notices, and hefty fines will give residents some much-needed peace of mind during these difficult days. The citizens of Illinois are being asked to take unprecedented steps to curb the spread of this dangerous virus.
By staying at home and limiting contact with others, many businesses are now faced with closure or reducing operations leaving many people with little or no pay in the coming weeks,” said Commissioner Sadzi Martha Oliva.
This emergency order ensures that no one loses power, natural gas or running water because they can’t afford to pay their bills during these hard times. If we all work together, we can make it through this crisis.”Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Carrie Zalewski.