COVID-19 Winter Moratorium Extension Ends May 27
IUB encourages customers to contact their utility to avoid disconnection, establish payment arrangements
(Des Moines) – On April 27, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation extending the public health emergency to May 27, 2020. The Iowa Utilities Board issued an order on March 27, 2020, that restricted the disconnection of utility service to any customers by all electric and natural gas utilities, including municipal, cooperative, and investor-owned, and all investor-owned water utilities until the public health emergency is lifted by Gov. Reynolds. The order also strongly encouraged all water utilities to cease shutoffs of service for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The order issued by the IUB on March 27 is tied to the Governor’s proclamation and, therefore, extends the winter moratorium until May 27, 2020.
The IUB originally extended the winter moratorium to May 1, 2020, by an emergency order on March 13, 2020, in Docket No. SPU-2020-0003. The order directed all electric and natural gas utilities to cease disconnection of residential service due to nonpayment for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) qualified customers. The emergency order was in response to a statewide disaster proclamation issued by Gov. Reynolds on March 9, 2020.
Thousands of Iowans have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and customers may be struggling to pay utility bills during the pandemic. The IUB urges customers to contact their local utility to discuss a payment arrangement. Customers seeking LIHEAP financial assistance for utility bills should contact their local community action agency to discuss eligibility. The IUB continues to encourage all customers to continue paying toward their energy bills to avoid accumulating high debt and avoid facing utility service disconnection as the moratorium ends on May 27, 2020.
Income-eligible Iowans typically have until April 30 each year to apply for limited financial heating assistance through the LIHEAP program. The application deadline was extended to May 31, 2020, this year by the Iowa Department of Human Rights (IDPH).