‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
 
 

December 18, 2020

 

 
 
 
 

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) passed consumer protections to help people pay their utility bills amid the COVID-19 crisis. Utilities in the state have agreed to extend the moratorium through March 31, 2021. While the moratorium on shut-offs is extended, the moratorium on late payment fees has ended. Certain eligible customers who were disconnected for nonpayment can be reconnected without paying reconnection fees for a six-month period that ends Dec. 26. You must contact the utility—this will not be done automatically. Only customers who are seeking reconnection at the same premise from which they were disconnected will get reconnected under this provision. This protection is for all customers who qualify for Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) or simply express financial hardship. Reconnected customers will have any outstanding balance rolled to the reconnected accounts. Utilities must waive deposits connected to late payment or non-payment, arrearages, or credit-related issues for customers experiencing financial hardship for a six-month period that ends Dec. 26. For a six-month period that ends Dec. 26, utilities will not report late payments and nonpayment for active customers to credit bureaus and reporting agencies. For a six-month period ending Dec. 26, utilities are required to offer longer Deferred Payment Arrangements (DPAs)—plans that help people pay off debt with a utility. DPAs for customers who are LIHEAP-eligible or express financial hardship will not require a down payment and will be extended to 24 months. All other customers will be required to make a down payment of no more than 10% of their arrearage to start the arrangement, and may select periods up to 18 months to pay it off. Typically, at this time of year, such plans require 25 percent down and are no more than 12 months. These arrangements will only be available for a six-month period that ends Dec. 26, so take advantage of them now and try your best to remain on them. Defaults on this arrangement could require down payment (or higher down payment) and a shorter pay-off period to reinstate. For more information, visit CitizensUtilityBoard.org

 

 
 
 
 

Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Programs announced additional incentives for small businesses, schools and government facilities. The Ameren Illinois Small Business Direct Install Program is offering incentives for energy-efficient lighting upgrades, and refrigeration incentives have been added for 2021. Restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, schools, eligible correctional facilities and other government facilities that use refrigerated coolers and freezers can boost their bottom lines with these cost-effective, energy-saving updates. The new refrigeration incentives include low-cost to no-cost upgrades for walk-in/reach-in coolers and freezers which includes energy efficient motors, evaporator fan controls, anti-sweat heater controls, and door closers. For more information and to schedule a free assessment, visit AmerenIllinoisSavings.com/SmallBusiness

 

 
 
 
 

University of Illinois Extension is now accepting host office applications for the 2021 Illini Science Policy Program, a partnership opportunity to help build the next generation of public service leaders in Illinois. The program matches highly motivated and qualified post-graduates from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with hosts in public agencies or legislative offices for a 12-month paid appointment. Working with their host offices and a University of Illinois Extension mentor, these Illini Science Policy Scholars pursue projects in critical issue areas of food, economy, environment, community, and health. Hosts may include local, state and federal agencies and legislative offices in Illinois. View details in the 2021 Host Request for Applications. Applications are due January 15, 2021. For questions and program information, contact Evangeline Pianfetti (217-244-7568 or esecaras@illinois.edu).

 

 
 
 

Happy Holidays from Rural Partners!

Our next issue will be January 8, 2021.

See you next year!

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

January 12th (Webinar) - State of Illinois: Legislative Update

January 27th (Webinar) - National Association of Counties' Federal Legislative Update

 
 
 
 
 

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