Many non-paying utilities customers will have a little more time to resume payments than previously thought, filings with the Iowa Utilities Board show.
When the Iowa Utilities Board permits investor-owned utilities to resume disconnections July 1, the two major utility companies in the Corridor — Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy — won’t be disconnecting non-paying customers’ power quite yet.
Alliant Energy will give 12-day disconnection notices starting July 1, meaning non-paying customers could see their utilities turned off by July 13.
Morgan Hawk, senior communications partner at Alliant Energy, told The Gazette that date “will continue to be evaluated and could be pushed out later.”
The earliest MidAmerican will disconnect power would be July 24, but disconnections will be spread out because of the company’s billing schedule. Customers are divided into 21 billing groups.
Both companies said nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and hospitals will be exempt from disconnections.
The Iowa Utilities Board order exempted residents quarantining after a positive coronavirus test as well.
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Hawk said 6 percent of Alliant customers are past due on their bills, as of May 22. A MidAmerican spokesperson declined to say how many customers are behind on payments but said the company is not expecting a large amount of customers to be subject to disconnections.
MidAmerican described disconnections as “always a last resort” in the Iowa Utilities Board filing.
Both companies are working to inform customers of their options for delinquent bills — including the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP — in “customer education campaigns.”
Alliant Energy also moved $1 million into its Hometown Care Energy Fund, which helps customers who struggle to make ends meet.
“We are focusing on providing support and resources to customers so they don’t fall behind on their bills,” Hawk said in an email.
“Our goal is to provide as much stability and support as possible to help our customers during this time.”
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