The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission said Monday that many Hoosiers who are unable to pay their energy bills won’t face shutoffs for another 45 days. Utilities also won’t be able to charge customers for revenue they lost when buildings closed during the pandemic.
Utilities say they’ve been losing money due to lower energy demand during “Stay-At-Home” orders — meanwhile they’re trying to provide service and flexible payment options for customers. The IURC said it might consider letting utilities recover other losses due to COVID-19, but it said it's unreasonable to make customers pay for energy they didn’t use. Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, agreed.
“It was an extraordinary, if not absurd, request in the wake of everything going on and shame on the utilities for even suggesting that they wanted to collect that money, but kudos to the commission for closing that door and saying absolutely not,” Olson said.
But unlike the governor’s moratorium on disconnects, this one only apples to the utilities the IURC oversees. Small, unregulated utilities will still be able to shut off service for unpaid bills starting on July 1st.