Winter home heating moratorium ends April 1

Written by Theresa Rose on March 24, 2015

Energy assistance customers should contact their utility to avoid service disconnection

(Des Moines) – Iowa’s annual winter energy assistance moratorium runs from November 1 through April 1. The Iowa Utilities Board reminds utility customers that are currently protected from electric or natural gas service disconnection, and who are having difficulty paying their energy utility bills, to contact their local utility before April 1 to discuss payment options or arrange for a payment agreement to avoid potential service disconnection.

Beginning April 2, 2015, customers certified for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or Home Weatherization Program could be subject to electric or natural gas service disconnection for unpaid bills.

Although the current winter heating season was not as severe as last year, residential customers in Iowa still experienced higher heating costs with some households facing significant past due utility bill debt. Iowans unable to pay their utility bills will need to work closely with their local utilities and Iowa’s Community Action Agencies to avoid service disconnections.

LIHEAP funds are limited, but applications are still being accepted by local Community Action Agencies through April 30, 2015. All customers, including those not qualifying for LIHEAP or weatherization assistance, may be eligible to enter into a reasonable payment agreement with their utilities to pay accumulated debt over time and to maintain utility service.

The Iowa Utilities Board Customer Service staff will assist customers with issues that are not resolved directly with their utility and can be contacted toll-free at 1.877.565.4450. Iowa’s rules regarding natural gas and electric service disconnections and payment agreements are found in chapters 19 and 20, Utilities Division [199] of the Iowa Administrative Code.

For more information about low-income energy assistance, visit the Board’s LIHEAP Informational Page and the Iowa Department of Human Rights web site.