(Photo From State Senator Sue Rezin's Office)

State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) says she supports a breakthrough utility relief agreement that will help utility customers who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has unanimously approved an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office, the state’s largest utilities, and other consumer advocate groups that ensures eligible utility customers can continue to receive services once the current moratorium on disconnections expires. Rezin also says it offers more flexibility when it comes to credit and collection procedures for customers who have been financially struggling due to COVID-19.

The agreement covers eight of the state’s major utility companies, including: Aqua Illinois, Illinois-American Water Company, Utility Services of Illinois, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company, Northern Illinois Gas Company (Nicor Gas), North Shore Gas Company, The Peoples Gas Light & Coke Company (Peoples Gas), and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd).The terms of the agreement includes extending the moratorium on disconnections and suspension of late payment fees until the state enters Phase 4 of the governor’s reopening plan, or August 1, 2020, whichever comes first, and for an additional 30 days beyond that for most customers. The utility companies will then have to notify residential consumers with past- due balances on their account within 30 days about the more flexible payment and bill assistance options available and how they can enroll before disconnection notices are sent.