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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

State extends pause on utility disconnections through Aug. 14

Indiana utility companies will also not be allowed to recover lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit: WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has extended the prohibition of utilities disconnection for 45 additional days past the initial expiration date. That moratorium will now expire Aug. 14. The agency also denied utility companies' request to recover lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IURC announced the decision Monday, saying recouping the lost revenue is "beyond reasonable."

"Under the regulatory compact, at a base level, utilities are obligated to provide safe, reliable service and customers are obligated to pay just and reasonable rates for any such service they receive," the agency said in a news release. "Asking customers to go beyond their obligation and pay for service they did not receive is beyond reasonable utility relief based on the facts before us."

IURC also doubled the requirement for extended payment plans, so customers have a feasible way to pay their bills.

Additionally an executive order signed by Gov. Holcomb prevents foreclosures and evictions through July 31. 

Renters, homeowners, lending institutions and landlords are encouraged to establish payment plans to avoid later evictions or foreclosures.

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Utility companies under IURC's jurisdiction must now offer payment plans of at least six months to all customers.

"Temporarily prohibiting disconnections until August 14, 2020 is a balanced solution that allows both customers and utilities additional time to enter into reasonable payment arrangements," IURC said.

The decisions were part of a larger investigation into the financial impact of the coronavirus on both customers and utility companies.