The state’s ban on utility disconnections is now in place as a protection for those who may fall behind on their bills during cold weather. Iowa Utilities Board spokesman Don Tormey says you have to be signed up for a couple of programs to be protected from having your utilities shut off.
“Households that qualify for low income home energy heating assistance or weatherization program assistance are protected from natural gas or electric service disconnection during the moratorium period — which started November 1st and it goes through April 1st of 2016,” Tormey says. The programs are available on a first-come, first-served basis and you can contact your local Community Action Agency to sign up.
Tormey says the programs provide some help to people who’re struggling to pay. “It doesn’t pay the entire energy bill, it’s meant to supplement it and lend assistance to low-income qualified customers,” Tormey explains. He says the weather has been pretty warm so far this fall and people may not be thinking about the program.
“While they cannot be disconnected from that service during the moratorium, the board also urges all LIHEAP and weatherization customers to continue paying toward their energy bills through the winter so they can avoid accumulating high debt, and then facing potential utility service disconnection when the moratorium ends,” Tormey says. The weatherization program helps low-income participants insulate their homes to help save on heating bills.
For more information on either program, go to the Iowa Utilities Board website or call the board at 1-877-565-4450.