The Iowa Utilities Board took emergency action today to help some 75-thousand low-income Iowans stay warm. Board spokesman Rob Hillesland says the board extended the cutoff deadline for those who’re behind in paying their natural gas bills. The board extended the cutoff date for one month, from April 1st to May 1st. The order covers only those Iowans already certified to receive state help in paying their heating bills. Hillesland says cold weather and high natural gas prices have caused problems for low-income Iowans. Hillesland says the I-U-B is looking at ways to help other Iowans pay their big bills. He says they continue to review billing practices, disconnection rules and budget billing payment plans. Hillesland says Iowa customers are behind on their natural gas bills by more than 47-million dollars. That’s up 90-percent compared to last year.
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