Actions Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 Investigation Update
Disconnection Moratorium Ends Aug. 14, 2020, Most Fees Still Suspended
On Aug. 12, 2020, the Commission required all jurisdictional utilities to continue offering extended payment arrangements for a minimum of six months to all customers for an additional 60 days, until Oct. 12, 2020. The Commission also continued to suspend the collection of certain utility fees by jurisdictional utilities (late fees, deposits, and disconnection/reconnection fees) for an additional 60 days, until Oct. 12, 2020, for residential customers. Utilities may resume charging convenience fees as set forth in the rate and charges established in their Commission-approved tariffs.
The Commission expects customers and utilities to communicate as soon as possible to set up payment arrangements as necessary so utility service can be maintained.
Comments Regarding COVID-19 Investigation
In accordance with a docket entry issued on June 16, 2020, comments received by the Commission regarding its investigation into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ratepayers and utilities, Cause No. 45380, will be posted on the Commission’s website here and considered as part of the record in this case. Additional information about this case, including a procedural schedule and documents filed by parties in the case, can be found here.
JUNE 12, 2020 UPDATE: Commission staff will begin returning to the office on June 15, 2020, though some staff will continue to conduct work remotely. Hearings and meetings will continue to be held primarily through virtual means. The office will be open to limited public access starting on Monday, June 15, 2020, and the below modifications to Commission processes will remain in effect until further notice.
Effective immediately and during the time of this state of emergency:
- Hard copies are no longer required for electronically filed documents of 30 pages or more;
- The signature is no longer required to be notarized on the Communications Service Provider (“CSP”) Notice of Change affidavit, which is the only IURC document requiring notarization and which is required when a CSP is transferring its Certificate of Territorial Authority (“CTA”) to a CSP that does not currently have an Indiana CTA; and
- While the utilities’ annual reports are required by statute to be filed by April 30th, the Governor’s Executive Order allows the agency to extend the deadline as may be necessary. If a utility is having difficulty meeting the April 30th timeline, the utility or its representative should contact the appropriate Commission Division Director (Energy Division Director Jane Steinhauer or Water/Wastewater Division Director Curt Gassert) and Commission staff will work with the utility.
Please contact General Counsel Beth Heline (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or if you have suggestions for additional steps for the Commission to consider.
March 25, 2020 Update
Hearings and conferences during this public health emergency, beginning with hearings on Monday, March 30, will be held via WebEx conference call. Call-in information and access codes will be posted on the Commission’s livestream page here, as well as in docket entries for respective cases. WebEx call-in information will also be posted on the Commission’s livestream webpage for upcoming conferences. We may make periodic adjustments to how we’re operating during this time, but we will continue to communicate any updates or changes.
March 27, 2020 Update
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has an additional update aimed at lessening regulatory requirements during the current public health emergency. The following apply during this public health emergency:
- Utilities may voluntarily suspend or waive late fees and reconnections fees and reconnect customers who have been disconnected due to non-payment, as long as these actions are non-discriminatory and apply to all customers, and even if a IURC-regulated utility’s tariff states otherwise.
- The timelines included in 170 IAC 4-4.3-6 and 4-4.3-7 for Level 1 and Level 2 net metering applications may be extended an additional 5 business days; and electronic documents and electronic signatures should be allowed and used as much as possible. Utilities are expected to communicate with applicants regarding any timeline extensions.
- Gas operators may take an additional 14 days to respond to excavation damages cases. Operators are still required to comply with the reporting requirements regarding damages.
- Required periodic meter testing and/or change outs under 170 IAC 4-1-10, 170 IAC 5-1-9, and 170 IAC 6-1-10 are stayed.
April 8, 2020 Update
Any report to the Commission that is required to be signed, verified, and notarized may be submitted to the Commission with just an electronic signature during the public health emergency. Once the public health emergency is ended, a signed and notarized verification should be submitted to the Commission.
April 23, 2020 Update
Under current Commission rules, utilities may offer payment arrangements that are longer than three months. The three month timeframes in 170 IAC 4-1-16(c), 170 IAC 5-1-16(d), and 170 IAC 6-1-16(c) are part of the requirements under which a utility may not disconnect a customer; a utility may voluntarily offer longer payment arrangements in a non-discriminatory manner.
Commission's Emergency Response Report to the Legislative Council
Per the request of the Legislative Council, a summary of actions taken during the public health emergency, as well as preparations that have been taken or will be taken by the Commission to address future emergencies, must be compiled into an Emergency Response Report. The report can be found here.