Iowa Utilities Board encourages customers to contact their utility to arrange payment plans or to seek available public assistance funds
(Des Moines) — Iowa’s annual winter moratorium regarding utility service disconnection ends April 1, 2021. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) reminds energy assistance customers currently protected from service disconnection for nonpayment to contact their local utility company immediately to discuss payment plans options and avoid disconnection as soon as April 2.
Under Iowa’s winter moratorium law, customers who qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Weatherization Assistance Program are protected from the annual shutoff of natural gas and electric service from November 1 to April 1.
To avoid disconnection, Iowa customers who have fallen behind on utility payments are encouraged to review the customer rights and responsibilities information for electric and natural gas service and contact their utility provider to arrange a payment plan. If customers are experiencing difficulty paying their energy bills, they may be eligible for LIHEAP financial assistance and should contact their local community action agency to apply for assistance before April 30.
The LIHEAP program pays only a portion of utility bills to qualified low-income customers. Customers who are not sure where to apply can visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply.
In addition to the funding annually available through LIHEAP, an additional utility bill assistance program through the Iowa Finance Authority’s Rent and Utility Assistance Program is expected to become available this spring for Iowans impacted by COVID-19. For more details, visit https://www.iowafinance.com/iowa-rent-and-utility-assistance-program/. However, Polk County residents should visit https://www.impactcap.org/ regarding updates to rental and potential utility assistance.
All utility customers, including those who do not qualify for energy assistance, may be eligible to enter into a reasonable payment agreement with their utility company that allows them to pay accumulated debt over time and to maintain utility service.
If customers cannot reach a payment agreement with their utility, they may contact the IUB Customer Service toll-free at 877-565-4450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about disconnection, or other issues that are not resolved directly with their utility company.
For more information, visit the LIHEAP page on the IUB website.