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New Retail Energy Bill Prohibits Termination Fees and Retail Supplier Service to Financially Burdened Families

By September 9, 2019Natural Gas
This is a picture of Chicago, Illinois.

A new energy bill known as the Home Energy and Affordability Transparency (HEAT) Act was signed into law and will go into effect for Illinois residents by January 1, 2020. Other states may be soon to follow. 

In an effort to protect recipients of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the Percentage of Income Payment Plan from being taken advantage of by retail electric suppliers, this law will make it so that after the first of the year, retail electric suppliers may not pursue enrollments from residents who have received financial assistance from their local utility company within the last 12 months. Only after July 1st will suppliers be able to apply to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce so that they may offer a savings guarantee plan for these residents. 

Even if a supplier’s application to pursue contracts with residents is approved, they must ensure that all marketing materials include very clearly the current utility electric supply price before enrollment and again when their contracts expire. Residents may also be glad to know that supplier contracts will not be allowed to auto-renew and require handwritten or electronic consent from the customer between 30 and 60 days before the contract expires. Consumers will also have the right to cancel their contracts at any time without any fees or penalties according to the new bill.

Residents and lawmakers can agree this is a step in the right direction for more transparency between retail electric suppliers and their consumers. Many may even argue this is something that should have been in place long before now when Illinois first became a deregulated state in 1995. Either way, financially burdened families will now have an easier way to find energy solutions that are best for them and feel confident in their choice.

 

We always strive to be clear and transparent about our rates with our customers at Kratos Gas and Power. View our current rates right now and save.

Visit Energy Choice Matters to learn more about the HEAT Act coming in 2020.