Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0630
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Full Text of SB0630  98th General Assembly



State of Illinois
2013 and 2014


Introduced 1/24/2013, by Sen. John J. Cullerton


220 ILCS 5/19-125

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning consumer education.

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1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Section 19-125 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/19-125)
7    Sec. 19-125. Consumer education.
8    (a) The The Commission shall make available upon request
9and at no charge, and shall make available to the public on the
10Internet through the State of Illinois World Wide Web site:
11        (1) a list of all certified alternative gas suppliers
12    serving residential and small commercial customers within
13    the service area of each gas utility including, in the case
14    of the Internet, computer links to available web sites of
15    the certified alternative gas suppliers;
16        (2) a list of all certified alternative gas suppliers
17    serving residential or small commercial customers that
18    have been found in the last 3 years by the Commission
19    pursuant to Section 10-108 to have failed to provide
20    service in accordance with this Act;
21        (3) guidelines to assist customers in determining
22    which gas supplier is most appropriate for each customer;
23    and



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1        (4) Internet links to providers of information that
2    enables customers to compare prices and services of gas
3    utilities and alternative gas suppliers, if and when that
4    information is available.
5    (a-5) The Commission shall develop no later than 6 months
6after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th
7General Assembly and maintain consumer education information
8to help residential and small commercial consumers understand
9their gas supply options and their rights and responsibilities.
10The Commission shall publish the consumer education
11information on its World Wide Web site.
12    (a-10) To assist the Commission in developing consumer
13education information, the Commission shall form a working
14group that shall consist of representatives of gas utilities
15with residential and small commercial gas transportation
16service programs, alternative gas suppliers, the Attorney
17General, the Citizens Utility Board, and the Commission.
18    (a-15) At a minimum, the consumer education information
19developed by the Commission shall include explanations or
20descriptions of the following:
21        (1) The choices available to consumers to take gas
22    service from an alternative retail gas supplier or remain
23    as a retail customer of the gas utility.
24        (2) A consumer's rights and responsibilities in
25    receiving service from an alternative retail gas supplier
26    or remaining as a retail customer of the gas utility.



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1        (3) The gas utility's role in delivering gas,
2    including, but not limited to, utility response to calls
3    for service and gas leaks.
4        (4) The legal obligations of alternative retail gas
5    suppliers.
6        (5) The components of a bill that could be received by
7    a customer taking delivery services.
8        (6) The procedures available to customers to address
9    complaints against a gas utility or an alternative retail
10    gas supplier and a list of phone numbers and other contact
11    information for the Commission, the Attorney General, or
12    the Citizens Utility Board.
13        (7) Guidance to assist consumers in making educated
14    decisions when choosing their natural gas provider,
15    including:
16            (A) how to compare prices;
17            (B) questions to ask when considering natural gas
18        providers; and
19            (C) current and historical utility gas rates.
20        (8) The availability of the "Do Not Contact List" for
21    those who do not wish to be solicited by natural gas
22    providers.
23    (b) In any service area where customers are able to choose
24their natural gas supplier, the Commission shall require gas
25utilities and alternative gas suppliers to inform customers of
26how they may contact the Commission in order to obtain



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1information about the customer choice program.
2    (c) The Commission shall adopt a uniform disclosure that
3alternative gas suppliers shall be required to complete for
4each product offering. The uniform disclosure shall contain, at
5a minimum:
6        (1) for products with a fixed price per therm, the
7    price per therm;
8        (2) the length of the initial term of the product, or,
9    if applicable, the expiration date of the initial term of
10    the product;
11        (3) the amount of the termination fees, if any;
12        (4) the amount of the administrative fees, other fees,
13    or recurring charges, if any, to be listed separately for
14    each and every fee or charge;
15        (5) for products with a variable price per therm, the
16    terms of such variability, including, but not limited to,
17    any index that is used to calculate the price and any
18    additional charges, costs and fees; and
19        (6) for products where a customer's charges are a fixed
20    amount per billing period regardless of the market price
21    for natural gas or the customer's natural gas consumption
22    during the billing period, the billing period covered.
23        If the alternative gas supplier will not offer a
24    different product for new customers as of the first of the
25    month, then the alternative gas supplier does not have to
26    provide new information until the first day of the month in



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1    which a different product or products are being offered.
2        The Commission shall post this information on its World
3    Wide Web site in a manner that shall enable customers to
4    compare prices, terms, and conditions offered by the
5    alternative gas suppliers. The website shall be updated at
6    least monthly and the Commission shall maintain this
7    information on its website for at least 12 months to allow
8    customers to compare the historical plans and prices for
9    all alternative gas suppliers.
10    (d) The Commission shall make available in print, upon
11request and at no charge and on its World Wide Web site,
12information on which customers of alternative gas suppliers
13serving residential and small commercial customers may address
14any complaint with regard to an alternative gas supplier's
15obligations under Section 19-115 of this Article, including the
16provision of service in accordance with the terms of its
17contract, sales tactics, and rates. The Commission shall
18maintain a summary by category and provider of all formal and
19informal complaints it receives pursuant to this Section, and
20it shall publish the summary on a quarterly basis on its World
21Wide Web site. Individual customer information shall not be
22included in the summary.
23    (e) The provisions of this Section shall apply only to
24alternative gas suppliers serving or seeking to serve
25residential and small commercial customers and only to the
26extent such alternative gas suppliers provide services to



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1residential and small commercial customers.
2(Source: P.A. 95-1051, eff. 4-10-09.)