Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 094-0950
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Public Act 094-0950




Public Act 094-0950
HB5555 Enrolled LRB094 19388 MKM 55053 b

    AN ACT concerning regulation.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by adding
Section 8-306 and by changing Section 9-223 as follows:
    (220 ILCS 5/8-306 new)
    Sec. 8-306. Special provisions relating to water and sewer
    (a) No later than 120 days after the effective date of this
amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, the Commission
shall prepare, make available to customers upon request, and
post on its Internet web site information concerning the
service obligations of water and sewer utilities and remedies
that a customer may pursue for a violation of the customer's
rights. The information shall specifically address the rights
of a customer of a water or sewer utility in the following
        (1) The customer's water meter is replaced.
        (2) The customer's bill increases by more than 50%
    within one billing period.
        (3) The customer's water service is terminated.
        (4) The customer wishes to complain after receiving a
    termination of service notice.
        (5) The customer is unable to make payment on a billing
        (6) A rate is filed, including without limitation a
    surcharge or annual reconciliation filing, that will
    increase the amount billed to the customer.
        (7) The customer is billed for services provided prior
    to the date covered by the billing statement.
        (8) The customer is due to receive a credit.
    Each billing statement issued by a water or sewer utility
shall include an Internet web site address where the customer
can view the information required under this subsection (a) and
a telephone number that the customer may call to request a copy
of the information.
    (b) A water or sewer utility may discontinue service only
after it has mailed or delivered by other means a written
notice of discontinuance substantially in the form of Appendix
A of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280. The notice must include the
Internet web site address where the customer can view the
information required under subsection (a) and a telephone
number that the customer may call to request a copy of the
information. Any notice required to be delivered or mailed to a
customer prior to discontinuance of service shall be delivered
or mailed separately from any bill. Service shall not be
discontinued until at least 5 days after delivery or 8 days
after the mailing of this notice. Service shall not be
discontinued and shall be restored if discontinued for the
reason which is the subject of a dispute or complaint during
the pendency of informal or formal complaint procedures of the
Illinois Commerce Commission under 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.160 or
280.170, where the customer has complied with those rules.
Service shall not be discontinued and shall be restored if
discontinued where a customer has established a deferred
payment agreement pursuant to 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.110 and has
not defaulted on such agreement. Residential customers who are
indebted to a utility for past due utility service shall have
the opportunity to make arrangements with the utility to retire
the debt by periodic payments, referred to as a deferred
payment agreement, unless this customer has failed to make
payment under such a plan during the past 12 months. The terms
and conditions of a reasonable deferred payment agreement shall
be determined by the utility after consideration of the
following factors, based upon information available from
current utility records or provided by the customer or
        (1) size of the past due account;
        (2) customer or applicant's ability to pay;
        (3) customer or applicant's payment history;
        (4) reason for the outstanding indebtedness; and
        (5) any other relevant factors relating to the
    circumstances of the customer or applicant's service.
A residential customer shall pay a maximum of one-fourth of the
amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the
deferred payment agreement, and the water or sewer utility
shall allow a minimum of 2 months from the date of the
agreement and a maximum of 12 months for payment to be made
under a deferred payment agreement. Late payment charges may be
assessed against the amount owing that is the subject of a
deferred payment agreement.
    (c) A water or sewer utility shall provide notice as
required by subsection (a) of Section 9-201 after the filing of
each information sheet under a purchased water surcharge,
purchased sewage treatment surcharge, or qualifying
infrastructure plant surcharge. The utility also shall post
notice of the filing in accordance with the requirements of 83
Ill. Adm. Code 255. Unless filed as part of a general rate
increase, notice of the filing of a purchased water surcharge
rider, purchased sewage treatment surcharge rider, or
qualifying infrastructure plant surcharge rider also shall be
given in the manner required by this subsection (c) for the
filing of information sheets.
    (d) Commission rules pertaining to formal and informal
complaints against public utilities shall apply with full and
equal force to water and sewer utilities and their customers,
including provisions of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.170, and the
Commission shall respond to each complaint by providing the
consumer with a copy of the utility's response to the complaint
and a copy of the Commission's review of the complaint and its
findings. The Commission shall also provide the consumer with
all available options for recourse.
    (e) Any refund shown on the billing statement of a customer
of a water or sewer utility must be itemized and must state if
the refund is an adjustment or credit.
    (f) Water service for building construction purposes. At
the request of any municipality or township within the service
area of a public utility that provides water service to
customers within the municipality or township, a public utility
must (1) require all water service used for building
construction purposes to be measured by meter and subject to
approved rates and charges for metered water service and (2)
prohibit the unauthorized use of water taken from hydrants or
service lines installed at construction sites.
    (g) Water meters.
        (1) Periodic testing. Unless otherwise approved by the
    Commission, each service water meter shall be periodically
    inspected and tested in accordance with the schedule
    specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.340, or more frequently
    as the results may warrant, to insure that the meter
    accuracy is maintained within the limits set out in 83 Ill.
    Adm. Code 600.310.
        (2) Meter tests requested by customer.
            (A) Each utility furnishing metered water service
        shall, without charge, test the accuracy of any meter
        upon request by the customer served by such meter,
        provided that the meter in question has not been tested
        by the utility or by the Commission within 2 years
        previous to such request. The customer or his or her
        representatives shall have the privilege of witnessing
        the test at the option of the customer. A written
        report, giving the results of the test, shall be made
        to the customer.
            (B) When a meter that has been in service less than
        2 years since its last test is found to be accurate
        within the limits specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code
        600.310, the customer shall pay a fee to the utility
        not to exceed the amounts specified in 83 Ill. Adm.
        Code 600.350(b). Fees for testing meters not included
        in this Section or so located that the cost will be out
        of proportion to the fee specified will be determined
        by the Commission upon receipt of a complete
        description of the case.
        (3) Commission referee tests. Upon written application
    to the Commission by any customer, a test will be made of
    the customer's meter by a representative of the Commission.
    For such a test, a fee as provided for in subsection (g)(2)
    shall accompany the application. If the meter is found to
    be registering more than 1.5% fast on the average when
    tested as prescribed in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.310, the
    utility shall refund to the customer the amount of the fee.
    The utility shall in no way disturb the meter after a
    customer has made an application for a referee test until
    authority to do so is given by the Commission or the
    customer in writing.
    (h) Water and sewer utilities; low usage. Each public
utility that provides water and sewer service must establish a
unit sewer rate, subject to review by the Commission, that
applies only to those customers who use less than 1,000 gallons
of water in any billing period.
    (i) Water and sewer utilities; separate meters. Each public
utility that provides water and sewer service must offer
separate rates for water and sewer service to any commercial or
residential customer who uses separate meters to measure each
of those services. In order for the separate rate to apply, a
combination of meters must be used to measure the amount of
water that reaches the sewer system and the amount of water
that does not reach the sewer system.
    (j) Each water or sewer public utility must disclose on
each billing statement any amount billed that is for service
provided prior to the date covered by the billing statement.
The disclosure must include the dates for which the prior
service is being billed. Each billing statement that includes
an amount billed for service provided prior to the date covered
by the billing statement must disclose the dates for which that
amount is billed and must include a copy of the document
created under subsection (a) and a statement of current
Commission rules concerning unbilled or misbilled service.
    (k) When the customer is due a refund resulting from
payment of an overcharge, the utility shall credit the customer
in the amount of overpayment with interest from the date of
overpayment by the customer. The rate for interest shall be at
the appropriate rate determined by the Commission under 83 Ill.
Adm. Code 280.70.
    (l) Water and sewer public utilities; subcontractors. The
Commission shall adopt rules for water and sewer public
utilities to provide notice to the customers of the proper kind
of identification that a subcontractor must present to the
customer, to prohibit a subcontractor from soliciting or
receiving payment of any kind for any service provided by the
water or sewer public utility or the subcontractor, and to
establish sanctions for violations.
    (m) Water and sewer public utilities; unaccounted-for
water. By December 31, 2006, each water public utility shall
file tariffs with the Commission to establish the maximum
percentage of unaccounted-for water that would be considered in
the determination of any rates or surcharges. The rates or
surcharges approved for a water public utility shall not
include charges for unaccounted-for water in excess of this
maximum percentage without well-documented support and
justification for the Commission to consider in any request to
recover charges in excess of the tariffed maximum percentage.
    (n) Rate increases; public forums. When any public utility
providing water or sewer service proposes a general rate
increase, in addition to other notice requirements, the water
or sewer public utility must notify its customers of their
right to request a public forum. A customer or group of
customers must make written request to the Commission for a
public forum and must also provide written notification of the
request to the customer's municipal or, for unincorporated
areas, township government. The Commission, at its discretion,
may schedule the public forum. If it is determined that public
forums are required for multiple municipalities or townships,
the Commission shall schedule these public forums, in locations
within approximately 45 minutes drive time of the
municipalities or townships for which the public forums have
been scheduled. The public utility must provide advance notice
of 30 days for each public forum to the governing bodies of
those units of local government affected by the increase. The
day of each public forum shall be selected so as to encourage
the greatest public participation. Each public forum will begin
at 7:00 p.m. Reports and comments made during or as a result of
each public forum must be made available to the hearing
officials and reviewed when drafting a recommended or tentative
decision, finding or order pursuant to Section 10-111 of this
    (220 ILCS 5/9-223)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 9-223)
    Sec. 9-223. Fire protection charge.
    (a) The Commission may authorize any public utility engaged
in the production, storage, transmission, sale, delivery or
furnishing of water to impose a fire protection charge, in
addition to any rate authorized by this Act, sufficient to
cover a reasonable portion of the cost of providing the
capacity, facilities and the water necessary to meet the fire
protection needs of any municipality or public fire protection
district. Such fire protection charge shall be in the form of a
fixed amount per bill and shall be shown separately on the
utility bill of each customer of the municipality or fire
protection district. Any filing by a public utility to impose
such a fire protection charge or to modify a charge shall be
made pursuant to Section 9-201 of this Act. Any fire protection
charge imposed shall reflect the costs associated with
providing fire protection service for each municipality or fire
protection district. No such charge shall be imposed directly
on any municipality or fire protection district for a
reasonable level of fire protection services unless provided
for in a separate agreement between the municipality or the
fire protection district and the utility.
    (b) By December 31, 2007, the Commission shall conduct at
least 3 public forums to evaluate the purpose and use of each
fire protection charge imposed under this Section. At least one
forum must be held in northern Illinois, at least one forum
must be held in central Illinois, and at least one forum must
be held in southern Illinois. The Commission must invite a
representative from each municipality and fire protection
district affected by a fire protection charge under this
Section to attend a public forum. The Commission shall report
its findings concerning recommendations concerning the purpose
and use of each fire protection charge to the General Assembly
no later than the last day of the veto session in 2008.
(Source: P.A. 84-617.)
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 6/27/2006