© 2024 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

April Means Iowa's Winter Utility Shutoff Moratorium Is Over

Community Action of Eastern Iowa

The annual winter moratorium on utility disconnnections in Iowa has ended, and that means past due customers may soon start receiving disconnect notices.

John Murphy, the CEO of Community Action of Eastern Iowa, says national figures show about one-third of US households experience what he calls "energy in-security," or challenges in paying their bills.

"Last year our agency assisted approximately 8,800 households with LIHEAP, which is the low income home energy assistance program. We anticipate exceeding that number this year. "

Utility customers can still apply to LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program, for help through the end of April.

His advice is to call his office for questions and help, as well as the United Way and your utility company.

"One thing we also encourage is communicating with your utility provider to explore payment options, and ask about other assistance programs that they might have additional information for. Being pro-active is always a good start to preventing disconnection of utility services."

A spokesman for MidAmerican Energy says about 16,000 low income customers are currently past due in the states it serves, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. And that's nearly the same number as last year.

The Iowa Utilities Board says companies must provided written notices to customers at least 12 days before cutting off service.