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Moratorium on Utility Disconnections Ends April 1

IUB encourages customers to contact their utility to arrange payment plans or to seek available public assistance funds

(Des Moines) – Iowa’s annual winter home heating moratorium ends April 1. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) reminds energy assistance customers currently protected from service disconnection to contact their local utility company immediately to discuss payment options and avoid disconnection that could begin as soon as April 2.

The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is designed to help low-income homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary home heating costs through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. Under Iowa’s winter moratorium law, customers who qualify for LIHEAP or the federal Weatherization Assistance Program are protected from the annual shutoff of natural gas or electric service from November 1 to April 1.

The LIHEAP program pays only a portion of utility bills to qualified low-income customers. Iowans can continue to apply for LIHEAP funds through April 30, 2022, and can learn more about eligibility and crisis assistance by contacting their local community action agency.

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 while maintaining utility service. Customers who were impacted by COVID-19 may qualify for assistance in paying their rent or water, gas, or electric utility bills through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program administered by the Iowa Finance Authority, or by calling the Housing Recovery Support Team at 855-300-5885.

IUB Customer Service staff is available to assist customers with questions about utility service disconnection or other issues that are not resolved directly with their utility company. Call 877-565-4450 or email customer@iub.iowa.gov.

IUB rules regarding natural gas or electric service disconnections and payment agreements can be found in 199 Iowa Administrative Code chapters 19 and 20.

For more information about low-income energy assistance, visit the LIHEAP page on the IUB website.