Persons wishing to attend are asked to email their registration request to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jane Whetstone at 515-725-7358. A schedule of the meetings is listed below.
1. Payment Plan Agreements. Natural Gas Service 199 IAC 19.4(10) and Electric 199 IAC 20.4(11): A residential customer who cannot pay a bill for natural gas or electric service and who is not in default of a payment agreement with the utility shall be offered an opportunity to enter into a reasonable payment agreement.
2. The residential customer’s current household income, ability to pay, payment history, the size of the bill, the length of time the bill has been outstanding and any special circumstances creating extreme hardship within the household, are to be considered in determining a reasonable agreement.
3. Terms of payment agreements.
a. If a residential customer has received a disconnection notice or has been disconnected from service for 120 days or less and the customer is not in default of a payment agreement, the utility is required to offer the customer a minimum of a 12-month payment agreement. If a customer has been disconnected from service for more than 120 days, the utility is required to offer the customer a payment agreement of a minimum of six months. The payment agreement shall also require the payment of the current bill or the utility may require the customer to enter into a level payment plan to pay the current bills.
NOTE: The IUB interprets this to mean the utility MUST offer at least a 12 month payment agreement. If the customer pays it off early that’s OK.
b. If the customer defaults on the first payment agreement, the utility is required to offer the customer a second payment agreement of at least the same length or longer as the first payment agreement as long as the customer has made two full consecutive payments under the first payment agreement. The customer will be required to pay for current service as part of the second payment agreement and the utility may require the customer to make the first payment under the second payment agreement up front as a condition of entering into the second payment agreement.
4. Level Payment Plan Rules – Natural Gas 199 IAC 19.4(11) and Electric 199 IAC 20.4(12)(e) Utilities are required to offer a level payment plan to all residential customers or other customers whose consumption is less than 250 ccf per month (Electric: 3,000 kWh per month). A level payment plan should be designed to limit volatility of a customer's bill and maintain reasonable account balances. The level payment plan shall include at least the following:
a. Be offered to each eligible customer when the customer initially requests service.
b. Allow for entry into the level payment plan anytime during the calendar year.
c. Provide that a customer may request termination of the plan at any time. If the customer's account is in arrears at the time of termination, the balance shall be due and payable at the time of termination. If there is a credit balance, the customer shall be allowed the option of obtaining a refund or applying the credit to future charges. A utility is not required to offer a new level payment plan to a customer for six months after the customer has terminated from a level payment plan.
d. Use a computation method that produces a reasonable monthly level payment amount, which may take into account forward-looking factors such as fuel price and weather forecasts, and that complies with requirements in 19.4(11)"e"(4) (Electric: 20.14(12)"e"(4)). The computation method used by the utility shall be described in the utility's tariff and shall be subject to board approval. The utility shall give notice to customers when it changes the type of computation method in the level payment plan.
i. The amount to be paid each billing interval by a customer on a level payment plan shall be computed at the time of entry into the plan and shall be recomputed at least annually. The level payment amount may be recomputed monthly, quarterly, when requested by a customer, or whenever price, consumption, or a combination of factors results in a new estimate differing by 10 percent or more from that in use.
ii. When the level payment amount is recomputed, the level payment plan account balance shall be divided by 12, and the resulting amount shall be added to the estimated monthly level payment amount. Except when a utility has a level payment plan that recomputes the level payment amount monthly, the customer shall be given the option of applying any credit to payments of subsequent months' level payment amounts due or of obtaining a refund of any credit in excess of $25.
iii. Except when a utility has a level payment plan that recomputes the level payment amount monthly, the customer shall be notified of the recomputed payment amount not less than one full billing cycle prior to the date of delinquency of the recomputed payment. The notice may accompany the bill prior to the bill that is affected by the recomputed payment amount.
e. Irrespective of the account balance, a delinquency in payment shall be subject to the same collection and disconnection procedures as other accounts, with the late payment charge applied to the level payment amount. If the account balance is a credit, the level payment plan may be terminated by the utility after 30 days of delinquency.
The IUB left the inquiry open for an additional 60 days in the event a utility or other party wishes to file.