GOV. HOLCOMB – ACT NOW! PROTECT ALL HOOSIER CONSUMERS
Tens of thousands of utility consumers still face threat of disconnection
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2020
Contact: Kerwin Olson, Executive Director, 317-735-7727, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – There was cause for celebration yesterday after the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) extended the utility shut-off moratorium until August 14th. Sadly, tens of thousands of Hoosiers remain without shutoff protection as they are served by utilities not under the jurisdiction of the IURC. Therefore, the historic order by the IURC left out tens of thousands of Hoosier consumers who still face the looming threat of losing access to essential human services during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and an unprecedented global health pandemic.
Thousands of Hoosiers receive their electric service from one of 112 unregulated municipal electric utilities or rural electric cooperatives. While the IURC order does protect those Hoosiers who are served by an investor-owned electric utility, nearly 20% of Hoosier consumers receive their electricity from one of those entities not subject to the rules and regulations of the IURC. Meaning, the IURC order does not protect these customers.
Furthermore, the situation is even more dire for water and wastewater customers. According to the IURC’s most recent annual report, only 45% of Hoosier water consumers and 15% of Hoosier wastewater customers are served by a utility subject to the rules and regulations of the IURC. Tens of thousands of Hoosier consumers could lose access to clean, fresh water in their homes or businesses. This reality is unthinkable in the wake of the ongoing global pandemic.
Lastly, all Indiana communication providers are not subject to the authority of the IURC. Phone service, whether cell or landline, and access to the internet could be shut-off at any time, leaving thousands of Hoosiers unable to communicate with loved ones, work or do schoolwork at home, or seek vital services, including access to 911.
We respectfully call on Governor Holcomb to act swiftly and issue an updated Executive Order extending the Statewide moratorium for all utility providers, including electricity, gas, telecommunications, water, and wastewater, until at least August 14th, consistent with the IURC’s order. All Hoosier consumers deserve protection and should have access to essential services. Consumer protections should not be defined by where a customer lives, and which utility happens to serve their area. After all, Hoosier consumers have no choice.
Only Governor Holcomb can protect all Hoosier consumers. Please act today, Governor.