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Pritzker signs Home Energy Affordability and Transparency Act

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Home Energy Affordability and Transparency Act on Aug. 27.

The legislation is intended to highlight high costs associated with alternative retail electric suppliers.

“Illinois residents deserve to know what they’re getting into when signing up for alternative utility suppliers, and often that means high costs and deceptive practices,” Pritzker said. “The state of Illinois will not stand idly by while companies take advantage of our residents. This legislation is an important step forward in lowering utility costs across the state, and I applaud Attorney General Raoul for his fierce advocacy for Illinois consumers.”
 
An initiative of Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, the HEAT Act protects consumers by:

  • Requiring the utility’s comparison price to be included on all supplier marketing materials, during telephone or door-to-door solicitations, and on every consumer’s utility bill so consumers can make informed price comparisons.
  • Protecting LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) and PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan) consumers from being enrolled by an alternative retail electric supplier.
  • Requiring suppliers to end solicitations in which the consumer does not understand or cannot speak English.
  • Requiring training for suppliers that engage in in-person solicitations and marketing.
  • Ensuring that consumers receive clear information about the duration of a contract, and that suppliers provide consumers with 30 to 60 days’ notice before the contract’s renewal.
  • Requiring suppliers to obtain consumers’ express consent before the contract is switched from a fixed rate to a variable rate contract.
  • Preventing suppliers from charging consumers termination fees or penalties.
  • Improving the attorney general’s existing authority to protect consumers from suppliers’ unlawful and deceptive marketing practices.
  • Requiring suppliers to report their rates annually to the Illinois Commerce Commission and attorney general.
The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
 

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