With the winter heating season underway, Hoosiers should be aware of the
state’s winter disconnection moratorium and how it works, the Indiana Office
of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) said.
Indiana’s statutory disconnection moratorium (Indiana Code 8-1-2-121) can
help the neediest consumers stay connected to natural gas and electric
services during the year’s coldest months. But it only applies under certain
circumstances. The moratorium is in effect from December 1 through March 15.
To qualify for the moratorium, you must either:
•Receive help from the federally funded Energy Assistance Program (EAP)
through your local Community Action Agency (CAA).
•Or qualify for EAP funds, apply for the program at a local Community
Action Agency (CAA), and provide the utility with written proof of
eligibility for assistance.
The OUCC’s “Winter Disconnection Moratorium” fact sheet is a free
publication which answers the most frequently asked questions about the
Consumers should know the following:
•All consumers are responsible for paying utility bills, even if covered by
•If you cannot pay a utility bill on time and in full, contact the utility
immediately to make payment arrangements. If you need to make payment
arrangements, it is crucial that you communicate with the utility as early
•In most Indiana counties, you can learn about financial resources for
utility bill assistance by dialing 211.
“It is essential that all consumers communicate with their utilities,” said
Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. “If a consumer can’t pay
his or her bill in full, he or she should contact the utility, explain his
or her personal situation, and try to set up payment arrangements. The
sooner a consumer contacts the utility about payment arrangements, the more
likely it is that the utility will work with the consumer to maintain
Even if a consumer is covered under the moratorium, gas and electric
services may still be disconnected if conditions are dangerous to life,
physical safety, or property. Services may also be disconnected in cases of
meter tampering or fraudulent or unauthorized use of services by the
The OUCC’s Winter Disconnection Moratorium fact sheet is offered in both
English and Spanish and is available online at www.IN.gov/OUCC
Consumers who do not have Internet access can call the OUCC toll-free at
(888) 441-2494 to request a free copy.
The OUCC represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal
bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to
represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services
at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer
education, and creative problem solving.