On Thursday, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) voted unanimously to allow utilities to move forward with disconnection of service for nonpayment at the end of the annual winter moratorium on disconnections on April 15, 2021. The move comes following a moratorium preventing utilities from disconnection for nonpayment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The PSC required utilities that seek to disconnect residential service to file disconnection plans with the Commission if they were planning to disconnect customers after April 15. 254 electric, natural gas, and water utilities submitted disconnection plans by February 15, 2021. Utilities
reported that an anticipated 93,263 residential customers and 4,810 non-residential customers would be subject to disconnection by April 2021. Utilities are required to offer a Down Payment Agreement (DPA) for customers who cannot pay an outstanding bill in full.
To avoid disconnection, customers who have fallen behind on payments are encouraged first to contact their utility to set up a payment plan. If customers are having difficulty paying their energy bills, they may be eligible for assistance from the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). To apply on line go to energybenefit.wi.gov or to find out where to apply in person or by phone, go to http://homeenergyplus.wi.gov/ or call 1-866-HEATWIS.