Utilities can soon disconnect delinquent customers

As temperatures increase, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin reminds residential customers of the rules regarding delinquent payments and utility disconnections.

Due to health and safety concerns in the cold winter months, utilities are not allowed to disconnect customers between Nov. 1 and April 15, even if those customers are behind on their payments. Utility service may be disconnected on or after April 16, however, if energy bills have not been paid or a payment plan has not been arranged. Utility companies must inform customers before discontinuing service.

To avoid disconnection, the commission encourages customers who are delinquent in their payments to contact their local utilities to set up a payment plan. If a customer has contacted the utility but cannot reach an agreement on repayment, he or she is asked to call the commission’s consumer affairs office at 800-225-7729.

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program manages low income and public benefits programs, which help qualifying households pay their energy bills. To find out if you qualify for home energy assistance, call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947) or visit http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov.

The Public Service Commission has a fact sheet on rights of residential customers at https://psc.wi.gov/Documents/Brochures/Your%20Bill%20of%20Rights.pdf.