April 21, 2017 – Wisconsin utility companies are warning thousands of customers who are behind on their utility bills to make arrangements with their energy providers, because the statewide moratorium on disconnection ended this month. Utilities will now be able to disconnect customers behind on their bills. Xcel Energy spokesperson Liz Wolf Green said about 4,500 customers of the 260,000 in the utility’s Wisconsin service area are more than 30 days past due on their utility bills. She says these numbers are consistent with the number of delinquent accounts the utility had last year.
Both the spokesperson for Xcel Energy and Penny Ammerman, a customer service representative with Midwest Natural Gas, recommend households that have fallen behind on their energy bills make arrangements their utilities in order to prevent shut-offs. Both Xcel Energy and Midwest Natural Gas said they can help customers find energy assistance programs, or help arrange plans to get back on track.
“We really encourage customers who have fallen behind to contact us and work out arrangements,” Wolf Green said.
Nineteen states have date-based moratoriums against disconnection of utility service that are in place during certain months of the year, and most of these end sometime between February and April. Thirty-three states have temperature-based moratoriums that protect customers if the temperature falls below 32 degrees.
The LIHEAP Clearinghouse hosts information on its website regarding state moratorium regulations and other specifications about customer protection from utility shut-offs. For more information about disconnection policies in each state, see the Clearinghouse website.