Wed April 3, 2013
Utilities To Resume Shutting Off Power For Non-Paying Customers
A winter moratorium that prevents Wisconsin utilities from shutting off the power to customers who do not pay their bills ends April 15.
Wisconsin Public Service Commission spokesperson Matt Pagel says people who find themselves behind on their heating bills should contact their utility to make a payment plan.
“If people do contact their utility and they do have issues setting up a payment arrangement with them, they obviously can call the public service commission and they can help work out a payment arrangement with the utility.”
As of last month, 35,000 of Xcel Energy’s 270,000 residential customers in northern and western Wisconsin were at least 31 days behind on their bills. Xcel spokesperson Liz Wolf Green says the company does not want to shut power off for any of its customers and urges them to arrange a payment schedule: “There are a variety of energy assistance agencies out there, and there is still funding available for this heating season.”
The number of Xcel customers behind on their bills is similar to last winter. But Green says they owe $9.1 million this year, about a million dollars more than last year — not because of higher energy costs, but due to a more normal winter this year.
The state prohibits utilities from disconnecting customers between November 1 and April 15 for not paying their bills. After April 15, utilities are allowed to cut off service to those behind on their bills.