FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2023
Contact: Meghan Sovey, 608-266-9600
PSC, DOA Encourage Customers to Seek Assistance
before Moratorium on Utility Disconnections Ends
Statewide Moratorium to end April 15, 2023
MADISON – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC or Commission) and the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) encourage electric and natural gas utility customers with outstanding bills to make payment arrangements with their provider or apply for financial assistance before the moratorium on utility disconnections ends.
The annual winter moratorium from November 1st to April 15th prohibits all utility providers from disconnecting residential heating services for nonpayment. Customers who are behind on their bills may be at risk of disconnection if payment arrangements are not established by April 15, 2023.
“The winter moratorium on utility disconnections protects families during our coldest months, but Governor Evers’ Administration is working to ensure support is available throughout the year to provide safe, healthy living conditions for all Wisconsinites,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “Wisconsinites should start making a plan with their utility providers, but I encourage them to seek additional assistance through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program and contact the Public Service Commission if more help is needed.”
Through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), over 200,000 Wisconsin households received nearly $120 million in assistance with monthly utility expenses last fiscal year. So far this fiscal year, nearly 150,000 households have received $80.7 million in assistance, and help remains available.
“Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have been able to keep their heat and lights on thanks to State and Federal assistance programs, and crisis assistance will remain available,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “We’re proud to work together with the Public Service Commission and our local partners to make sure that disconnection is the last resort for any household behind on utility bills."
To avoid disconnection, customers who have fallen behind on payments are encouraged first to contact their utility to set up a payment plan. Listed below is the contact information for the largest utilities in Wisconsin:
- Alliant Energy; 1-800-255-4268
- Madison Gas & Electric; 1-800-245-1125
- Superior Water, Light & Power; 1-800-227-7957
- We Energies; 1-800-842-4565
- Wisconsin Public Service Corporation; 1-800-450-7260
- Xcel Energy; 1-800-895-4999
If customers are having difficulty paying their energy bills, they may be eligible for assistance from the Department of Administration's Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). WHEAP is part of the state’s comprehensive Home Energy Plus program, which provides assistance with emergency energy needs, emergency furnace repairs, conservation service and weatherization for low-income households. To apply online customers can go to energybenefit.wi.gov or to apply by phone can call the statewide customer care center at 1-800-506-5596.
Utilities are required to offer Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA) to residential customers who cannot pay an outstanding bill in full. Municipal utilities are not required to offer DPAs to tenants, but many still do so. If customers cannot reach an agreement with their utility, they may contact the PSC by calling 608-266-2001 or 1-800-225-7729 or submitting a PSC complaint online.