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 end. Customers who are behind on their bills may be at risk of disconnection if payment arrangements are not established by April 15, 2022.
“Families should not have to choose between paying their utility bills over other necessities, such as food, medicine, or childcare,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “Since Governor Evers took office fewer Wisconsinites have been disconnected from their utility services thanks to federal resources he’s allocated for financial relief. I am grateful for his continued commitment to providing healthy living conditions for our communities throughout the state.”
The annual winter moratorium from November 1st to April 15th prohibits all utility providers from disconnecting residential heating services for nonpayment. The PSC collects weekly disconnection data from utilities starting in November of each year. As of November 2021, approximately 3,804 residential locations were disconnected, compared to 4,717 at the same time in 2019, and 8,035 in 2018. The PSC, DOA, Wisconsin utility companies, and community partners continue working together to lower the number of homes at risk for disconnection.
“Our state and federal assistance programs have really made a difference for thousands of Wisconsin families and individuals that are struggling to keep their heat or lights on,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “Disconnection should be the last resort for any household behind on its utility bills.”
Through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), Wisconsin households have received over $337 million in financial assistance since 2019, supporting more than 200,000 households each year that struggle to afford their monthly utility expenses.
In addition, Governor Evers provided an additional $15 million in Energy Assistance Program funds made available from the state’s federal CARES Act allocation to qualifying households to help manage energy costs and, in the case of crisis funds, decrease customers’ arrears. Through the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund, Governor Evers directed an additional $1 million for customers whose incomes are slightly above the Energy Assistance income guidelines.
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 WHEAP. For more information about applying for energy, utility, or emergency rental assistance, call the Statewide Customer Care Center at 1-800-506-5596.
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.