MADISON, Wis. -- The state's Public Service Commission has voted to extend its utility disconnection moratorium until September 1.
The vote, which passed 2-1, comes as the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin has more than doubled since the commission last met in June, the PSC said in a news release. The move means utilities around Wisconsin will not be able to disconnect someone's power due to lack of payment until September 1.
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"We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 and its impact on utility customers in Wisconsin. The data has shown that the coronavirus has ballooned since our discussion on June 11," said PSC Chairperson, Rebecca Cameron Valcq. "It is our obligation to strike a balance to ensure the financial health of utilities, but also ensure customer safeguards are in place. It is our role to provide clarity to utilities, but be nimble enough to press the pause button when it is in the public interest to do so. We must press the pause button today on utility disconnections as the risk to public health is far greater today than it was a month ago, while the financial impact to utilities has been minimal."
If you're having difficulty paying your energy bills, the PSC notes you may be eligible for assistance from the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). Get more information on that program here.
If customers can't reach an agreement on payment with their utility, the PSC says you should call them at 1-800-225-7729, or by filing a complaint on their website.