The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Press Release
Consumers Urged to Seek Assistance before Heating-Disconnection Moratorium
Planning ahead, applying for assistance will help low-income families prepare for the cold
[Madison, Wis.] - The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is urging electric and consumers who are currently disconnected from service to contact their local utility so that a reconnection may occur before the annual heating-disconnection moratorium begins on November 1, 2013. Each winter, utilities are prohibited from disconnecting customers who are behind on their bills from November 1- April 15.
Wisconsin law states that heat-providing utility service cannot be disconnected during the heating moratorium period only if a customer is connected at the start of the moratorium. Consumers who are currently disconnected must make arrangements with their local utility to pay outstanding bills in order to have service restored. If a consumer has not made arrangements to pay an outstanding bill, the utility is not required to reconnect the service until payment arrangements have been made.
Consumers who need to set up a payment agreement should call their local utility. Phone numbers for the largest utilities in Wisconsin are listed below.
Alliant Energy 1-800-862-6222
Madison Gas & Electric 1-608-252-7144
Superior Water, Light & Power 1-715-394-2200
We Energies 1-800-842-4565
Wisconsin Public Service Corp. 1-800-450-7260
Xcel Energy 1-800-895-4999
If consumers cannot reach an agreement with their utility, they may contact the PSC at 1-608-266-2001 or 1-800-225-7729, or by clicking on the "File a Complaint" tab on the PSC website, which we have a link to below this article.
The PSC also encourages eligible residents to take advantage of energy-efficiency programs and the state's low-income bill payment assistance programs to reduce the burden of utility bills this winter.
Consumers may qualify for assistance in paying their heating bills through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), which provides financial assistance to low-income residents. 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 weatherizing for low-income households.
For the 2013-2014 heating season the income eligibility limit for WHEAP and Weatherization is 60% of the state median income level. This is the same limit used for the 2012-2013 program year.
The State of Wisconsin anticipates nearly 215,000 households will receive energy assistance to pay a portion of their fuel costs this heating season. It is estimated that the average benefit for 2013-2014 will be $227.
Payments are based on household size, income level, home energy costs, and dwelling type and size. A family of four with an annual income of $47,485 or less may be eligible for energy assistance. For more information about applying for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), call the Home Energy Plus hotline at 1-866-432-8947, or visit the Home Energy Plus link below.
Applicants must provide:
• Photo ID for applicant.
• Proof of income for all household members for previous three months.
• Social Security cards for everyone in household.
• Current energy bill.
• Rent certificate or statement from landlord (if applicant is renter and heat is included).