Utility companies shutting off power

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE (WEAU) - The moratorium for the heating season has ended. Anyone who has fallen behind on their utility bills will be disconnected.

According to Xcel Energy, there are thousands of thousands of people behind on their heating bill in Western Wisconsin.

“Right now 34 thousand customers with Xcel Energy are behind on their bill over 31 days,” said Xcel Energy Community Service Manager, Mike Herro.

As a result from the warm winter heating bills are down this year for Xcel by 18 %. But the number of people not paying their bills on time has stayed the same.

“We had such a warm winter we would’ve expected to see a large decrease in the number of people behind. We did see a slight decrease but not anywhere near 20 %," said Herro.

Anyone who is behind on their bills can call their utility company and make arrangements.

If the heat is cut off and needs to be turned back on the Public Service Commission can help.

(Scroll to the bottom for the numbers the Public Service Commission number.)

Utility companies are required to give notice before they shut off the power. Customers of Xcel that are behind will be notified in the next couple weeks.

Currently the company is owed 8 million dollars from unpaid customers.

Xcel Energy : 1-800-895-4999

Public Service Commission Consumer Affairs
Toll free : 1-800-225-7729
Madison Area: 608-266-2001

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  • by Eau forcripesake on Apr 18, 2012 at 08:43 AM
    Such compassion in these comments. Apparently everyone here knows that people who can't make their payments are obviously just drug-addicted deadbeats. There's absolutely no other explanation. That's the only one. Atleast that's what I gather from these comments. smh
    • reply
      by Peter Garrett on Apr 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM in reply to Eau forcripesake
      Uh, they are referring to a good number that are. Just think if the bulk of abusers were cut off, those who truly needed help could get more and it would not even be noticed. Think about it.
  • by Mnnn on Apr 17, 2012 at 07:11 AM
    Some of these non-payers go to social services and cry and they get their bills paid. How low can you go? Time to cut them off. The utility company should be able to cut them off if the people do not work with them.Social services had a lot of frequent flyers who know the laws and the tricks inside and out.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:35 AM
    I know of a young person who's mother actually told her she doesn't have to pay her electric bill in the winter because they can't shut her off!! Some kind of parent, huh? We have generations of irresponsible breeding more of the same. Most of those not paying over the winter months are working and can afford to pay. They don't need a free ride until the income tax return arrives in the mail.
  • by Jeff on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:24 AM
    Im tired of paying for these deadbeats. Xcel adds it to OUR bills and we pay for these nonpaying people.
  • by Jay on Apr 16, 2012 at 09:33 PM
    The reason they didnt see a decrease in people who did not pay is because there is a certain group of people that do not pay for anything. Tbey have plenty of money for their addictions, and it is that that they spend their money on. We have hurt people by continually handing money out to people who will not use that hand for anything but to take. Xcel deserves to be paid for the services they render. If you do not intend to pay for their services you should live without it. Dont say it cant be done either. The Amish are proof that it can be done.
    • reply
      by To Jay on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:02 AM in reply to Jay
      I understand what you are saying but I own a couple of rental properties and am glad the power company does not do this until April 15 because solely of the pipes freezing. Plus, I own prperties in a different city than what I currently live in because I lived in one and foolishly bought another before I got laid off and now have a job over two hours away and cannot always check on my properties. It does however stink that people do not pay there bills and we have to make up the difference. Also, on a side note this and other ways people use to scam govt. assistance is more of a reason why the state is where it is at and not the gov. workers at leeast with them we are being represented, sometimes we may not like how, but that fact still remains.
      • reply
        by anonymous on Apr 18, 2012 at 04:46 AM in reply to To Jay
        Having worked for a power company before I can tell you that as long as your registered with the power company as the owner, they have to let you know they're going to shut off the power. Also, power companies don't normally shut off the power until it's a last resort, meaning they've given out plenty of notice-usually months ahead of time.
        • reply
          by Thanks on Apr 19, 2012 at 09:35 AM in reply to anonymous
          Thanks for the info, that is good to know in case I would have my tennants move out or not pay in the future before their lease is up. Once again thank you for the info.
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