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The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) encourages utility customers to stay connected as the heating season comes to an end.

The PSC advises consumers to contact their local utility company if they have fallen behind in their utility payments for the 2017-18 winter season.

Utility service may be disconnected on or after April 16 if energy bills have not been paid or a payment plan has not been arranged with the utility.

To provide health and safety protections during Wisconsin’s cold winter months, PSC rules prohibit utilities from disconnecting consumers between Nov. 1 and April 15 for nonpayment of utility bills. However, after April 15, utilities are not required to provide service to customers who are behind on their bills. To avoid disconnection, customers who have fallen behind in payments are encouraged to contact their local utility to set up a payment plan.

Below is a list of contact numbers for the five largest investor-owned utilities:

  • Xcel Energy 800-895-4999
  • Alliant Energy 800-255-4268
  • We Energies 800-842-4565
  • Wisconsin Public Service Corporation 800-450-7260
  • Madison Gas & Electric Company 608-252-7144

Consumers who have contacted their utility, but cannot reach a payment agreement, should contact Public Service Commission Consumer Affairs at 1-800-225-7729.

If consumers fail to make payment or payment arrangements with the utility, the utility may disconnect service. Utility companies must inform customers before discontinuing service.

For more information about utility disconnections and collections, see the PSC’s fact sheets on residential customer rights at: https://psc.wi.gov/Documents/Your%20Bill%20of%20Rights.pdf

The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) manages low-income and public benefits programs, which provide financial assistance to pay energy bills for qualifying households. The amount of the assistance varies according to household size, income level, and heating costs.

Consumers who need assistance in paying their utility bills can contact Home Energy Plus, which provides information on the state’s energy assistance programs.

To find out if you qualify for WHEAP Assistance, call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947) or visit http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov/.

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Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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