Last Thursday, the state's utility regulator voted unanimously to lift the temporary moratorium on utility disconnections for non-payment.
Routinely, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin allows utilities to disconnect customers who are behind in their bills after April 15. After November 15 each year until spring there's a moratorium on disconnections to keep the heat on in homes. This year, the coronavirus outbreak prompted the state to extend the moratorium until July 25.
PSC commissioner Tyler Huebner says the idea was to extend essential services during the 'Safer-At-Home' order by Governor Evers. He says that order has ended...
"The reality of forcing the utilities to make sure everyone had service even if those customers couldn't pay. Eventually those costs add up and go onto other utilities. As we continue to unwind and bounce back, we felt it was prudent at this time to move forward with heading back to normal..."
Huebner says they wanted to get the word out early so customers behind on their bills can reach out to their utilities...
"We've encouraged the utilities to be very flexible and work with customers. We understand that this is a very unprecedented time..."
Huebner says utilities will give notice to customers on July 15, and if a payment plan isn't in place on July 25, then disconnection can occur.
The PSC voted to allow utilities to begin charging late payment fees on debts incurred after July 15