Thousands of people across the state of Wisconsin are struggling with paying their utility bills due to the weak economy and other financial hardships. Families and individuals who have not paid their utility bills are faced with losing their heat and lights, and having their service disconnected, if they don't settle up and pay off their utility bills.
The state of Wisconsin’s moratorium on utility and gas disconnections ends in April, and that means customers who are behind on their bills and who have not made arrangements with their providers to pay may find their service shut off. Now is the time to ask for assistance.
Both Madison Gas & Electric and MGE and Wisconsin Power & Light offer payment plans and other utility bill assistance programs that can help customers catch up on their back, unpaid energy bills, including an option to pay 30 percent of the amount owed on a bill to avoid disconnection of their service. The utility company will then allow them to continue making graduated payments over the next several months to stay current and pay an arrearage.
Another option is to turn to government programs. Funds also are still available to help needy customers who qualify through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance program by calling 866-432-8947 to apply or going online to www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov.
In you are interested in setting up a deferred payment plan with Madison Gas & Electric, call 608-252-7144.
To establish a payment plan with Wisconsin Power & Light, call 800-327-2708.
If after exploring and investigating these options and programs, if you still then unable to reach agreement with your utility company on a payment plan, and are still facing a disconnection of your service, call the Wisconsin Public Service Commission consumer affairs office at 800-225-7729, or in the Madison area, 608-266-2001.
Also, to get information about the state of Wisconsin energy assistance programs or ways to reduce future utility bills by cutting energy use, call 800-522-3014.