New Richmond Utilities Cautions Against Disconnection as Winter Moratorium Ends
New Richmond Utilities is advising electric customers who are behind on their bills to pay their balance owed or contact them to make payment arrangements with the utility to avoid service disconnection.
Wisconsin’s Winter Emergency Period, often referred to as the moratorium on residential service disconnection, ends April 15. After that date, utilities statewide may begin to disconnect service to customers who are past due on payment of their electric bills for any period of time, including the winter months.
“The end of the winter moratorium on disconnections is fast approaching,” said Nancy Petersen, Utility Finance and Accounting Manager. “Unpaid bills drive up costs for the whole community. It is the goal of New Richmond Utilities to do what we can to collect unpaid bills and to help customers avoid service disruptions for nonpayment.”
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin established the annual moratorium — from November 1 to April 15 — to protect customers from service disconnection during harsh Wisconsin winters.
“We understand that situations can arise, making it difficult for customers to pay their bills,” said Nancy Petersen. “However, to avoid disconnection, we are urging customers to make the appropriate payment arrangements. We would like to help these customers make suitable arrangements to avoid shutting off their service.”
To apply for energy assistance, customers should call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947). Income guidelines for energy assistance have changed from previous years and customers who may not have qualified in the past may be eligible for assistance with utility bill payments. For a family of four to qualify, the total gross income (three months) must be $11,811 or less.
To prevent disconnection, we urge customers to pay their past due balances now or call us to discuss making a payment arrangement. Payment arrangements require a down payment on the past due amount and then payments can be made on the arrearage balance. The Public Service Commission (PSC) requires the utility to offer one payment arrangement, but is not required to offer further payment arrangements if the customer defaults. The PSC also requires as part of the payment arrangement that current bills must be paid by the due date. New Richmond Utilities offers the following payment options: by mail, in person, a drive-up payment drop box, 24/7 acceptance of checks, credit/debit cards online (www.nrutilities.com), or by phone 24/7 by calling Payment Service Network at 1-800-885-7968.
If you have any questions, call the utility at (715) 246-4167 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.