Ald. Khalif Rainey
Press Release

PSC votes to extend moratorium on utility disconnections

Statement of Alderman Khalif J. Rainey July 23, 2020

By - Jul 23rd, 2020 02:24 pm

I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) who voted today to extend the moratorium on utility shutoffs for residential customers to September 1.

In a 2-1 vote, the Commission approved the extension, citing health and economic factors tied to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The PSC noted that allowing utility disconnections could force people to leave their homes and into unsafe conditions during the pandemic.

On July 16 a joint letter I sponsored was sent to the PSC, urging the Commission to extend the moratorium. That letter – signed by myself and 13 Common Council colleagues – noted the basic indecency and inhumanity of disconnecting vulnerable people from light, heat and the ability to stay cool.

I urge the PSC to continue to remember our most vulnerable citizens when it meets again in August to consider again whether to extend the moratorium on disconnections.

It should be noted that utilities must grant a 21-day medical extension of service when a customer or a member of a customer’s household has tested positive for COVID-19.

We Energies recommends that customers who are having difficulty paying their bill call 800-842-4565 as soon as possible to discuss options, including payment plans and the potential for financial assistance.

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