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Winter Disconnection Moratorium Ends April 15

Wisconsin's Winter Emergency Period, often referred to as the moratorium on residential service disconnection, will end on April 15. After that date, utilities statewide may begin to disconnect service to customers who are past due on payment of their utility bills for any period of time, including the winter months.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin established the annual moratorium, which is in effect from November 1 to April 15, to protect customers from service disconnection during harsh Wisconsin winters.

New Holstein Utilities is advising electric and water customers who are behind on their bills to pay their accounts in full or to contact the utility to make payment arrangements to avoid service disconnection. In order to keep utility rates competitively priced, it is the goal of NHU to collect unpaid bills from those customers who are not current on their accounts.

In early April, New Holstein Utilities will be sending notices to all customers who are delinquent on their accounts. Customers will then have 10 days to contact NHU to either pay their accounts in full or stop by the NHU office to make arrangements to pay off the balance owed. For those customers who need to make payment arrangements, a down payment of between 25% and 50% of the balance owed will be required. All delinquent accounts must be current within a maximum of three months. Before disconnection occurs, customers will receive a 24-hour disconnection notice.

For those customers who elect not to make any payments during the winter moratorium, New Holstein Utilities will be requesting a deposit on their account(s). Customers who were not paying during the winter moratorium received a letter back in January informing them of the utility's intent to collect the deposit. According to PSC rules, the deposit may not exceed the highest actual gross bills for any four (4) consecutive months within the preceding 12 months review period.

While New Holstein Utilities understands that the recessed economy has provided many challenges for customers, money must be collected from customers for services provided. The utility has the responsibility to collect the money owed from all its customers. The NHU staff is willing to work with customers to assist them in paying the balance of their account(s). Customers are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment to meet with a staff member, or to stop by the office to discuss their account.

Some customers may be eligible for energy assistance. The parameters for eligibility (income guidelines) have changed from years past, so customers who may not have been eligible in the past may now be eligible. Funds are still available for this past heating season, but customers are urged to apply soon. To apply for energy assistance, customers should call 1-866-432-8947.

The New Holstein Utilities office is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is located at 2110 Washington Street, in the New Holstein City Hall. The NHU phone number is 898-5776.