For at least another month, Wisconsinites won’t have to worry about utility shut-offs.
In a 2-1 vote, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on Thursday extended the moratorium on utility cutoffs for residential customers to Sept. 1, citing health and economic concerns from COVID-19.
The primary concern raised was that cutoffs would force people to leave their homes into unsafe conditions during the pandemic.
The PSC will meet again on Aug. 20 and have 10 days to decide about extending or ending the moratorium based on information collected in that time.
PSC chairwoman Rebecca Cameron Valcq and commissioner Tyler Huebner voted to extend the moratorium, while commissioner Ellen Nowak voted against it, citing concerns that non-payment would snowball and ultimately “hurt the people they were trying to help.”
Last month, the PSC, lifted a temporary prohibition against disconnecting or refusing service. The moratorium was originally introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to help those experiencing financial hardships.
The commission, an independent agency that regulates Wisconsin’s public utilities, allowed utilities to restart issuing disconnection notices on July 15.
The utilities, however, 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.
For more information
- The NNS coronavirus update for the week of Nov. 23: How to stay safe on Thanksgiving and how to honor public health workers - November 23, 2020
- A Milwaukee County program has prevented over 1,000 evictions. But as 2021 approaches, money’s running out. - November 18, 2020
- The NNS coronavirus update: What Milwaukee residents need to know the week of Nov. 16 - November 16, 2020