March 09, 2023
Help available for utility customers facing disconnects
Residents in Midwestern states still have time to seek payment assistance and avoid disconnection before the moratoriums end.
Electric customers behind on their bills are being encouraged to contact their local utility to discuss available resources. Utilities can help connect customers with local or state resources or offer flexible payment options that will help keep the power on, even as states end their pause on disconnections for customers with past due accounts.
According to a recent study initiated by locally owned electric utilities looking to seek more insight on how to best support income-qualified customers, only 27% of customers who qualify for help in Wisconsin applied to the state program.
“Our survey uncovered that a lot of people don’t apply when they could really benefit from the program,” said WPPI Energy Senior Energy Services Manager and study co-author Anna Stieve. “This money is set aside to help pay heating and electric bills for those who qualify, and we really want to spread the word so customers don’t miss out on support that’s meant for them.”
Disconnect dates and available resources for Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin are listed below:
Iowa’s moratorium expires April 1.
Eligible households have access to resources through Iowa’s Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The deadline to apply for a LIHEAP payment is April 30. For more information, call the Iowa Department of Human Rights at 515-281-0859 or visit humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa.
Michigan’s moratorium expires March 31.
Both the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) and State Emergency Relief programs are available through MI Bridges at michigan.gov/mibridges. If you need help applying, visit mi211.org or call 211 and ask for a MEAP grantee near you.
Wisconsin’s moratorium expires April 15.
The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) provides bill pay assistance to help income-eligible residents with heating costs, electric costs and energy crises. Residents at risk of disconnection may be eligible for crisis assistance even if they have already received a benefit from WHEAP. For more information, including eligibility criteria, customers can call 1-866-432-8947 or visit homeenergyplus.wi.gov to connect with their local energy assistance agency. The deadline to apply for WHEAP’s regular heating benefits is May 15.
Wisconsin homeowners may also be eligible for both utility bill and other household assistance through the new Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program. For more information on this statewide program, or to apply, visit doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/Homeowner-Assistance.aspx, or call 1-855-2-HOME-WI.