03-15-2018 — Electric service disconnections resume April 15
Stoughton Utilities is advising electric and water customers who are behind on their bills to immediately pay any delinquent balances, or enter into a deferred payment agreement 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. Stoughton Utilities will disconnect all accounts with severely delinquent balances on April 19.
Unpaid utility bills drive up costs for the whole community due to the fact that any balance that is uncollectable is essentially recovered from the entire customer base through future rates. It is Stoughton Utilities' goal to do whatever we can to collect unpaid bills, while also helping customers avoid service disruptions for nonpayment by working with them to establish a deferred payment agreement.
Situations can arise, making it difficult for customers to pay their bills...
However, to avoid disconnection, we urge customers to contact us to make the appropriate payment arrangements. If you are behind on your payments, we would like to help you get on a track to bringing your account current by scheduling payments that fall within your budget and schedule. Failure do do so will eventually result in electric service disconnection.
You can can contact Stoughton Utilities to establish a deferred payment agreement. We will work with you individually to negotiate payment options based upon your unique financial situation. However, any agreement will require a down-payment of at least one-third the past-due balance, or more depending upon your past payment history. After April 15, all deferred payment arrangements must be made in-person at the Stoughton Utilities office, so please do not wait until the last minute.
Stoughton Utilities also offers a Budget Billing plan to help customers better management their utility charges. When enrolled in budget billing, you pay equal monthly payments based on the estimated consumption, your current arrearages, and the estimated applicable rates for the year. Each January and July the payment amount is adjusted to accommodate seasonal and lifestyle changes. You can enroll in budget billing even if your account is currently delinquent. To find out what your estimated monthly payment will be, or to enroll in budget billing, please login to My Account.
Changes from prior years...
Stoughton Utilities' rate tariffs prohibit staff from offering deferred payment agreements to any tenant customer that meets one or more of the following criteria:
If you meet any one of the above criteria, you are urged to make an immediate payment, as no extensions will be granted.
- The residential tenant has greater than $100 of account arrearages that are more than 90 days past due.
- The tenant has defaulted on a deferred payment agreement in the past 12 months.
- The residential tenant is responsible for account arrearages that were placed on any property owner’s tax bill in the utility’s service territory in the past 24 months.
- The residential tenant has a balance that accrued during the winter moratorium that is more than 80 days past due.
Assistance is still available...
Various low-income assistance programs are offered to Stoughton Utilities customers. To apply for energy assistance, customers should immediately call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947). An appointment is necessary, and assistance payments may take up to six weeks to be received. Even if you are approved, disconnection will not be postponed until after we receive the funds from the state.
Any pending customer deposit requirements will be cancelled or refunded upon income verification and energy assistance approval; please request that your EA representative send us official approval documentation to speed up the process.
Under the eligibility requirements, customers at or below 60 percent of the state’s median income may qualify for WHEAP assistance. Energy assistance income guidelines for 2017-18 program year are as follows:
Customers can review their account balances and make payments online by logging in to My Account. To make payment arrangements or to explore payment options, please contact us.
Three Month Household Income
Three Month Household Income