Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Winter shut-off moratorium ends

We began disconnecting service April 16 to Wisconsin and Michigan residential customers who are behind in their payments.

Being a regulated utility, many rules govern how we conduct our business, including the actions we can take to collect payment from customers who are in arrears. Disconnecting electric service is a measure we may take to collect payment; however, during the winter months (Nov. 1 through April 15), disconnections to residential customers in arrears is suspended by law.

The end of the moratorium can be a challenging time for customers. We take action to help customers stay connected rather than become disconnected. Our actions include:
  • Reminder notices about arrears balance. 
  • Disconnect messages printed on bills. 
  • Disconnect notices inserted in bill envelopes. 
  • Phone calls prior to disconnection. 
Business accounts (commercial and industrial customers) are exempt from the moratorium and may be disconnected for nonpayment anytime throughout the year.

“We encourage all customers who are experiencing difficulty in keeping their accounts current to contact us,” said Jodi Wire, director – credit and collections strategy and operations. “We can offer payment plans to help them avoid the loss of their energy service. We use disconnection of service as our absolute last resort.”
The actions we take include:
  • Working with customers at risk of disconnection to help them reduce their bills and make payment arrangements to keep their power on.
  • Collaborating with government agencies and community-based organizations to provide assistance with payment arrangements, weatherization, and conservation and energy assistance. 
  • Working with customer and community-based agencies to evaluate a customer’s eligibility for our Early Identification Program or our Low Income Pilot program. We refer income-qualified customers to social service agencies to apply for Energy Assistance, which runs Oct. 1 through May 15.
  • Raising awareness of payment assistance options through our annual Stay Connected campaign. The campaign includes customer communication (phone calls, bill inserts and special messaging on their bills) and outreach to the media and postings in social media channels to encourage at-risk customers to contact us for help. 
“Our goal is to provide effective and efficient solutions to meet the special needs of our low-income customers,” said Wire.

If you or someone you know is struggling to pay their We Energies bill, encourage them to contact us at 800-842-4565. Also visit we-energies.com to learn about available resources, including:
  • Energy Assistance  –  locations, hours, information customers need to provide 
  • Company programs for low-income customers  –  Early Identification program and Low Income Pilot 
  • Reducing energy costs – tips, brochures, energy saving kits 
Customers have the option to self-serve or speak with a representative:
  • Automated phone assistance  –  For the most flexible payment plan options and to avoid wait times, call 800-842-4565. The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and gives options for down payments and length of time to pay bills. 
  • Online  –  Visit we-energies.com > Residential > Payment assistance for options. Plus, Wisconsin residents who can pay their current bill now and remaining balance within three months, can use our online Personal Payment Plan
  • Phone  –  Speak to a representative at 800-842-4565 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

21 comments:

Mark Borzynski said...
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We Energies said...
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exoticdancer2u said...
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We Energies said...
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Javonnie Allen said...

if muy lights are off already will they be reconnect to to it gettin cold out

We Energies said...

Javonnie: Thank you for reaching out. Please call 800-842-4565 to discuss your situation with us.

guy poole said...

I'm already shut off in Wisconsin do the electric company have to reconnect cause of winter?? If so when??

We Energies said...

Guy -- Thanks for the question. Reconnection depends on several conditions. Please call 800-842-4565 to discuss your situation with us.

Andrew Prom said...

Can gas and electric be shut off during winter if there are minors in house.

We Energies said...

Andrew -- You can review our disconnection policy here: http://www.we-energies.com/residential/acctoptions/termsofservice.htm You also can call us at 800-842-4565 to discuss your situation with us.

Sharon Canady said...

When is the cute off dad line for this year

We Energies said...

Sharon -- Between Nov.1 to April 1, we do not turn off natural gas service, but any household already disconnected remains off until a payment is made. To discuss your specific situation, please call us at 800-842-4565.

leslie webb said...

If my landlord is responsible for my we energies account due to a shared water heater, how do I get reconnected for winter?

We Energies said...

Leslie, Please call us at 800-842-4565 so we can assist you.

Tiana Pinkston said...

if a big down payment was needed to reinstate your we energies account. and u make small payments do they turn your service back on. And how do they turn off lights when u have a child in the household.

M.R. said...

My gas is off and I have minor children in the home one of which has epilepsy,I have gotten energy assistance but am told I have to pay an additional 600$ of which I do not have. I recently lost my job and don't start my new one until November 28th. What am I to do? It is supposed to snow this weekend and I have no heat, I was in the process of starting bankruptcy but had to stop when I had to move.

We Energies said...

M.R. To discuss your specific situation, please call us at 800-842-4565.

We Energies said...

Tiana - To discuss your specific situation, please call us at 800-842-4565.

M.R. said...

I have called and this is what was told to me. The person on the phone told me until the 600 is paid they will not turn me back on. I have no problems paying my part but if I don't have it I can't. And I cannot get any help eelsewhere.

We Energies said...

M.R. - We cannot discuss personal account situations in a public forum. Call 800-842-4565 to discuss this further.

We Energies said...

M.R. -- Thank you for letting us know that you have already called our Payment Assistance Center. We care about you and your family, and would like the opportunity to further discuss your situation and provide you with additional options. In order to keep your information secure, please send us a private message via Facebook or Twitter if you have one of those accounts. Include your name, address and phone number, and we will have someone follow- up with you directly. If you don’t have Facebook or Twitter, you may send an email to contactwe@mail.we-energies.com. Please note, responses to emails can take 12-24 hours.