With the winter moratorium on disconnections set to expire on April 15, reports of scams on our customers as well as other utilities are surfacing. The scams target primarily the Latino community, asking customers in Spanish to purchase prepaid cards to avoid disconnections. We emphasize that we are not asking customers to purchase prepaid cards to pay their utility bills.
We remind customers to be vigilant and to communicate with us if they suspect anything suspicious. A scam warning notice was included with customer bills recently.
The number of our customers facing disconnection is approximately the same as last year, with 5,000 to 6,000 customers most at risk of being disconnected after the end of the moratorium. By the time the moratorium begins again in November, we estimate we will need to disconnect approximately 50,000 customers.
To prevent disconnection, we offer a minimum payment option or flexible payment plans. In addition, energy assistance funds are available to help qualifying customers. Budget billing also may help customers manage their monthly energy expenses by spreading out their charges more evenly over 12 months.
Customers having problems paying their bills are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible. They can select a payment option and learn more about energy assistance by calling 800-842-4565. Customers also can visit we-energies.com to learn more about online payment options.
Recently, Fox6 News reported the upcoming end of the winter moratorium and our efforts to help customers stay connected.