MADISON, WI –– The Wisconsin Public Service Commission voted today to once again extend the utility disconnection moratorium for residential customers until October 1, 2020. The commission decided 2-1 to extend the moratorium in order to safeguard the public health of Wisconsin residents during the COVID-19 health crisis. The PSC had voted on June 11 to end the moratorium on utility disconnections on July 25, but then voted on July 23 to extend the moratorium due to the risk to people’s lives from the rising COVID cases in the state.
The Sierra Club has been working with Wisconsin environmental and social justice advocates and members of local governments to request a continuance of the moratorium extension issued in March in response to the Coronavirus crisis. The PSC will evaluate the issue again at their September 17 meeting to decide whether to lift the moratorium on October 1 or to extend it until the winter moratorium that begins November 1.
In response, Wisconsin Chapter Chair Don Ferber released the following statement:
“We thank the PSC for extending the moratoriums on utility shutoffs for another month. We are concerned that leaving one month of uncertainty prior to the winter moratorium that begins on November 1 does not relieve the anxiety and risks people still face. It would be troubling to consider families not having power with shorter hours of daylight during cold October days and nights, especially during an ongoing pandemic. We strongly urge the PSC at their next meeting to extend the disconnection moratorium until the winter moratorium starts and not put families at risk.”