Media Contact: Steve Schultz (608) 458-3285
Many convenient payment options available for customers behind on bills
MADISON, WI – April 12, 2010 – Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), an Alliant Energy company, encourages customers who are not current on their utility bills to take action to pay their bills now utilizing one of the many available self-service payment options. The last day of the utility moratorium on disconnections is April 15th.
As of March 31, 2010, 39,175 WPL customers were 60 days or more in arrears. That’s down slightly from last year. The total dollar amount owed by those customers is $13.5 million, which is down nearly $700,000 from last year. If customers make no attempt to pay their bills or set up a payment plan, they may be subject to disconnection after April 15th.
“In the current economic environment we understand that some of our customers are having trouble keeping up on their bills,” says Tim Heinrich, Director of Customer Support Services for Alliant Energy. “That’s why we want them to know we offer a number of payment options to help ease this burden and assist them in staying current on their utility bill.”
One of the most attractive payment options is the Minimum Payment Option (MPO) which is available again this year. In April, the MPO reflects a payment of 30% of the account balance to avoid disconnection. The percentage increases by 10% each month through July and remains at 60% through September. Customers electing this option will find it is the minimum monthly amount required to ensure a continuation of service.
Other payment options available to customers include:
* Online payment – All you need to make an instant online payment is your Alliant Energy utility account number and your bank account information. Visit our instant online payment page at alliantenergy.com/paymybill or use the self-service payment options on our automated phone system by calling 1-800-327-2708.
* Western Union® Speedpay® – Call 1-877-429-4126 or visit alliantenergy.com/paymybill to pay using your credit card or checking account. You can also pay in person using cash, check or money order at any Western Union® Convenience Pay® location. Call 1-800-551-8001 to find a location near you. Western Union charges a transaction fee for these services.
* Easy Pay – You can have your utility bill payment automatically deducted from your bank account every month. You’ll need your Alliant Energy utility account number and bank account information when you call.
* Your e-Bill – Allows you to review and pay your bill online every month. You can enroll through the Your Account site at alliantenergy.com/youraccount. Have your Alliant Energy utility account number and your bank account information handy.
* Budget Billing – Alliant Energy calculates your average bill based on your current account balance, current fuel costs, anticipated fuel cost changes and the past 12 months of energy usage at your home. The budget bill amount is reviewed and adjusted, up or down, every six months.
“There’s still time to apply for heating assistance, and we can also help our customers get in touch with the community action agencies that distribute those energy assistance dollars,” Heinrich adds. “Eligibility rules did expand this year, which means a greater number of households can qualify for funds.”
To obtain energy assistance, qualified Wisconsin residents can apply to their local county energy assistance agency for Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) funds through May 15, 2010. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible by calling 1-866-432-8947 to locate the nearest county agency that provides energy assistance funds or visit homeenergyplus.wi.gov. Qualification for energy assistance is based on multiple factors including household income, household size and fuel type.
Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and over 400,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company’s primary focus. Wisconsin Power and Light, the company’s Wisconsin utility subsidiary, serves approximately 450,000 electric and 175,000 natural gas customers. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.alliantenergy.com.