MADISON, WI — The Wisconsin Public Service Commission voted today to extend the utility disconnection moratorium for residential customers until September 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 previously voted on June 11 to end the moratorium on utility disconnections.
The Sierra Club has been working with Wisconsin social justice advocates and members of local governments to advocate for an extension of the moratorium that was issued on March 24 in response to the Coronavirus crisis. The PSC will look at the issue again at their August 20 meeting to decide to lift the moratorium on September 1 or to continue it into the fall.
In response, Wisconsin Chapter Chair Don Ferber released the following statement:
“The PSC has shown that the health and well-being of people come first. Disconnections of services that could have put thousands more low-income families at risk during this unprecedented health crisis have been avoided. The health and economic impacts of COVID have been substantive, especially on communities of color, and to cut vital utilities during a hot summer when cooling, refrigeration and connectivity are all critical, would extend the disparate impacts we already see occurring. This is a great start towards responding to the inequities we have in our energy system and the need to provide affordable and just energy services.”