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Wisconsin regulators end final pandemic measures

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Wisconsin utility regulators have discontinued the last consumer protections put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Public Service Commission imposed a shutoff ban and other protections in March 2020. The commission lifted the ban in 2021 but left in place a handful of others, including a requirement that utilities allow low-income customers to avoid disconnection by agreeing to a payment plan and a waiver of credit card processing fees.

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The commission voted unanimously Wednesday to end all pandemic-related requirements.

“I think that it is time to … get back to business as usual,” Chair Rebecca Valcq said.

Commissioner Tyler Huebner said many utilities have implemented more flexible payment plans but pointed out pandemic protocols can be a financial hardship for many people.

“I hope that continues,” Huebner said. “COVID is out there. I’m coming off of it myself. … If you’re working retail, restaurant, you’re not working.”

Tyler Huebner


Wisconsin is in line to receive about $100 million this year in federal funding for the low-income energy assistance program plus another $1.3 million a year through 2026 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, though the PSC says energy assistance funding will be lower than in 2021.

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