Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) is urging customers who are behind on their energy bills to reach out as soon as possible to avoid disconnection. The state’s residential disconnection moratorium ends April 15.

If a customer establishes and maintains a payment plan, they are not at risk for disconnection.

WPS works with customers year-round to offer payment plans and help with energy assistance.

Thanks to lower natural gas prices and warmer than usual weather, the typical WPS customer heating bill was approximately $200 less this winter than last winter.

Disconnection is always a last resort

Customers behind on their bills can go to wisconsinpublicservice.com or use the WPS app to set up payment arrangements and connect with financial and energy assistance options. Customers also can call 800-450-7260.

To help customers in the greatest need, WPS worked with regulators and customer advocates to create the Low Income Forgiveness Tool, a specialized program that encourages regular monthly payments and reduced balances.

Significant federal assistance also is available. The State of Wisconsin has as much as $150 million in low-income heating assistance this heating season.

Beware of scammers

Unfortunately, scammers often try to take advantage of the end of the moratorium.

Scammers will often pretend to be from WPS. They may even manipulate caller ID to display “Wisconsin Public Service” or use a recording that sounds like it’s from the company.

Scammers will threaten to turn off customers energy in a short amount of time and demand immediate payment — often with a prepaid debit card, third-party digital payment app like Zelle or Venmo, or unusual payment method such as bitcoin.

These are all warning signs. If customers are ever in doubt about a phone call, they should hang up and call WPS.

Additional tips are available online.

Simple ways to manage costs

WPS encourages customers to manage their energy use all year long. Go to the WPS website for a checklist and more ways to save.