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Utility shutoffs can begin today with end of winter moratorium

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Thousands of Wisconsinites could lose their power after Tuesday, if they don't start paying up on their past due electric bills.

The state's annual winter moratorium on utility shutoffs ends at midnight.  

We Energies, the state's largest electric company, has around 6,000 customers who risk being cut off. The utility has been working to reach those people for about a month, to encourage them to work out payment plans which could spare them from being shut off.

We Energies' spokesman Brian Manthey said number of people facing disconnections is about the same as a year ago -- but they owe 10 to 15 percent more money. That's no surprise, considering how long and cold this winter has been.  

State officials say they've provided home heating assistance to just under 200,000 households this past winter. That's about 5,000 more than a year ago.

Low income residents can still get help. More information is available by calling the following toll free number -- 866-HEAT-WIS.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)