GREEN BAY - The deadline is looming for people to pay up or risk having their electricity shut off.
The state ban on utility cutoffs ends next Friday, and thousands are behind on their bills.
"I'm on a low income so what do I do? I can only pay what I can, if I can pay," said Lisa Fenner of Green Bay.
Fenner isn't alone.
"We have almost 70,000 customers, out of our more than half a million, that are behind to some degree," said Wisconsin Public Service spokesman Kerry Spees.
And Monday, April 18th, WPS will start disconnecting customers who haven't paid up.
"We have more than 20,000 that are at least four months behind, and those are the ones at greatest risk of getting service disconnected," said Spees.
Spees says if you've received a disconnection notice, contact the utility.
"Make whatever kind of payments you can make now, and then we can maybe work with you on giving you some kind of time to pay the rest," said Spees.
Fenner says she's done that because she knows what that's like to get shut off.
"That was a challenging experience. I don't want to have it happen again," said Fenner.
Integrated Community Solutions is another option for people like Fenner.
ICS offers heating assistance.
But with the shutoff deadline looming, the non-profit has been extremely busy.
"We are booked till the 15th of April," said energy specialist Jalen Karenke.
Karenke says people can no longer make appointments.
Starting on the 15th, folks will have to line up each day for help.
"We have enough staff to take the first around 50 people, and I know it's going to get kind of hectic probably, especially on the 15th or the week after, probably going to have hundreds of people," said Karenke.
When you show up to apply for heating assistance, you'll need to have a few things with you including a photo ID, proof of income, a utility bill and the social security numbers of everyone living in the household.
ICS says it has received 4,900 applications this winter. That's a 7% increase over last year. It's helped 4,000 households, and paid out $1.6 million in assistance money.
"The majority of our clientele that do inquire with us should be able to get help in some way or another," said Karenke.
According to Wisconsin Public Service - there are options for customers who fall behind on their heating bills in the winter time.
For more information on that, click here.
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