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125 W. Main Street Sun Prairie, WI 53590   608.837.5500

Change in Law, Change in Policy

In April 2014 Wisconsin Act 274 was signed into law. Act 274 revised the law applicable to residential tenants’ delinquent utility charges. The revisions primarily appear as amendments or additions to Wis. Stat. § 66.0809 which applies to municipal public utility charges. Sun Prairie Utilities would like to highlight with you a few important changes that will affect the way we here at Sun Prairie Utilities must operate.

 

Immediately effective were the following:

 

-Upon an owner’s request, a municipal utility must disclose whether a prospective residential tenant has outstanding past-due charges in their name in the utility’s service area.

-Utilities are no longer required to offer deferred payments agreements to customers who are residential tenants.

-Utilities are permitted to require customers to complete an application for service.

-Utilities are permitted to adopt application, deposit, disconnection or collection rules and practices that distinguish between customers based upon whether the customer owns or leases the property that is receiving service where the possibility exists for any unpaid utility bills of a tenant to become a lien on the property that is receiving service.

 

Sun Prairie Utilities has had to modify some of its operating procedures to adhere to the changed law. The change with the largest potential to affect the most customers relates to Deferred Payment Arrangements (DPA). Sun Prairie Utilities shall offer deferred payment agreements to residential accounts and may offer such agreements to other customers. However, Sun Prairie Utilities will not offer a deferred payment agreement to a residential customer who is a tenant if any of the following criteria applies:

 

  1. The tenant has defaulted on a deferred payment agreement in the past 12 months. This criterion only applies to deferred payment agreements and not to other types of payment extensions or agreements.
  2. The residential tenant is responsible for account arrearages that were placed on any property owner’s tax bill in the utility’s service territory in the past 24 months.
  3. The residential tenant has a balance that accrued during the winter moratorium that is more than 80 days past due.

 

These rules will be in place as the winter moratorium ends April 15. Sun Prairie Utilities strongly recommends to any customer presently with delinquent charges to contact the SPU office at 837-5500 to discuss payment options for you. Failure to make reasonable arrangements prior to April 15 likely will result in the disconnection of service until the delinquent charges are paid in full. If service is disconnected, a residential tenant will not be able to negotiate for a reconnection; all fees and delinquent charges must be paid in full to have service reconnected.  


Posted on Thursday, Jan 29, 2015

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