Power shut-offs to begin

Ishpeming, MI – Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) reports that more than 2,600 of its customers are four months or more behind on their utility bills. Those customers could face disconnection of their service soon unless they make payments or arrangements.

“This year, the number of customers past due and the amount they owe are slightly higher than last year,” said Tom Russell, spokesperson for UPPCO.

“We don’t want to disconnect service to customers who are behind, but unless we come to an arrangement with them, disconnection is a good possibility.” UPPCO disconnected service to around 1,800 customers in 2012. “We owe it to our good-paying customers to be diligent in our efforts to collect,” he said.

Russell urged customers who are behind and have not yet contacted the utility to do so right away by calling (800) 562-7680. Waiting until near the end of the winter will make it more difficult to make arrangements to keep service on, he said. “Those customers who contact us early to make arrangements may find we’re more flexible with payment options than those who wait,” he said.

Customers who struggle with winter bills could choose the UPPCO Budget Billing program, in which they pay an average bill monthly rather than seasonal high and low bills. UPPCO also has electronic options for payment listed on its Website: www.uppco.com. Options include automatic monthly withdrawal from bank accounts, as well as one-time payments.