A utility that serves eight states, including Iowa, says it will soon resume disconnecting customers for late payment.

Lynn Porter, spokeswoman for Black Hills Energy, says the company had suspended the practice on March 16th as the coronavirus pandemic began to set in.  “Now, we’re getting back into what is considered the new normal and we are getting back to having to do our disconnects again,” Porter says. “The collection process will start August 24th.”

For customers who are still struggling with making payments, she says there are options. Porter suggests calling the utility to find a way to avoid being cut off. “We really want to make sure we can help our customers come up with an arrangement that works for them,” Porter says. “They may want to do budget billing — that’s free and it gives them a predictable amount for their payment. We can make payment arrangements.”

There are also agencies that can help set customers up with LIHEAP, the Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program. Black Hills Energy provides electric and natural gas service to 1.2 million customers in parts of Iowa and seven other states.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)