PUEBLO, Colo. - Black Hills Energy in Pueblo is giving a bit of a reprieve to customers whose delinquent accounts result in disconnected services with a new program decreasing the deposit required to restore electricity.
The company is reducing the reconnection deposit from the cost of a 90-day average bill to the average 30-day bill. The company says the reconnection deposit for the average residence was about $313. This new effort will reduce that to about $104, on average.
In addition to reducing the cost, Black Hills Energy is also letting customers split that reconnection deposit into four monthly payments.
Black Hills Energy didn't give figures to show how many customers have had their services disconnected. The company has 95,000 customers in southern Colorado.
"If we can help our customers, especially low-income customers who are going through tough times, by lowering our reconnect deposit and giving them more time to pay the lower deposit -- then we are going to do it," said Vance Crocker, vice president of operations with Black Hills Energy.
A study by Colorado State University released this week determined that one of the leading factors contributing to homelessness in Pueblo was disconnected utilities, which largely stems from being unable to pay for them.
The new program will go into effect April 1.