Here is information about Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule from hometownsource.com.
As the heating season kicks in, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) encourage Minnesotans to contact their utilities now to learn more about the Cold Weather Rule protection to keep homes heated all winter long, and avoid disconnection.
Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule takes effect on October 15 and protects residential utility customers from having their heat shut off through April 15, 2015. To prevent heating disconnection, customers must contact their utility to establish and maintain a monthly payment plan.
“The Cold-Weather Rule and energy assistance helps Minnesota families that struggle financially with utility heating costs each winter, especially during bitterly cold winters like last year,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “No Minnesotan should be left out in the cold.”
The Cold Weather Rule helps customers who heat their homes with natural gas or electricity to avoid shut-off during the winter months.
To be eligible, customers must contact their utility to work out a payment plan and must make the payments.
Customers who have a combined household income at or below 50 percent of the state median income ($44,912 for a family of four) are not required to pay more than 10 percent of household income; others are also eligible to negotiate a payment plan. Households that need to re-connect for winter should contact their utility now to take advantage of the payments options.
“The Cold Weather Rule is a safeguard for the most vulnerable Minnesotans during our frigid winters,” said PUC Chair Beverly Jones Heydinger. “It ensures that households in need are safe, warm, and healthy. By working out a payment plan with their utility, Minnesota families can keep the heat on while they face financial challenges.”
Minnesota consumers using delivered fuels such as fuel oil, propane, or wood to heat their homes are not covered by the Cold Weather Rule. However, they are also encouraged to contact the companies that serve them to discuss payment options if they are concerned about their ability to pay for fuel. For example, a new law requires propane distributors to offer all customers a budget plan.
More information on the Cold Weather Rule is available by calling 651-296-0406 or 800-657-3782.