Winter is approaching and Minnesota has shut-off protection rules. Also known as the “Cold Weather Rule” and it runs from October 15th to April 15th every year. It covers residences only and not businesses. More information can be found here: https://mn.gov/puc/consumers/help/shut-off-protection/
From the site, here is the FAQ:
Can my heat be shut off in the Winter?
- You must make and keep a Cold Weather Rule payment plan with your natural gas or electric utility company to receive Cold Weather Rule (CWR) protection between October 15 and April 15
- This is true for all residential customers, including senior citizens and families with young children
- Payment plans can be established at any time during the CWR season.
- If the payment plan is broken the natural gas or electric company is not required to offer additional arrangements
- If you are unable to agree on a payment amount, you request an appeal from your natural gas or electric company.How do I sign up?
- Contact your natural gas or electric company and request a CWR payment plan
- Payment plans can be established at anytime during the CWR season. If the payment plan is broken the utility is not required to offer additional arrangements
- If you are unable to agree on a payment amount, you have the right to appeal with your natural gas or electric company.After you sign up
Once you make and keep a CWR payment plan, the utility will turn on your heat. As long as you make your payments, you are protected until April 15
- If you and the utility cannot agree on a payment plan, you can request and appeal from your natural gas or electric company
- You have ten days to submit your appeal to the Commission
- The Commission will help you set up a payment plan
- Your service will stay on during the appeal processDoes this apply to all utilities?
- No. Delivered fuels such as fuel oil, propane and wood are not covered by the CWR.
- If you need electricity to keep your heat on, you may apply for CWR protection with your electric company.Utility Requirements
Before disconnecting service between October 15 and April 15, the natural gas and electric companies must provide you with:
- Notice of disconnection
- Payment plan options to stop a disconnection
- Appeal rights if you and the utility cannot agree on a payment plan
- A list of local energy assistance and weatherization providers
- A list of no-cost and low-cost methods to conserve energy
- A Third Party Notice formWhat if I can’t make my scheduled payment?
- If you can’t make your payments, call your utility immediately to make a new CWR payment plan.
- If you do not make your payments, your service may be shut offWhat if I rent and pay my own utility bills?
If the natural gas or electric service in your name affects your primary heat, you are eligible for CWR protectionHelp reading and understanding notices
If you have trouble with utility bills and notices, fill out a Third Party Notice form and the utility will send copies to the person you choose so you don’t miss important dates.
The Third Party is not responsible for paying any bills.
Also Governor Tim Walz has extended the non-payment eviction moratorium. However recent changes do not prevent all evictions, so it is important to know what is and isn’t covered. More information can be found at these here and here.
Additionally Governor Walz extended Minnesota’s COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency Declaration. Details of the Executive Order can be found here. This is the official extension to the March 2020 Executive Order that covers the eviction moratorium.