Senator Newton: Stay warm this winter; Cold Weather Rule went into effect Oct. 15

ST. PAUL, Minn – As the trees drop their leaves and the heating season kicks in, Senator Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids) is encouraging area residents to contact their utilities now to learn more about the Cold Weather Rule that protects residential utility customers from having their heat shut off during the winter months.

The rule takes effect on October 15 and continues through April 15, 2018.

To prevent heating disconnection, customers must first contact their utility to establish and maintain a monthly payment plan. All electric and natural gas companies are required to offer Cold Weather Rule protection.

“No Minnesotan should be left out in the cold. I’m proud to live in a state that recognizes the hardships all families go through from time to time. The Cold Weather Rule and the Energy Assistance Program provide a safety net for families to prevent anyone from losing heat during the winter months. If you anticipate problems paying your heating bill this winter, you may want to consider the qualifications necessary to be eligible for the heating assistance program” said Sen. Jerry Newton

Under the Cold Weather Rule, customers who have a combined household income at or below 50 percent of the state median income ($48,077 for a family of four) are not required to pay more than 10 percent of their household income toward current and past heating bills. Others are also eligible to arrange a Cold Weather Rule payment plan.

Minnesotans who heat their home using delivered fuel, such as fuel oil, propane or wood are not covered by the Cold Weather Rule, but may qualify for Minnesota’s low income energy assistance program. Learn more about how to sign up here: http://www.minnesotaenergyresources.com/home/lieap.aspx

More information on the Cold Weather Rule is available at: http://mn.gov/puc/consumers/shut-off-protection.jsp or by calling 651-296-0406 or 800-657-3782.

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