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Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule in effect; Will last through April 15

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule (CWR) is in effect until April 15.  The CWR is designed to protect eligible customers from having their natural gas shut off from Oct. 15 to April 15.

According to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, all electric and natural gas companies must offer CWR protection. Different types of payment plans are available, depending on household income and which electric or natural gas company you have.

Eligible residents must make and keep a CWR payment plan with your natural gas or electric utility company in order to receive CWR protection. If the payment plan is broken, the utility company is not required to offer additional arrangements. If you are unable to agree on a payment amount, you have 10 days to appeal to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Renters may also seek CWR protection if the natural gas or electric service is in their name and affects their primary heat.

During the CWR period, natural gas or electric companies must do the following before disconnection services:

  • Issue a notice of disconnection;
  • Offer payment plans to stop disconnection;
  • Appeal rights if you and the utility company cannot agree on a payment plan;
  • Provide a list of local energy assistance and weatherization providers;
  • Provide a list of no-cost and low-cost methods to conserve energy; and
  • Provide a Third Party Notice form.

To check eligibility for CWR protection, call 800-889-9508.

Low income energy assistance is also available to help pay for home heating costs. To see if you are eligible and to apply, call 800-657-3710 or visit the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program website at https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/. The amount of energy assistance depends on a number of factors, including household size, income and energy costs. If you are eligible for energy assistance, you are also eligible for a reduced CWR payment plan.