Some customers find it hard to pay their utility bills in the winter.
The Minnesota State Legislature has passed a law that is commonly referred to as the “Cold Weather Rule” to protect residential customers from disconnection if they cannot pay their bills in full. This protection lasts from October 1 through April 30. Customers may qualify for this protection if they meet ALL of the following conditions:
- The customer has completed the Application for Protection Form provided by the utility.
- The household income is less than 50% of the state median income level. (Customers receiving ‘any form of public assistance’ are deemed to have qualified for inability to pay status)
- The customer enters into and makes reasonably timely payments on a mutually acceptable payment plan.
This notice is to inform customers of their rights and responsibilities under the Cold Weather Rule. These rights and responsibilities are designed to help you with winter utility bills.
You must act promptly. If you choose not to assert your rights or choose not to enter into a mutually acceptable payment plan, your electric service may be disconnected.
Notice of Residential
Customer Rights and Responsibilities
Your rights and responsibilities under the Cold Weather Rule are:
- The right to declare an inability to pay your electric bill.
- The responsibility, if choosing inability to pay, to complete fully the COLD WEATHER RULE – INABILITY TO PAY APPLICATION FOR PROTECTION form and return to City of Redwood Falls Public Utilities.
- The right to negotiate a mutually acceptable payment plan with the City of Redwood Falls Public Utilities which address existing past due balances and current and future usage during the cold weather
- The responsibility to make timely payments under the payment plan.
- Failure to comply with or change the existing payment arrangement may result in the service being disconnected.
- The right to appeal to the City Council a determination of income by the utility and the right to appeal if the customer and utility cannot arrive at a mutually acceptable payment plan. Service will not be disconnected during the appeal process.
The Cold Weather Rule does not totally forbid winter shut off. You must contact the utility in advance of the disconnect date to avoid disconnection or a limiting device.
IF YOU RECEIVE A SHUT OFF NOTICE THIS WINTER,
YOU MUST ACT PROMPTLY!
In addition, customers who use life – sustaining electrical medical equipment may qualify for medically necessary protection.
For more information, call the Redwood Falls Public Utilities 507-616-7400.