Cold weather rule comes into effect sooner, lasts later | News, Sports, Jobs

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ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule (CWR), which is administered by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, protects residential utility customers from outages in electricity or natural gas service between October 1 and April 30.

The Cold Weather Rule effective dates were extended by 15 days in the fall and 15 days in the spring by the Minnesota legislature in 2021.

Commerce advocated for the change after engaging in an annual tribal consultation and learning from tribal chiefs of concerns that Minnesota’s climate change was causing cold spells earlier in the fall and later in the spring. .

Both landlords and tenants are eligible for CWR protection – the utility account must be in your name. You and your utility should agree on a reasonable payment plan for your household.

For more information or assistance, consult the PUC “Stop protection” info online or call the PUC Consumer Office: 651-296-0406.

Assistance for the water bill is now available and households can also benefit from weatherization.

By submitting an application through the Energy Assistance Program, households could qualify for payments covering both water and energy bills, and qualify them for the Minnesota Weatherization Program, also managed. by Commerce. Weatherization helps households improve their homes to save energy and permanently reduce their energy costs. Help with the water bill is new, created with one-time federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“The business is working to provide the people of Minnesota with more options so that you can afford the essential services – heat, water, lighting, electricity – that you need to be safe and comfortable in your home,” said Grace Arnold, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

“People have to call their utilities and sign up for payment plans, or call our offices for help. We want to make sure everyone gets the help they need to have reliable food this winter ”, said Katie Sieben, chairman of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

How to apply Request an app or find your local service provider with one of these options:

• Search online for “Minnesota Energy Assistance”

• Go online: gov / energyassistance

• Call 800-657-3710 and press 1

Who qualifies? More Minnesotans qualify than ever.

• Homeowners and tenants can benefit from energy assistance.

• Trade increased income eligibility to 60% of median household income.

• The request takes into account the income of the previous 3 months and does not include federal stimulus or unemployment benefits.

How does the program work?

• Payments for energy and water bills are sent directly to the household’s utility company.

• Households also receive education on the efficient and safe use of energy.

Contact your natural gas or electricity company and request a Cold Weather Rule (CWR) payment plan.

Payment plans can be made at any time during the CWR season. If you cannot agree on a payment amount, you have the right to appeal to your natural gas or electricity company. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Office of Consumer Affairs is available to assist you.

Can your heating be turned off in winter?

Yes. You must establish and maintain a CWR payment plan with your natural gas or electricity company to benefit from CWR protection between October 1 and April 30. This is true for all residential customers, including the elderly and families with young children.

Payment plans can be made at any time during the CWR season. If you do not stick to the payment plan, the natural gas or power company is not obligated to make additional arrangements. If you can’t agree on a payment amount, you ask your natural gas or electricity company for an appeal.

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