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Some customers find it hard to pay their utility bills in the winter. The state of Minnesota set up the Cold Weather Rule to protect residential, heat-affected customers who are unable to pay their utility bills from disconnection of service between Oct. 15 and April 15.

Cold Weather Rule Rights and Responsibilities

Avoiding Disconnection

The Cold Weather Rule does not forbid winter shut-off. If you receive a shut-off notice in winter, you must act promptly and call Minnesota Power at 218-722-2625 or 800-228-4966 to apply for Cold Weather Rule protection and set up a payment plan.

Your service will be subject to disconnection without further notice if you do not make the agreed upon payments. If you cannot keep your original payment plan, call Minnesota Power immediately and make a new payment plan to avoid disconnection.

Reconnection

If your power is disconnected on Oct. 15 when the Cold Weather Rule takes effect, you can have your power reconnected by calling Minnesota Power to set up a payment plan.

You must keep your payment plan to avoid future disconnection. Call Minnesota Power immediately if you cannot keep your payment plan and make a new payment plan to avoid disconnection.

Payment Plan

If your household income is:

  • At or below 50 percent of the state median income, you are not required to pay more than 10 percent of your monthly household income.
  • More than 50 percent of the state median income, you may make a payment plan with Minnesota Power.

Cold Weather Rule payment plans last until April 15 unless you make other arrangements with Minnesota Power. Your service could be disconnected if you have a past due balance on April 15 and do not make and keep a new payment plan.

Right to Appeal

If you and Minnesota Power cannot agree on a payment plan, you have 10 days to appeal to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The MPUC will help you set up a payment plan, and your service will stay on during the appeal process.

If you have questions …

Please contact Minnesota Power or visit MPUC’s Cold Weather Rule FAQs

Other Fuel/Heating Assistance Resources:

First Call for Help at United Way: 211

Energy Assistance Hotline: 800-657-3710


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