Seasonal Termination Protection Regulations

Note: These policies may not apply to all utilities in a given state. In general, municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives are not regulated and the policies do not apply to them. For more details and consumer referrals, see state disconnect narratives.
State Date-based Protection Dates Temperature-based Temperature Seasonal Policy
Alabama no   yes <32° F Ban for special circumstances such as extreme weather or life-threatening situation.
Alaska no   no   No disconnect for seriously ill, disabled.
Arizona yes 06/01-10/15 yes <32° F or >95° F Utilities advised not to terminate residential service when the customer has an inability to pay and where weather will be especially dangerous to health (usually 32° F or below for winter and above 95° F for summer) as determined by the Commission.
Arkansas yes 11/1-3/31 12/1-3/31 yes <32° F or >95° F (elderly and disabled) Gas and electric service cannot be disconnected if forecast predicts a temperature of 32 or lower during the next 24 hours. No disconnect for elderly or disabled when temperature is >95, or medical emergency. No disconnect if customer agrees to deferred or extended payment agreement. The Public Service Commission has amended the state's cold weather rule to ban winter natural gas disconnections of certain income-eligible households provided they make a minimum payment, about 50 percent of their bill. The amendment is effective December 1 through March 31. If households make the required payment, the remainder of their bill is deferred until April, after which they have seven months to pay off the balance. Qualified customers are those who receive benefits from LIHEAP, Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid or Transition Employment Assistance. To qualify, customers must notify their natural-gas supplier that they are eligible and provide written proof to the utility within two weeks. If fraud, misuse or failure to make monthly payments occur, the utility can suspend the customer's service until all bills are paid in full. Utilities must honor a physician's certificate in prescribed form that a customer/permanent resident has a serious medical condition and stating that suspension of service would result in substantial risk of death or grave impairment. Certificate can be given by telephone by doctor, nurse, R.N., or public or private agency providing mental health care services, but must be confirmed within 7 days by a physician's writing. No disconnect if customer agrees and adheres to a payment plan.
California no   no   Customer who provides certification from licensed physician and surgeon that service termination will be life-threatening and who is unable to pay in normal period shall be permitted to amortize over a period not to exceed 12 months.
Colorado no   no   Customer with a medical certificate could postpone disconnection for up to 90 days and only once during a 12 month period. Certification of licensed doctor or health practitioner is required.
Connecticut yes 11/1 - 5/1 no   Low-income "hardship" policy - customers are entitled to have gas heat and electric service turned on between 11/1 and 5/1, even if they owe the utility company money, except if gas heat service was provided during prior winter based on "hardship" and service was turned off between 4/15 and 10/31, then, to get service turned on, customer must pay the lesser of $100, minimum payments due under payment agreement, or 20% of debt to gas company when gas was shut off. Customers must apply for "hardship" protection at the utility every fall. Gas and electric utility service must be provided year-round if a lack of service is life-threatening, regardless of debt to the utility. No disconnect for 15 days for illness certified by a physician, certification can be renewed. No disconnect for households with a baby 24 months old or younger that has discharge papers from a hospital on which the attending physician indicated utility service is a necessity for the health and well being of the baby.

Gas and utilities cannot be shut off if the lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation.

Delaware yes 11/15 - 3/31; 6/1 - 9/30 yes 32° F or below; 105° F or above No disconnect if termination will adversely affect the occupant's health; must be certified by licensed physician or Christian Science practitioner.
District of Columbia no   yes <32° F or >95° F Temperature based. Utility companies are advised not to disconnect residential electric or gas service during the day preceding and the day of a forecast of extreme temperature or, if the forecast precedes a holiday or a weekend day, on any day during the holiday or weekend. Termination may be postponed for up to 21 days (plus one renewal) with a physician's certificate or notice from a public health official stating that termination would be detrimental to the health/safety of a person. On May 19, DC Council passed additional legislation requiring electric companies to: (i) make payment plans available to eligible customers with a minimum term of one year, unless the customer requests a shorter term; (ii) waive any fee or penalty arising from the payment plan; (iii) not report to a credit agency that the customer's account is delinquent; and (iv) notify all customers of the payment plan's availability.
Florida no   no   No special seasonal protections
Georgia yes 11/15 - 3/15 and summer months yes 32° F and below or 98° and above Total ban between November 15 and March 15 when the forecasted low temperature for a 24 hour period beginning at 8:00 A.M. on the date of the proposed disconnection is below 32 degrees. No disconnect if illness would be aggravated, need statement from doctor. Residential service will not be disconnected if at 8 A.M. on the scheduled disconnection day, a National Weather Service Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for the county of the scheduled disconnection. Delay disconnect for 30 days with medical certification. If life support equipment is needed a "load limiter" is installed that allows enough electricity to run the equipment. Cannot disconnect unless a bill is at least 45 days overdue and proper notification has been sent.
Hawaii no   no   No special protections
Idaho yes 12/1 - 2/28 no   Disconnect ban for households with children under 18, elderly age 62 or older, or infirm. Delay disconnection for 30 days if detrimental to health of a household member, certified by a health professional. Cannot disconnect if a customer owes less than $75 or no more than last month's balance on Nov. 1.
Illinois yes 12/1 - 3/31 and summer months yes <32° F or >95° F Total ban when <32. Utilities must offer payment plan of 10% down payment and equalized billing over the next 4 to 12 months. In summer months public utilities cannot turn off gas or electricity when it is the sole power source for the cooling if the forecast for the following 24 hours includes temperature at or above 95°F;  includes master-meter buildings. LIHEAP beneficiaries with outstanding balances of less than $3,000 will pay the lesser value of $250 or 20 percent of their remaining balance to reactivate service. 30 day delay if physician certifies that disconnect would adversely affect the health of a household member. Customer is expected to enter into a payment plan.
Indiana yes 12/1 - 3/15 no   Prohibits disconnect if customer qualifies for public assistance. Postpones disconnection for 20 days if the customer presents a medical statement from a licensed physician which states that disconnection would be a serious and immediate threat to the health or safety of a person in the household.
Iowa yes 11/1 - 4/1 yes <20° F LIHEAP-certified customers have complete protection from Nov. 1 through March 31 regardless of temperature; utility must offer payment plan after moratorium. Those who notify their gas and electric utility that they are applying for LIHEAP certification through the local CAP agency may receive a 30 day stay from service disconnection during the moratorium.  30 day delay if physician certifies that disconnect would adversely affect the health of a household member.
Kansas yes 11/1 - 3/31 yes <35° F Ban when <35, to avoid disconnect when temperature is above 35 customers must make payment schedule, meet payments and apply for aid if eligible. Delay disconnection for 20 days if the action would adversely affect the health of a household member. During the delay the customer is expected to agree to a payment plan.
Kentucky no   no   Customers may negotiate a payment plan with the company for reconnection during the months of November through March if they are "income qualified" for certain public assistance programs and if they secure and present an official "Certificate of Need" from the state social services office. Delay disconnect for 30 days with medical certification. Customer must negotiate a payment plan to maintain service after delay.
Louisiana no   yes <32° F or NWS heat warning Winter termination procedures: The previous day's highest temperature did not exceed 32° F, and the temperature is predicted to remain at or below that level for the next 24 hours
Summer termination procedures: When National Weather Service issues a heat warning for any parish in the utility's service territory, or when such a warning has been issued on any one of the preceding two calendar days. Disconnection delayed for up to 63 days if detrimental to health or safety of household member. Customer must negotiate a payment plan before disconnect date
Maine yes 11/15 - 4/15 no   Must agree to special payment arrangement
Maryland no   yes During the next 72 hours, if 32° F or below during winter dates or if temperature exceeds 95° F at any time of year  
Massachusetts yes 11/15-3/15 no   Disconnect not permitted for any customer who cannot pay an overdue charge because of financial hardship. Also, cannot shut off a service that the resident needs to run their residential heating system.After November 1, a LIHEAP customer may get service reconnected with a minimum payment of $255.  Utilities are prohibited from terminating service to low-income households where occupants present certification that a household member is seriously ill or is an infant under 12 months of age. Utilities need written approval to shut off services where all household residents are 65 years or older. If the elderly household is low-income and includes a minor, the protection against termination will apply.
Michigan yes 11/1 - 3/31 no   Winter Protection Plan for elderly 65 years or older, recipients of Medicaid, Food Stamps or state emergency relief, full- time active military personnel or persons needing critical care or having a certified medical emergency. Households with income less than 150% of federal poverty guidelines must be enrolled in a payment plan.
Minnesota yes 10/15 - 4/30 yes Disconnect ban for residential electricity service when an excessive heat watch, heat advisory, or excessive heat warning has been issued by the National Weather Service  
Mississippi yes 12/1 - 3/31, with extended payment plan yes   Mid-Winter Rule: From January through March, residential customers who are unable to pay the full amount of their utility bill may qualify for the mid-winter rule which prohibits disconnection of service. To qualify, residential customers must inform the utility of their inability to pay prior to disconnection and must agree to an extended payment plan.

Summer Rule: Residential customers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of electric service for nonpayment of pills if, as of 8:00 am on the scheduled disconnection day, and Excessive Heat Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the county of the scheduled disconnection.

Missouri yes 11/1 - 3/31 and 6/1 - 9/30 yes <32° F and 95° or above Disconnect shall be postponed for 21 days due to the medical condition of an occupant. Allows customers to extend payment of pre-existing arrears beyond 12 months.
Montana yes 11/1 - 4/1 yes No disconnect when the temperature at 8 a.m. is below 32° F or if freezing temperatures are forcast for the next 24 hours for customers receiving public assistance or if household member is age 62 or older or disabled. Prohibited for customers receiving public assistance or if household member is age 62 or older or disabled. Regulated utilities must get PSC approval for disconnect. Disconnection is delayed if detrimental to existing medical condition, written certification to utility can be renewed every 180 days as needed.
Nebraska yes 11/1 - 3/31 no   No disconnect for low-income natural gas customers with proof of eligibility for energy assistance.
Nevada no   yes 15° F or below and 105° F or above Disconnection is delayed for 30 days, with one renewal, if medical emergency. Customer must pay bill in installments within the next 90 days. Elderly and handicapped must have 48 hours notice.
New Hampshire yes 11/15 - 3/31 no   PUC approval is needed to shut-off elderly 65 or older. Disconnect is not allowed unless arrears are more than $125 for gas non-heating, $225 for electric non-heating and more than $450 for gas, electric and steam heating.
New Jersey yes 11/15 - 3/15 yes (summer) 90o or above No disconnect for low-income natural gas customers with proof of eligibility for energy assistance.
New Mexico yes 11/15 - 3/15 no   Must be current with payments or have entered into a payment agreement and are current with that aggreement by Nov. 15
New York yes 11/1 - 4/15 no    
North Carolina yes 11/1 - 3/31 no   No disconnect for elderly, disabled, and customers who are eligible for the Energy Crisis Assistance Program.
North Dakota no   no   Utilities must delay disconnect for 30 days for customers who are age 65 or older, ill, or disabled.
Ohio yes 11/11 - 4/15 no   Medical certification program.
Oklahoma no   yes <32°F (daytime), <20° F (night) or >101° F  
Oregon no   yes 32° F or below or on any day a local Heat Advisory is issued A medical certificate will prevent disconnection up to 6 months for non-chronic condition, up to 12 months for chronic condition and requires the customer to set up a payment plan.
Pennsylvania yes 12/1 - 3/31 no   No termination of utility service between protection dates for customers at or below 250% of the Federal poverty level (150% of the Federal poverty level for customers of one specific municipal gas utility)
Rhode Island yes 11/1 - 4/15 yes No termination if National Weather Service issues a heat advisory or excessive heat warning. Disconnect ban for elderly, disabled, seriously ill, households with child under 2 years old, or recipients of unemployment compensation, federal heating assistance or have income 75% or less of state median income.
South Carolina no   yes:
December 1-March 31
Disconnection is suspended when the average forecasted temperature is 32°F or below for a 45-hour period. 30 day shut-off delay for seriously ill with medical certificate, can be renewed up to 3 times during the winter protection period.
South Dakota yes 11/1 - 3/31 no   Additional notice of 30 days. 30 day disconnect delay if physician, public health official or social service official certifies a medical emergency.
Tennessee no   no   30 day disconnect delay if physician, public health official or social service official certifies that a household member's health would be adversely affected.
Texas no   yes <32° F or during heat advisory Disconnection will be delayed if detrimental to the health of a resident, must have physician certification.
Utah yes 11/15 - 3/15 no    
Vermont yes 11/1 - 3/31 yes <10° F or <32° F for households with elderly age 62 or older. 30 day disconnect delay if household member's health would be adversely affected, physician certificate can be renewed twice. Cannot disconnect if a customer owes less than $50, provided that this exception may not be used for more than two billing cycles in one calendar year.
Virginia no   no   Disconnect delay for persons with a 'Serious Medical Condition Certification Form.' This is a year-round policy.
Washington yes 11/15 - 3/15 no Temperature-based shutoff moratorium is left to the discretion of the utilities. Protection for hardship customers who qualify or apply for energy assistance and enter payment plan. Disconnection is delayed if a medical emergency exists or 10% of the delinquent balance is paid within 5 business days.
West Virginia yes 11/1 - 3/31 no   Disconnection may be delayed when termination of service would be especially dangerous to the health or safety of a member of the customer's household.
Wisconsin yes 11/1 - 4/15 yes Extreme weather, but only as a last resort; NWS heat advisory 21 day delay if physician, social services, public health or law enforcement officer certifies to medical or protective services (elderly, infants, disabled etc.) emergency. Customer must agree to payment plan.
Wyoming yes 11/1 - 4/1 yes Disconnection only if above 32° F Temperature-based restrictions if unable to pay and has exhausted available assistance or is actively seeking assistance, or can pay, but only in installments.