Minnesota Cold Weather Rule Begins

October 12, 2018 – Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule goes into effect on Monday, October 15. The Cold weather rule in Minnesota is designed to help Minnesotans stay protected from utility shutoffs during cold, winter months. The CWR ends April 15, 2019.

The Cold Weather Protection Rule in Minnesota is for residential customers only. All electric and natural gas companies in MN must offer CWR protection. The CWR allows a customer to establish a payment plan with the electric or natural gas company and if the CWR protection ends and the customer still owes on the bill, the customer may ask the company to continue the payment plan.

If the payment plan is not honored by the customer, utility services may be shut off; however, the customer can make an appeal to the utility company and the service will remain uninterrupted during the appeal process.

Deliverable fuels such as oil, propane and wood are not covered by the CWR.

As the winter months approach, many states begin their winter moratorium season. Some moratoriums are temperature based—meaning they activate when the temperature falls or rises above a determined number, and do not have a start or end date. Some moratoriums are date-based, meaning they start and end on a specific date. Many date-based moratoriums start in November and end in April.

Sometimes a crisis situation will emerge when a moratorium is lifted and a customer has their utilities disconnected. To learn about Crisis Following the Lifting of a Winter Moratorium, click here.

To view a list of disconnect policies, visit the LIHEAP Clearinghouse here.