Cold Weather Rule

The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule protects a residential utility customer from disconnection due to non-payment from October 15-April 15 when the disconnection would affect the primary heat source for the residence and the following conditions are met:

 

Requirement 1
The household income is less than 50 percent of the state median income;
Requirement 2

The customer pays the utility at least 10 percent of the customer's income or the full amount of the utility bill, whichever is less;

Requirement 3

Verification of income by the local energy assistance provider or the utility, unless the customer is automatically eligible for protection against disconnection as a recipient of any form of public assistance,including energy assistance, that uses income eligibility in an amount at or below the income eligibility.

Requirement 4

A requirement that the customer receive referrals to energy assistance, weatherization, conservation, or other programs likely to reduce the customer's energy bills; and

Requirement 5

A requirement that customers who have demonstrated an inability to pay on forms provided for that purpose by the utility, and who make reasonably timely payments to the utility under a payment plan that considers the financial resources of the household, cannot be disconnected from utility service from October 15-April 15. A customer who is receiving energy  assistance is deemed to have demonstrated an inability to pay.

Austin Utilities notifies all residential customers of the above points and will also provide customers with referrals to energy assistance programs, weatherization, conservation or other programs likely to reduce the customer's energy bills.