The Minnesota cold weather rule applies from October 1 to April 30. The rule provides that a utility cannot disconnect your residential electric service during the winter if the customer meets the following requirements:

Requirement 1

The customer's account is current for the billing period immediately prior to October 1 or the customer has entered into an acceptable payment schedule and is reasonably current with payments under the schedule.

Requirement 2

The household income of the customer is less than 50% of the state median income, as documented by the customer to the utility.

Requirement 3

Utility disconnect would affect the customer's primary heat source.

Requirement 4

The customer has declared inability to pay on forms provided by the utility.

Requirement 5

The customer has to pay at least 10% of monthly income or the full amount of the utility bill or whichever is less.

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

If you know you are going to have trouble paying your utility bill, please contact a Customer Service Representative at 433-8886 to work out a payment schedule.