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The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule

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Notice of Residential Customer Rights and Possible Assistance

 

The Minnesota Legislature and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission have issued a Cold Weather Rule which applies to certain residential customers from October 15 through April 15.

This notice is to inform customers about their rights and responsibilities under the Cold Weather Rule. These rights and responsibilities are designed to help customers with winter utility bills. You must act PROMPTLY! If you choose not to assert your rights or choose not to enter into a mutually acceptable payment schedule, your service may be disconnected.

Specifically, the Cold Weather Rule provides customers with these rights and responsibilities:

Inability to Pay:

You have the Right to declare the Inability to Pay your utility bill. If you do so AND if you have entered into a mutually agreed-upon payment schedule with Moorhead Public Service (MPS), the service affecting your primary heat source will not be disconnected for nonpayment of your bill. However, MPS may appeal this declaration of Inability to Pay to the Moorhead Public Service Commission (PSC), at which time you will need to provide the PSC with proof that you are unable to pay. Your service cannot be disconnected until this appeal is resolved.

You have the Responsibility, if you choose to declare the Inability to Pay, complete the Inability to Pay form and return it to MPS within 20 days. If you have proof that you are receiving any form of public assistance, you do not need to fill out the Inability to Pay form. Instead, you must provide MPS with proof that you are currently receiving public assistance. Upon providing proof of the Inability to Pay, the customer is also responsible for contacting MPS to arrange a mutually agreed-upon payment plan.

Payment Schedule:

You have the Right to enter into a mutually acceptable payment schedule with MPS. This payment schedule will cover the existing amount due plus the estimated usage during the payment schedule period. If you are able to pay, but still wish to enter into a payment schedule, please contact MPS at 299-5400 to make arrangements.

You have the Responsibility of making payments as agreed or promptly notifying MPS why you cannot keep the agreement. You may then request that the original payment schedule be changed. Any changes in the payment schedule are subject to MPS' approval.

Budget Counseling:

You have the Responsibility to receive budget counseling from the local energy assistance provider or other financial counseling organizations. Some of these agencies are listed on the reverse side.

Disputes regarding the previously listed options can be appealed to the PSC.

Assistance

If you need assistance paying your gas or electric bills, you may qualify for state or federal energy assistance. To determine if you qualify and to receive application information, please contact one of the following organizations.

Clay County Social Services
218.299.5200

Salvation Army HeatShare
701.232.5565

West Central Minnesota Communities Action
800.492.4805

Links

 
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