Utility Shut Off Protections Ending April 30th for MN Residents

Since the onset of COVID, major utilities across Minnesota have offered special protections against utility shut offs. After April 30, 2022, the last of the special protections, including the MN Cold Weather Rule, will end and many households will lose protection against utility shut offs during the cold winter months. Service deposits, down payments, interest, late payment charges, and business hour reconnection fees will resume after this date.

If you are behind on your bills and are worried about your service being disconnected, Ecolibrium3 and Citizens Utility Board recommends;

-Call ComfortSystems and/or Minnesota Power and ask for a payment plan that works given your personal financial circumstances. If your financial circumstances change and you are no longer able to follow your payment arrangement, contact your utility again and ask to restructure the arrangement based on your new situation.

-Do not agree to a payment plan that is unaffordable for you. If you have trouble arranging an acceptable payment plan with your utility, contact the Public Utilities Commission Consumer Affairs Office for assistance at 800-657-3782 or consumer.puc@state.mn.us.

-Check if you are eligible for Energy Assistance. Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency and the The Salvation Army provide financial assistance for utility bill payments around the Twin Ports area. Many of these opportunities have been expanded this year, so you may qualify for funding even if you wouldn’t qualify in a normal year.

-If you require electricity service for medically necessary equipment, the utility must keep your service on or reconnect service if it has been shut off. You will need to provide certification from a medical provider. If you have an overdue balance, you can be required to make a payment plan. Contact your utility for more information.