Minnesota Cold Weather Rule
Cold weather rule effective October 15
The Cold Weather Rule, Section 216B.097 of the Minnesota State Statutes, provides that from October 15 through April 15 an electric cooperative cannot disconnect a residential consumer for nonpayment of service, if the disconnect affects the primary heat source and all of the following conditions are met:
- The consumer declares an inability to pay and completes the Inability to Pay for; and
- Household income of the customer is at or below 50 percent of the state median income. Income may be verified on forms provided by LCP or by the local energy assistance provider with whom the consumer has applied for energy assistance; and
- The consumer enters into and makes reasonably and timely payments under a mutually agreeable payment plan, that considers the financial resources of the household; and
- A consumer receives from LCP referrals to energy assistance, weatherization, conservation, or other programs likely to reduce the consumer’s energy bills.
The law does allow for LCP to disconnect when it is necessary from October 15 to April 15, so please act promptly. LCP works with members during the Cold Weather Rule period, just as we do throughout the year. We don’t want to interrupt service to any member, but in a cooperative, all members suffer when any bill remains unpaid. If bills remain unpaid, this amount must be absorbed by members who faithfully pay their bill each month. LCP would rather work with members to establish and maintain adequate payment schedules of their past due bill. A statement explaining the payment plan to secure continued service, a Payment Arrangement letter, will be provided.
Before disconnecting service to a residential consumer from October 15 to April 15, the cooperative must provide the following information:
- notice of proposed disconnection (disconnection notice); and
- statement explaining consumers’ rights and responsibilities (Inability to Pay form); and
- list of energy assistance providers (Inability to Pay form); and
- forms available for consumer to request cold weather disconnect protection (Inability to Pay form).
If you receive a disconnection notice this winter, you must act promptly. If you do not meet all the conditions of the Cold Weather Rule, mutually acceptable payment arrangements can be set up to prevent interruption of an electric service. Please contact Lake Country Power if you have any questions about the Cold Weather Rule: 800-421-9959.
Aitkin County Social Services: 1-800-328-3744
Bi County CAP: 1-800-332-7161
Bois Forte Tribal: 1-800-221-8129
Carlton County Social Services: 1-800-642-9082
Cass County Social Services: 1-218-547-1340
Fond Du Lac Tribal: 1-800-365-1613
Itasca County Social Services: 1-800-422-0312
Lake County Social Services: 1-218-834-8400
Lakes & Pines: 1-800-832-6082
Leech Lake Tribal: 1-866-864-8668
Mille Lacs Band Tribal: 1-320-532-7880
Pine County Social Services: 1-800-450-7263
Salvation Army Office (Heat Share Programs): 1-800-842-7279
St. Louis County Social Services: 1-800-450-9777