The MN Cold Weather Rule runs from October 15th through April 15th each season.
Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself:
The Minnesota Statute 216B.097 states a municipal utility must not disconnect and must reconnect the utility service of a residential customer during the period between October 15 and April 15 if the disconnection affects the primary heat source for the residential unit and all of the following conditions are met:
- The household income is at or below 50 percent of the state median income. A customer is deemed to meet the income requirements of this clause if the customer receives any form of public assistance, including energy assistance, that uses an income eligibility threshold set at or below 50 percent of the state median household income. SPU may request income verification from the customer or obtain verification of income from the local Energy Assistance Provider (CAP Agency).
- The customer enters into and makes reasonably timely payments under a payment agreement that considers the financial resources of the household;
If you do not meet all of the conditions indicated above you may be in jeopardy of disconnection. Please contact SPU immediately if you are unable to pay your utility bill and/or have received a notice of disconnection. Complete the form below to communicate your inability to pay and our staff will follow up with you upon receipt of this notification.Inability to Pay Declaration Form
CAN MY ELECTRICITY BE DISCONNECTED BETWEEN OCTOBER 15 AND APRIL 15?
Yes, unless you take steps to make payment arrangements with SPU under the Cold Weather Rule.
IS EVERYONE PROTECTED UNDER THE COLD WEATHER RULE?
CWR protection is for residential customers only. (Renters are included if your electric service is in your name and it affects your primary heat.) You are eligible if the combined household income is at or below 50 percent of the state median income. If you are receiving public assistance based on this income measurement between October 15 and April 15 you automatically qualify for protection.
IF I QUALIFY FOR THE CWR, DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO PROTECT MYSELF?
Yes. If you are unable to pay your electric bill you must contact SPU immediately to set up a payment plan.
- You must complete the Inability to Pay Declaration form.*
- You must set up a mutually-agreed-upon payment plan – and keep these payment plans.
- You will be required to verify your income.*
*If you receive public assistance, including energy assistance, between October 15 and April 15 based on income eligibility as stated above, you do not need to complete the Inability to Pay Declaration Form or personally verify your income.
WHAT IF I CAN’T KEEP A PAYMENT PLAN?
You must contact SPU immediately. If your financial circumstances have changed it may be possible to make a one-time change to the payment plan between October 15 and April 15 to avoid disconnection. Any changes in the plan are subject to SPU approval. If you do not make the payment or contact SPU before the payment is missed, your service may be disconnected.
WHAT IF I CAN’T AGREE ON A PAYMENT PLAN WITH SPU?
You have the right to appeal to the General Manager of SPU in writing within five business days of the dispute. If you and the General Manager cannot reach a mutually-agreed upon plan, you have the right to contact the Shakopee Public Utilities Commission board for further resolution.
WHY DID I RECEIVE A DISCONNECT NOTICE BETWEEN OCTOBER 15 AND APRIL 15?
This means you have either missed a payment on your established payment plan–or–you have not paid your previous month’s payment and you did not make arrangements for a payment plan. In either event, you should contact SPU immediately and discuss this situation with a Billing Clerk. You may be disconnected without further notice if you do not take action.
DOES SPU NEED TO TURN MY POWER BACK ON IF I GET DISCONNECTED BETWEEN OCTOBER 15 AND APRIL 15?
Your service will be restored provided you contact SPU and setup a mutually-agreed-upon payment plan.
WHAT IF I NEED HELP UNDERSTANDING MY BILLS AND/OR NOTICES?
You may designate a third party to discuss your account information with SPU and have this individual notified in the event of a disconnection notice. This third party will not be responsible for your bill, but will have the right to contact SPU to provide and/or receive information about your account and/or arrange a payment plan on your behalf. The Release of Customer Information can be accessed here.
THIRD PARTY NOTIFICATION REQUEST
If you want a third party authorized to discuss your account with SPU on your behalf and/or to be notified of a potential disconnection, please complete this form:Third Party Notification Request
SPU will make every effort to send a copy of the Disconnect Notice to the party specified. The customer making this request understands SPU assumes no liability should the third party fail to receive and/or act upon the notification.
HOW DO I GET ASSISTANCE?
You may contact one of the following energy assistance providers:
CAP Agency (LIHEAP)
712 Canterbury Road South
Shakopee, MN 55379
Salvation Army – HeatShare
Scott County Human Services – Fuel Assistance
You may contact the following local agency for weatherization and conservation services:
If you have a medical need and/or equipment that requires electricity you must notify SPU. Written certification must be provided by an eligible medical professional and kept on file at SPU. Certification expires six months from the date it was signed. A new, signed form /certificate must be submitted to SPU if the medical need extends beyond six months. If you are unable to pay your bill in full each month, you are required to make payment plan arrangements with SPU. Medical forms/certificates are available from SPU – please call 952.445-1988, press “2” to request a form.