Cold Weather Rule
The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule protects residential utility customers from shut off during the cold winter months. This Rule is effective from October 15 to April 15. Under this rule, your electric service will not be disconnected due to non-payment provided you meet ALL of the following requirements:
- The disconnection would affect your primary heat source.
- You qualify for Cold Weather Rule protection and fill out the necessary paperwork. You are eligible if the combined income from all members in the household is:
- At or below 50% of the state median income, you are not required to pay more than 10% of your household income. Click here to see the state median income.
- You enter into a mutually agreed upon payment schedule with ERMU staff and follow through with the payments.
Below is ERMU's appeal process if there is not an agreement on a payment schedule. Please call our office at 763.441.2020 with any further questions.
- A customer may appeal a proposed disconnection by submitting a written notice of appeal prior to the proposed disconnection date.
- If a written notice of appeal is received by ERMU prior to the disconnection of service, ERMU will not disconnect the service until the appeal is resolved.
- Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, ERMU shall schedule a hearing before ERMU Cold Weather Rule Appeals Board ("Appeals Board").
- The hearing shall be held during normal business hours.
- The hearing shall be held no sooner than two weeks after receipt of the written notice of appeal from the customer.
- The customer shall be notified of the date, time and place of the hearing at least ten calendar days before the hearing.
- Prior to the hearing, the customer shall submit a statement which shall contain the following information:
- Name, address and phone number of customer;
- Utility account number;
- Date of bill;
- Date of proposed disconnection;
- Amount of bill;
- If the amount of bill is in dispute, reasons for the customer's belief that the bill is in error and the customer's proposed adjustment; and
- If the customer is unable to pay part of all of the bill, the customer's reason for inability to pay, verification of income and proposed payment arrangements.
- At the hearing before the Appeals Board, the customer may present any testimony and evidence relevant to the appeal. Members of the Appeals Board may question the customer or other persons about any matter relevant to the appeal.
- The Appeals Board shall either decide the appeal prior to the conclusion of the hearing or within five days thereafter.
- If a decision is not made at the hearing, the decisions shall be in writing and mailed or delivered to the customer. If the decision is to uphold the appeal subject to conditions, the conditions shall be reduced to writing and delivered to the customer along with the deadline for compliance with the conditions. The order shall set a date for disconnection of utility services if the conditions are not complied with.
- If the decision is to deny the appeal, the Appeals Board shall set a date for disconnection of services.
- If an appeal is denied, or upheld subject to conditions, neither the denail nor the conditions are subject to further appeal, and service shall be disconnected as provided in the decision of the Appeals Board unless payment is made or the conditions approved by the Appeals Board are complied with. No additional appeals will be accepted or granted until the decision of the Appeals Board has been complied with.
- The Appeals Board shall consist of the following three members:
- The ERMU General Manager
- The ERMU Finance Director
- The ERMU Credit and Collections Specialist