Exhibit I - Disconnection Policy

Disconnection Policy

Subdivision 1

(Name of utility) will not disconnect 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 when the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer has verified an inability to pay on forms provided by the utility or is receiving 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;
  2. The customer has entered into a payment schedule and is reasonably current with payments under the schedule.  The payment schedule will reflect consideration of the financial resources of the household.

 (Name of utility) will provide customers seeking Cold Weather Rule protection with referrals to energy assistance programs, weatherization and conservation information and other programs likely to reduce the customer’s energy bills.  (Utility) will also notify all residential customers of the provisions above annually between August 15 and October 15..

Subdivision 2

Before disconnecting service to a residential customer during the period between October 15 and April 15, (name of utility) will provide all of the following to a customer:

  1. A notice of the proposed disconnection
  2. A statement explaining the customer’s rights and responsibilities
  3. A list of local energy assistance providers
  4. A form on which to declare the inability to pay
  5. A statement explaining available time payment plans and other opportunities to secure continued utility service

Subdivision 3

If a residential customer must be involuntarily disconnected between October 15 and April 15 for failure to comply with the provisions of state law, rule and/or utility policy, the disconnection must not occur:

  1. on a Friday, unless that day the customer declines to enter into a payment agreement offered by (name of utility) in person or via personal contact by telephone,
  2. on a weekend, holiday, or day before a holiday,
  3. when utility offices are closed,
  4. after the close of business, unless a field representative of the utility who is authorized to enter into a payment agreement, accept payment, and continue service, offers a payment agreement to the customer, or
  5. until at least 20 days after the disconnection notice has been mailed to the customer or 15 days after the notice has been personally delivered to the customer.

Subdivision 4

If a customer does not respond to a disconnection notice, the customer must not be disconnected until the utility investigates whether the residential unit is actually occupied.  If the unit is found to be occupied, the utility must immediately inform the occupant of the provisions of the Cold Weather Rule.  If the unit is unoccupied, the utility must give seven days written notice of the proposed disconnection to the local energy assistance provider before making a disconnection.

If a customer appeals a notice of involuntarily disconnection prior to disconnection, as provided by (name of utility)’s established appeal procedure, the utility must not disconnect until the appeal is resolved.

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