ENERGY SHUT-OFF PROTECTION
In accordance with Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule, electric service cannot be disconnected for nonpayment between October 1 and April 30 if electricity is the primary heat source and ALL of the following statements apply:
• Your household income is at or below 60% of the state median household income. Income may be verified on forms provided by North Star Electric Cooperative or by the local energy assistance provider.
• You enter into and make reasonably timely payments under a payment agreement that considers the financial resources of the household.
• You receive referrals to energy assistance, weatherization, conservation, or other programs likely to reduce your energy bills from North Star Electric Cooperative.
Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule does not completely stop winter disconnects. Before disconnecting electric service to residential members between October 1 and April 30, North Star Electric Cooperative must provide:
• A 30-day notice of disconnection;
• A statement of members’ rights and responsibilities;
• A list of local energy assistance providers;
• Forms on which to request Cold Weather Rule protection; and
• A statement explaining available payment plans and other options to continue service.
Section 325E.028 of the Minnesota statutes pertaining to utility payment agreements for military service personnel outlines their rights and responsibilities effective August 1, 2007. A municipal utility, cooperative electric association or public utility must not disconnect the utility service of a residential customer if a member of the household has been issued into active duty, for deployment or for a permanent change in duty station during period of active duty, deployment or change in duty station if residential customer meets criteria set forth in this statute.
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which helps low-income renters and homeowners pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs. Household income must be at or below 60% of the state median income ($67,764 for a family of four) to qualify for benefits. Applications must be received or postmarked by May 31, 2022. To learn more about the EAP program or to apply for assistance:
• Visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Assistance website, https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/, for more details and to access the application portal.
• Contact your county EAP service provider for additional information and assistance (see providers & phone numbers listed below).
North Star Electric Cooperative exists because of you, and we are dedicated to the people and communities we serve. If you are having difficulty paying your electric bill and do not qualify for either of these programs, please contact Sue in Littlefork at 218-278-6658 to set up payment plan.
If you need assistance paying your electric utility bill, please contact your local county’s Social Services Department, or community action organization listed below for an application and qualification information.
Lake of the Woods County Social Services – 206 8th Ave. SE, Suite 200, Baudette, MN 56623 – Phone: 218-634-2642
Northwest Community Action Council – P.O. Box 67, Badger, MN 56714-0067 – Phone: 800-568-5329
Koochiching County Community Services – 1000 5th St., International Falls, MN 56649 – Phone: 218-283-7000
Kootasca Community Action, Inc. – 2232 2nd Ave. E., P.O. Box 44, International Falls, MN 56649 – Phone: 218-283-9491 or 800-559-9491
Kootasca Community Action, Inc. – Grand Rapids, MN 55744-3984 – Phone: Toll free 877-687-1163 or Direct 218-999-0800 or Fax 218-999-0220
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency – 702 3rd Ave. S., Virginia, MN 55792 – Phone: 800-662-5711