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November Kicks Off Nebraska's Natural Gas Cold Weather Rule

November Kicks Off Nebraska's Natural Gas Cold Weather Rule


November Kicks Off Nebraska's Natural Gas Cold Weather Rule

Lincoln, October 26, 2020 –Beginning Sunday, November 1, the
Nebraska Public Service Commission’s (PSC) cold weather rule will
take effect. The cold weather rule provides financially strapped
customers of Nebraska’s jurisdictional natural gas utilities a little
extra time to pay their bills.

From November 1- through- March 31, Black Hills Energy, (including
Black Hills Legacy and Black Hills Gas Distribution), and
NorthWestern Energy may not shut off service to customers without
allowing an additional 30 days to pay beyond the normal bill due

“As we to head into our winter months it is important for natural gas
suppliers’ and customers to work together to help ensure service is
uninterrupted,” said Commission chair Mary Ridder. "The cold
weather rule is designed to facilitate that relationship by helping to
provide assistance for consumers at a time when natural gas bills
are often the highest.”

Customers finding it difficult to pay natural gas bills should contact
the company to arrange payment. Customers can also contact local
public assistance agencies for help with natural gas bills.

The PSC implemented the cold weather rule when it was given
regulatory authority over the state’s jurisdictional utilities in 2003.
Nebraska communities served by municipally owned natural gas
utilities are not subject to regulation by the PSC and are not
required to comply with the cold weather rule.

Consumers are reminded that minimizing the impact of higher
natural gas prices during the winter is also important. Consumers
can take steps to help lower costs by setting the thermostat a little
lower. Gas utilities recommend 68 degrees or lower, and to reduce
thermostat setting when a home or building  is unoccupied. Check
gas appliances and space-heating equipment for efficient operation.
Obtain a home energy audit to identify ways to conserve energy and
participate in a gas company’s yearly budget plan to spread costs
throughout the year.

Other ideas to conserve energy costs include, improving insulation
in a home by installing storm windows and doors, attaching clear
plastic to the inside or outside of windows and screen doors,
caulking around windows and doorframes,and covering window air
conditioners. ###

Deb Collins- Media & Communications Mgr.
(402) 471-0226

Cold weather Rule Graphic

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