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November Triggers PSC Cold Weather Rule

November Triggers PSC Cold Weather Rule



Lincoln, October 30, 2023- The month of November means the start
of the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s (PSC) cold weather
rule. 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, and
NorthWestern Energy cannot shut off service to customers without
allowing an additional 30 days to pay beyond the normal bill due date.

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.

“We are all hoping to catch a break with natural gas prices this fall
and winter seasons,” said Commission Chair Dan Watermeier.  “If
not, the cold weather rule lets jurisdictional natural gas suppliers,
and their customers work together to help ensure service is
uninterrupted during a time when natural gas usage is typically

Customer finding it difficult to pay natural gas bills should contact
the company to arrange payment. Local public assistance agencies
can also be contacted for help with natural gas bills including the
Nebraska Department of Health and Humans Service and the
Salvation Army.

Taking steps to minimize the impact of higher natural gas prices
during the winter months is also important. Consumers can take
steps to help lower costs by setting their thermostat a little lower.
Gas utilities recommend 68 degrees or lower, and to reduce
thermostat settings 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
cost through the year. ###

Deb Collins- Communications & Media Mgr.
(402) 471-0226 /deb.collins@nebraska.gov

cold weather rule graphic

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