PSC Cold Weather Rule Aids Natural Gas Consumers
For Immediate Release
PSC COLD WEATHER RULE AIDS
NATURAL GAS CONSUMERS
Lincoln, October 27, 2021 – Monday, November 1, marks the start of
the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s (PSC) cold weather rule.
The cold weather rule provides customers of Nebraska’s
jurisdictional natural gas utilities who may be facing difficulties a
little extra time to pay their bills. From November 1- through-March
31, Black Hills Energy and NorthWestern Energy may not shut off
service to customers without allowing an additional 30 days to pay
beyond the normal bill due date.
“The cold weather rule is especially important this year as winter
heating costs are forecasted to rise,” said Commission chair Dan
Watermeier. “It provides an opportunity for natural gas suppliers
and their customers to work together to ensure service is
uninterrupted during the winter months.”
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 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.