PSC Cold Weather Rule Assists Natural Gas Consumers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PSC COLD WEATHER RULE ASSISTS
NATURAL GAS CONSUMERS
Lincoln, November 1, 2022 – Today, Tuesday, November 1, marks
the beginning of the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s (PSC)
cold weather rule.
From November 1-through- March 31, customers of Nebraska’s
jurisdictional natural gasutilities who may be facing financial
difficulties are given a little extra time to pay their bills. The cold
weather rule means Black Hill Energy and NorthWestern Energy
may not shut off service without allowing customers an additional
30 days to pay their bill beyond the normal due date. Qualifying
low-income customers may have additional protections.
“All signs point to another year of increased heating costs,” said
Commission Chair Dan Watermeier. “By encouraging natural gas
suppliers and consumers to work together, the cold weather rule
helps to keep the heat on during the coldest time of the year.”
Customers 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 Human
Services and the Salvation Army
The cold weather rule was implemented in 2003 when the PSC
was given regulatory authority over the state’s jurisdictional utilities.
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.
Commissioner Watermeier said, “We would encourage consumers
to be proactive when it comes to winter heating bills. Information
on assistance can be found by calling your natural gas utility or
visiting their website.”
Consumers can take steps to lower costs by setting thermostats a
little lower. Gas utilities recommend 68 degrees or lower, and to
reduce thermostat settings when a home or building is unoccupied.
Check gas appliance 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 ways to conserve energy costs include, improving insulation
in a home by installing storm windows and doors, attach clear
plastic to the inside or outside of windows and screen doors,
caulking around windows and doorframes, and covering window
air conditioners. ###
Deb Collins- Communications & Media Mgr.