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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 3081

1st Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to utilities; setting filing deadline for certain reports; regulating
customer payment arrangements during cold weather period; regulating payment
agreements for certain utility services; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006,
section 216B.098, subdivision 3; Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, sections
216B.091; 216B.096, subdivisions 5, 10.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 216B.091, is amended to read:


216B.091 MONTHLY REPORTS.

(a) Each public utility must report the following data on residential customers to the
commission monthly, in a format determined by the commission:

(1) number of customers;

(2) number and total amount of accounts past due;

(3) average customer past due amount;

(4) total revenue received from the low-income home energy assistance program and
other sources contributing to the bills of low-income persons;

(5) average monthly bill;

(6) total sales revenue;

(7) total write-offs due to uncollectible bills;

(8) number of disconnection notices mailed;

(9) number of accounts disconnected for nonpayment;

(10) number of accounts reconnected to service; and

(11) number of accounts that remain disconnected, grouped by the duration of
disconnection, as follows:

(i) 1-30 days;

(ii) 31-60 days; and

(iii) more than 60 days.

(b) Monthly reports for October through April must also include the following data:

(1) number of cold weather protection requests;

(2) number of payment arrangement requests received and granted;

(3) number of right to appeal notices mailed to customers;

(4) number of reconnect request appeals withdrawn;

(5) number of occupied heat-affected accounts disconnected for 24 hours or more
for electric and natural gas service separately;

(6) number of occupied non-heat-affected accounts disconnected for 24 hours or
more for electric and gas service separately;

(7) number of customers granted cold weather rule protection;

(8) number of customers disconnected who did not request cold weather rule
protection; and

(9) number of customers disconnected who requested cold weather rule protection.

(c) The data reported under paragraphs (a) and (b) is presumed to be accurate upon
submission and must be made available through the commission's electronic filing system.new text begin
A monthly report must be filed with the commission no later than 45 days after the last
day of the month for which data is reported.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 216B.096, subdivision 5, is
amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Cold weather rule.

(a) During the cold weather period, a utility may not
disconnect and must reconnect utility heating service of a customer whose household
income is at or below 50 percent of the state median income if the customer enters into
and makes reasonably timely payments under a mutually acceptable payment agreement
with the utility that is based on the financial resources and circumstances of the household;
provided that, a utility may not require a customer to pay more than ten percent of the
household income toward current and past utility bills for utility heating service.

(b) A utility may accept more than ten percent of the household income as the
payment arrangement amount if agreed to by the customer.

(c) The customer or a designated third party may request a modification of the terms
of a payment agreement previously entered into if the customer's financial circumstances
have changed or the customer is unable to make reasonably timely payments.

(d) The payment agreement terminates at the expiration of the cold weather period
unless a longer period is mutually agreed to by the customer and the utility.

new text begin (e) Each utility shall use reasonable efforts to restore service within 24 hours of an
accepted payment agreement, taking into consideration customer availability, employee
availability, and construction-related activity.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective September 1, 2008.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 216B.096, subdivision 10,
is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Customers above 50 percent of state median income.

During the
cold weather period, a customer whose household income is above 50 percent of state
median income:

(1) has the right to a payment agreement that takes into consideration new text beginthe customer's
financial circumstances and
new text endany new text beginother new text endextenuating circumstances of the household; and

(2) may not be disconnected and must be reconnected if the customer makes timely
payments under a payment agreement accepted by a utility.

Subdivision 7, paragraph (b), does not apply to customers whose household income is
above 50 percent of state median income.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective September 1, 2008.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 216B.098, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Payment agreements.

A utility shall offer a payment agreement for
the payment of arrears.new text begin Payment agreements must consider a customer's financial
circumstances and any extenuating circumstances of the household. No additional service
deposit may be charged as a consideration to continue service to a customer who has
entered and is reasonably on time under an accepted payment agreement.
new text end