216B.098 RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER PROTECTIONS.
Subdivision 1. Applicability.
The provisions of this section apply to residential customers
of public utilities, municipal utilities, and cooperative electric associations. Each municipal
utility and cooperative electric association may establish terms and conditions for the plans and
agreements required under subdivisions 2 and 3.
Subd. 2. Budget billing plans.
A utility shall offer a customer a budget billing plan for
payment of charges for service, including adequate notice to customers prior to changing
budget payment amounts. Municipal utilities having 3,000 or fewer customers are exempt
from this requirement. Municipal utilities having more than 3,000 customers shall implement
this requirement before July 1, 2003.
Subd. 3. Payment agreements.
A utility shall offer a payment agreement for the payment
Subd. 4. Undercharges.
(a) A utility shall offer a payment agreement to customers who have
been undercharged if no culpable conduct by the customer or resident of the customer's household
caused the undercharge. The agreement must cover a period equal to the time over which the
undercharge occurred or a different time period that is mutually agreeable to the customer and the
utility, except that the duration of a payment agreement offered by a utility to a customer whose
household income is at or below 50 percent of state median household income must consider the
financial circumstances of the customer's household.
(b) No interest or delinquency fee may be charged as part of an undercharge agreement
under this subdivision.
(c) If a customer inquiry or complaint results in the utility's discovery of the undercharge,
the utility may bill for undercharges incurred after the date of the inquiry or complaint only if
the utility began investigating the inquiry or complaint within a reasonable time after when it
Subd. 5. Medically necessary equipment.
A utility shall reconnect or continue service to a
customer's residence where a medical emergency exists or where medical equipment requiring
electricity necessary to sustain life is in use, provided that the utility receives from a medical
doctor written certification, or initial certification by telephone and written certification within
five business days, that failure to reconnect or continue service will impair or threaten the health
or safety of a resident of the customer's household. The customer must enter into a payment
Subd. 6. Commission authority.
In addition to any other authority, the commission has the
authority to resolve customer complaints against a public utility, as defined in section
, whether or not the complaint involves a violation of this chapter. The commission
may delegate this authority to commission staff as it deems appropriate.
History: 2001 c 212 art 4 s 3; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 54; 2007 c 57 art 2 s 16