|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 2799 - Residential Heating Customers Arrears Management Protection Provisions|
|Author:||Senator Tarryl Clark|
|Prepared by:||Matthew S. Grosser, Senate Research (651/296-1890)|
|Date:||March 17, 2006|
The bill establishes arrears management programs for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Program (LIHEAP) and non-LIHEAP customers of a public utility that heat their residences with
natural gas or electricity. The arrears management program for LIHEAP customers requires a
payment plan that has been mutually assented to by the customer and the utility, and is based upon
the amount of the arrears and ability to pay considering household income. The bill also requires
the utility to match the LIHEAP customer's arrears payment up to a total contribution of $500 or
until the arrears are retired. The bill proposes an arrears management program for non-LIHEAP
customers that requires the customer to submit a down payment of 20 percent of the past-due balance
and requires a payment schedule that provides for payment of the arrears within four to six months.
The bill requires that customers in arrears be enrolled in one of the management programs between
April 16 and June 1, and establishes conditions under which a customer may again be disconnected
from service. The bill requires utilities to notify customers of the availability of the programs, and
to report program details annually to the Public Utilities Commission. The bill also permits utilities
to recover actual and administrative costs of the programs from rate payers.
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