Military Personnel Law- Minnesota
The Military Personnel Disconnection Law does not totally forbid winter shutoffs. If you receive a disconnection notice this winter, you must act promptly.
Notice of Residential Customer Rights and Possible Assistance
This notice informs you of your rights and responsibilities under the Military Personnel Disconnection Law. It is designed to help you with high winter electric bills. You must act PROMPTLY. If you choose not to assert your rights or choose not to enter a mutually acceptable payment plan, your service may be disconnected.
An electric cooperative must not disconnect the utility service of a residential customer if a member of the household has been issued military orders into active duty, for deployment, or for a permanent change in duty station during the period of active duty, deployment, or change in duty station during that period when the following conditions are met:
- the household income of the customer is at or below the state median income. Income may be verified on forms provided by the cooperative or by the local energy assistance provider. A customer meets the income requirement if they receive energy assistance or other type of public assistance;
- a customer enters into and makes reasonably timely payments under a payment agreement that considers the financial resources of the household; and
- a customer receives from the cooperative referrals to energy assistance programs, weatherization, conservation, or other programs likely to reduce the customer's energy bills.
The Military Personnel Disconnection Law Provides You With These Options
The RIGHT to request and complete the Military Personnel Disconnection Protection Form. However, we have the right to accept or reject your request based on information supplied or other supporting documentation.
The RESPONSIBILITY, if you choose to complete the Military Personnel Disconnection Form you must return it to us within 15 days of the notice to disconnect. You must contact us immediately to arrange a payment plan.
THE RIGHT to a mutually agreeable payment schedule with us. The schedule will cover your existing arrears plus the estimated usage during the payment schedule period.
The RIGHT not to be involuntarily disconnected on a Friday or on a day before a holiday, or not until the disconnection due date.
The RIGHT not to be disconnected until the utility investigates whether the residential unit is actually occupied when a customer does not respond to a disconnection notice. If the unit is found to be occupied, the utility must immediately inform the occupant of the provisions of this section. If the unit is unoccupied, the utility must give seven days' written notice of the proposed disconnection to the local energy assistance provider before making a disconnection.
The RIGHT to appeal when the utility and residential customer are unable to agree on the establishment, reasonableness, or modification of a payment schedule, or on the reasonable timeliness of the payments under a payment schedule. The utility shall provide the residential customer with a commission-approved written notice of the right to appeal. Any appeal must be made within seven working days after the residential customer's receipt of personally served notice, or within 10 working days notice after the utility has deposited first class mail notice. You will be notified when the Board of Directors will review your appeal and you may be present at the review. No disconnection of service will take place during the appeal process.
What to do if you meet the Military Law conditions
If you meet all the conditions of the Military Personnel Disconnection Law as outlined in the brochure below, can't pay your electric bill and need cold weather protection from utility shutoff, fill out the Military Personnel Disconnect Protection Form and return it to MiEnergy Cooperative immediately along with your income documentation. The following is a list of energy assistance providers serving MiEnergy Cooperative:
What to do if you don't meet the Military Law conditions:
If you do not meet all the conditions of the Military Personnel Disconnection Law as outlined in the brochure to the right, you do not qualify for winter shutoff protection. However, you still can continue to receive electric service if you call us to set up a mutually acceptable payment arrangement. Call Tri-County Electric at 1-800-432-2285 BEFORE the due date.