Pawlenty reminds Minnesotans they shouldn't freeze to death in their homes

The state's "Cold Weather Rule" starts today and runs until the end of the heating season, April 15. Gov. Tim Pawlenty sent out a friendly notice reminding state residents they shouldn't freeze death. That's if they have a roof over their head of course.

More details on the program after the jump.

From Pawlenty's office:

The Cold Weather Rule protects consumers from having their utility service shut off during the winter months. This and other programs are available to Minnesotans who need their heat reconnected or may have trouble paying their heating bills this winter.

The Cold Weather Rule, administered by the Public Utilities Commission, requires local utility companies to offer home heating shut off protection. Under the rule, customers must contact the utility company that provides their heat to establish regular payment plans in exchange for keeping the heat on until April 15, 2009. There are also special payment plans for households who need to reconnect their heat at the beginning of the heating season.

While all households can apply, households with income less than 50 percent of the state median income ($40,738 for a family of four) have the greatest number of payment options. Customers receiving energy assistance do not have to show proof of income since they already meet the income qualifications; they simply need to contact the utility to sign up for a payment plan.

So you can stay toasty, but be prepared to pay for it. Eventually.

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