As we near the end of the winter heating season, Black Hills Energy wants to help customers get caught up on their bills. Spokesman Bill McKeon they do not disconnect customers during the cold weather but that will soon end the utility will once again disconnect customers who are delinquent on their bill.
“The “cold weather rule” is a period of time between November 1st and March 31st where a customer is protected from service disconnection by paying one-quarter of the amount due on their bill plus the current bill. After that there are three more payments, plus the current bill to get caught up.”
McKeon says they want to prevent this from happening.
“If you are having financial difficulties and you qualify, to those customers you can still get on the “cold weather rule” but you have to do so by April 1st.”
McKeon urges all customers who are experiencing financial difficulties to contact them so payment arrangements can be made. They could qualify for several programs designed to assist in the payment of heating bills.
“At the end of the day what we want to help customers do is to maintain their natural gas service. That is why we want them to call us sooner versus later if they are experiencing financial difficulties because the options we have to assist them, there are more options available.”
Customers may contact the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to see if they qualify for Low Income Home Energy Assistance. The Salvation Army also conducts a Heat-Share program.