Cold Weather Protections
Effective: November 1 to the following April 15
Heat Cannot Be Turned Off
If you pay the utility directly for your heat, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) cannot turn off your service until it has tried to determine if a serious problem with health or safety would result because of the service disconnection. The BPU will try to contact you by telephone or in person at least 72 hours before service turn-off is scheduled. The BPU will try to contact you during business hours, and again at the time of your disconnection. If the utility finds that service disconnection might cause serious harm to your health or safety, it must ask the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to investigate and the utility must continue service for at least 15 business days.
For the cold weather protections, the BPU considers "heating" to include utility services needed to provide heat. It may include direct electric space heating, electric service needed to operate a furnace, or, if you notify the BPU in writing, a safe electrical heating device.
Written Notice Is Required Before Disconnection
If you pay for your heat in your rent, the BPU cannot disconnect heat-related electric service to your dwelling without giving a written 1-day notice to each tenant to determine whether any tenant has a medical or other problem that could be worsened by a heat disconnection. If the BPU finds a tenant with such a problem, it must refer him or her to the DHHS and continue to provide utility service until the hardship is removed.