St. Paul (KMHL) – On Thursday, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation establishing a 2021 Polar Vortex Loan Account for municipal utilities that purchased natural gas in February during the extreme cold weather that occurred. The bill provides $15 million from the state general fund for zero interest loans for utility providers.

“When we think energy, I’m sure hardly any Minnesotans believes that a cold front down in Texas could have a disastrous impact on Minnesota, said Luverne Republican Senator Bill Weber. “Unfortunately, as a result of the vortex and consequential gas market fluctuations, we’re seeing just that. Today’s bill provides much -needed relief for our utilities and ensures that they have the flexibility to protect consumers from bills that are as much as ten times their usual charge.”

The Polar Vortex Loan Account would grant municipal utilities the flexibility to pay their bills now, while spreading consumers costs out over the five-year repayment term. This ensures that consumers do not see skyrocketing prices on their next bill.