If you don't pay your utility bills, your service can be shut-off. This can happen even in the middle of winter. But, between October 15 and April 15 you get extra protection from being shut-off. This fact sheet applies to gas and electric service if they are needed for heat. The rules cover private utility companies. There are similar rules for co-ops and municipal utilities. These rules do not apply to fuel oil, coal, and wood dealers.