MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans who have trouble paying their energy bills will be protected from the cold again soon.
Xcel Energy announced that the Cold Weather Rule will go into place starting Oct. 15. The rule helps protect those who can’t afford their bill from getting their service disconnected during the winter months.
Eligible customers need to take a few steps to ensure that protection. First, they need to show that disconnection would affect their primary heating source. They also need to commit to a monthly payment that won’t go above 10 percent of their household income. And if they get a notice of proposed disconnection, they must immediately contact the utility company and commit to a payment plan.
The Cold Weather Rule ensures customers have heat from Oct. 15 through April 15.
Xcel Energy said it will refer customers to local community energy assistance programs if needed. There are energy assistance funds for this heating season, but Xcel said there are signs the level of funding will be less than in previous years. Customers are encouraged to apply early because of that.
For more information on the Cold Weather Rule, customers can call Xcel Energy’s 24-hour residential customer service line at 1-800-895-4999.