MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Energy companies are reminding customers in Minnesota about the state’s cold weather rule, which gives them extra protection from being left in the cold during winter months.

The cold weather rule does not stop energy companies from turning off the heat. What it does is require companies to offer a payment plan for customers who are having trouble paying their bills.

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The cold weather rule goes into effect in a week (Oct. 15) and lasts until April 15. If customers can’t agree on a payment plan, they can request an appeal from the energy company.

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On Tuesday, CenterPoint Energy urged customers to contact them to set up a plan. The number to call is 612-372-4680.

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Xcel Energy customers can find resources here.