CenterPoint Energy is reminding customers about Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule, which protects residential customers experiencing difficulty paying their natural gas bill from having their natural gas service disconnected between Oct. 15, 2019, and April 15, 2020.
While the Cold Weather Rule does not prevent customers from being disconnected for nonpayment, it does provide customers extra protection. However, residential customers must contact CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan.
“We want Minnesotans to stay safe and warm in their homes during the winter months ahead,” said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations in Minnesota. “With the Cold Weather Rule, we encourage our customers who may have trouble paying their natural gas bill to call us now to establish a payment plan and maintain their service throughout the heating season.”
Customers who anticipate having trouble paying their entire natural gas bill, or have received a Notice of Proposed Disconnection or need gas service reconnected are all urged to call CenterPoint Energy to establish a payment plan.
A payment plan will include what is owed and the amount to be billed. The plan will also take into consideration a customer’s financial situation and any other special circumstances. The payment plan must also be agreeable to both the customer and CenterPoint Energy. If an agreed-upon payment plan cannot be reached, customers have a right to appeal under the Cold Weather Rule.
Call CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan at 612-372-4680 or 800-729-6164.
Under the Cold Weather Rule, special payment terms are available to customers who:
- Apply for and receive heating aid through Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program; or
- Meet income guidelines set by the State of Minnesota and provide proof of income.
Other helpful information:
- In addition to calling CenterPoint Energy to discuss and establish a payment plan, company representatives are available to refer customers to social service agencies that may have energy assistance funds.
- Customers can also sign up for CenterPoint Energy’s Average Monthly Billing Plan, which spreads natural gas costs throughout the year, helping customers avoid payment peaks. Customers can sign up online through My Account at CenterPointEnergy.com/Register or by calling CenterPoint Energy.
- Customers receiving heating aid through Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program may be eligible to receive additional funds through the Gas Affordability Program offered by CenterPoint Energy in partnership with the Energy CENTS Coalition.
- The Minnesota Department of Commerce maintains a website that provides information on energy efficiency and heating assistance programs.
- Customers interested in helping others pay their natural gas bill can support the Salvation Army’s HeatShare program. Visit The Salvation Army website to donate.