CenterPoint Energy realizes that from time to time customers may need some help paying their energy bills. So they have created several programs to assist. In addition, they may be able to refer families to either state of Minnesota or federal government energy assistance programs. Please call them at 1-800-729-6164 as soon as you begin to have difficulties with paying your bills.
Do not wait until you have received a disconnect notice before you explore any payment options that may be available from CenterPoint Energy. By then it may be too late. The financial assistance programs they offer work best when customers have more time to get back on track.
The Minnesota CenterPoint Energy Gas Affordability Program can help lower income customers pay their heating as well as natural gas bills. This can offer a monthly credit for current and past due natural gas charges, and also offer a fixed monthly bill for your ongoing future and current monthly energy bills. One of the keys of this service is that CenterPoint Energy will credit the customer’s account if the monthly payment that is owed for their current and past due gas charges is greater than 6 percent of a customer's total annual household income.
The resource also offers what is known as balanced billing, in that a customer's annual natural gas bill charges will be averaged out. This will in effect provide a fixed monthly bill amount for current charges. Then if a customer continues to make payments on their monthly bill, then CenterPoint Energy will also give Minnesota customers a credit towards any past due balance on their account, which will help people get caught up earlier. To learn more or apply for the Gas Affordability Program, dial 1-800-245-2377.
HeatShare is offered by the Minnesota Salvation Army in partnership with CenterPoint Energy. The service is funded by customer donations, and all financial assistance is provided by contributions from people across Minnesota, utilities like CenterPoint Energy, and also their employees and customers. Thousands of people across Minnesota voluntarily contribute through one-time donations sent to The Salvation Army or by paying a little extra on their monthly utility bills. All funds that are donated, which are tax deductible, will go directly for providing assistance in the local community. The Salvation Army centers across the state accept applications and administer HeatShare funds.
CenterPoint Payment Assistance and Extension Programs – Call customer service to see what type of plans they can offer. If someone is qualified for assistance, and if they are facing a hardship, CenterPoint will oftentimes provide an additional 30 days to pay a utility bill. Various conditions will need to be met.
Federal government, state of Minnesota, and non-profit energy assistance programs are all offered in certain situations. Eligible low-income households can apply for financial assistance with their heating bills from programs such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), crisis assistance offered by non-profits in counties across Minnesota, and of course the above mentioned HeatShare program. Customer service representatives from CenterPoint will refer customers to the best resource to help them in their time of need.
Active military personnel - Minnesota rules and laws says that a public utility company can’t disconnect the utility service of a customer if anyone in the household is on active military duty. it is wide ranging in that this can include a military members immediate family. However the customer will need to enter into a payment plan with CenterPoint.
Cold Weather Rule is also offered to CenterPoint customers. This provides customers with some protections regarding disconnections during the cold Minnesota winters.
While of course CenterPoint doesn’t want to disconnect power, if it does end up happening they do have some programs and assistance for past due accounts and reconnection.
Call the Customer Service team to create a payment plan for you. While not everyone is guaranteed this option, they will tell you about all available payment assistance plans and any government aid for which you may be eligible to apply for.
If your utility service is disconnected by CenterPoint due to nonpayment, you will be required to pay some fees in order to get your natural gas service turned back on. This will be an additional expense for a Minnesota household.
Some or the entire past due balance will need to be paid. An individual will need to contact customer service to find out if and how much the payment required to satisfy your past due balance on your account will be. Usually the reconnection fee will be in the low $20s, however if digging is required then that may increase to several hundred dollars.
Customer Service can be reached at 1-800-729-6164. They can discuss with you all options and payment programs that are available. This can include the amount required for reconnection, payment plans, review government assistance such as LIHEAP and weatherization, and much more.
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