A number of solutions are available for Xcel Energy customers. The company will work with customers across Minnesota to address bill paying issues. Representatives from the utility company can offer individuals information on and access to government assistance such as LIHEAP or weatherization. In addition to that, they can also offer low to moderate income Minnesota families help from financial assistance that is available directly from Xcel Energy.
Financial help with heating bills can be provided by the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Aid is targeted at people who pay a disproportionate amount of their household income towards their monthly Xcel Energy bills. Priority is also given to households with the highest energy costs as well as lowest incomes, and these applicants will receive the greatest financial benefit from the program.
Assistance is paid by federal government. The funds are issued through U.S. Department of Human Services, and this is really Minnesota’s version of the LIHEAP program. The exact size of the cash grant paid to individuals in Minnesota is based on household size, income, fuel type and the household’s energy usage.
HeatShare is run by both the Salvation Army and Xcel Energy, and it is offered for all qualified Minnesota families. It runs during the wintertime, and focuses on helping lower income people by providing funds for paying heating bills and any addressing any heating-related repairs to systems and furnaces.
Xcel Energy and donations from customers fund the HeatShare program. All donations are tax deductible. It provides people a great way to contribute money to help the less fortunate across the state. Dial 1-800-725-2769.
Discounts on your utility bill can be obtained from the Energy CENTS Coalition. The two resources are known as the Gas Affordability Program as well as PowerOn. A non-profit agency known as the Energy CENTS Coalition can give lower income households across Minnesota the ability to receive a monthly discount on both their electric and gas bills. It does come with restrictions though.
In order to qualify for this Energy CENTS Coalition, families need to have first applied for the Energy Assistance Program (see above). To learn more or to apply for Energy Bill Assistance and these discounts, please dial 1-800-657-3710 to locate the local non-profit community agency serving your county. Only after then should you call the Energy CENTS coalition.
Xcel Energy Low Income Discount – Disabled and senior customers are offered a discount, and the rates are offered for people over 62 years old or who are disabled. While the terms will vary, in some cases up to a 50% discount is offered on your Xcel Energy bills, and at most they can use 400 kwhs per billing period.
The Minnesota Xcel Energy Reach Out for Warmth (Fuel Fund) can help more moderate income Minnesota families. The fact is that some family’s income may be too high to qualify for federal government assistance, and this emergency fuel fund can help those whose income is too high for federal aid or who can’t get help from other non-profit agencies. Cash assistance is offered to assists households who are over-income limits for state of Minnesota Energy Assistance or LIHEAP.
Reduce the cost of your Xcel home energy bills from the Weatherization Assistance Program. This resource provides free energy saving and conservation techniques to reduce the cost of home energy and heating bills by an estimated twenty percent per year. Best of all, weatherization is offered at no cost to income qualified Minnesota families. Keep in mind that all renters and homeowners who are income eligible for EAP are also by default income eligible for weatherization.
However, funding is limited, as the monies come from the U.S. Department of Energy. Therefore priority is given to households with at least one disabled member, or one elderly occupant, or families with young children. Call 1-800-657-3710 to learn about this resource for Xcel Energy customers.
Xcel Energy fully supports the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule. This will ensure that customers are protected from having their heat or power turned off from Oct. 15 through April 15 of each year. The protection is in place only provided the possible disconnection would affect the customer’s primary heating source, whether it is gas, oil, or electric.
There are a number of conditions that need to be met as well. For example, qualified customers must commit to a monthly payment of their unpaid bills that will not exceed 10% of their household income. To avoid disconnection of your service, customers who receive a notice of proposed disconnection need to also immediately contact Xcel Energy and also commit to a payment plan on their bills. Xcel Energy will then proceed to refer customers to local non-profit organizations across Minnesota, including your local community energy assistance program.
The Minnesota State Legislature created the Reach Out for Warmth (ROFW) assistance program. Xcel Energy customers can apply for help from this service from over 40 non-profit agencies across the state. The low income and people in need of help can get emergency energy bill assistance, furnace repair or replacement, and other aid. Call 1-800-657-3710.
For more information about these or other Xcel Energy assistance programs, customers can dial 1-800-895-4999 to speak to a representative.
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