As a consumer advocate, CUB guides residential and small business consumers on how to address a variety of energy-related questions and concerns. In this blog, we’ll share some of the topics that people look to us for help. We encourage you to reach out to us about these topics and others. If we can’t help, we’ll work to find someone who can.
Bill questions. This is one of our specialties. We can help you decipher your bill and figure out if things are being billed correctly or if something is off. Our free energy consultations are popular and can be done in person at an upcoming bill clinic or over the phone. A 20-minute chat saves the average household $150 a year! Click here to learn more.
Reducing energy usage and bills. This is another specialty. Almost everyone has simple, cost-effective opportunities to cut their energy waste. We can help you identify opportunities to reduce your usage and bills based on the unique characteristics of your home and household.
Utility programs and rebates. There are various programs and rebates that can help you reduce your energy usage and/or save money – often without you doing anything differently. These may be energy efficiency programs, rebates on appliances and mechanical systems, different rate structures, or other offerings that benefit consumers.
Service complaints. If you are having trouble with service reliability, we can help you figure out who to call. Calling your utility is the first step, but if you continue to have problems, we can talk through other potential options.
Trouble paying bills. If you or someone you know is struggling to keep up with your energy bills, CUB can go over some options for assistance. CUB doesn’t provide funding toward bills, but we can connect you with organizations that provide assistance.
And more! Feel free to call us with any question you might have – or even if you’d just like an expert to look over your energy usage and see if we have any suggestions.
Even though we are an independent consumer advocate, we certainly don’t work alone. We work with several organizations, governmental agencies, and utilities to share information with consumers. We routinely connect consumers to other organizations with expertise or special services or government agencies with authority on particular topics.
For example, most complaints such as service reliability or getting power shut off should be made to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC is a governmental agency that regulates and can assist customers of Dakota Electric and the five investor-owned utilities in Minnesota: CenterPoint Energy, Minnesota Energy Resources, Minnesota Power, Ottertail Power, and Xcel Energy. Cooperative and municipal energy customers have other methods of submitting formal complaints.
CUB is happy to be a resource and advocate for Minnesota residential and small business consumers, and there’s never any charge for our services. Don’t hesitate to contact us with energy related questions or concerns — we’re here to help!