Save Money and Energy
The actions that are best for the planet are also best for our pocketbooks! Improving the efficiency of your home is often the most cost-effective way to save money on energy.
Do It Yourself:
Check out CUB's energy efficiency tips and our energy conservation rebate and discount finder below. All major gas and electric utilities in Minnesota are required by law to offer programs to help their customers save energy and money – such as free low-flow showerheads or rebates on air sealing, insulation, and efficient appliances.
Select your utility here to find out what rebates and deals are available to you:
Home Energy Audit:
For an in-depth review of energy efficiency measures needed in your home, consider a home energy audit. Customers of many utilities can get audits at a deep discount or even free.
FREE Virtual Home Energy Visits:
The Home Energy Squad (HES), provided by CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy, is here to help with a new free service: the Virtual HES Visit. HES will take you on a home walk-through via video chat, and together they'll help find ways to reduce your energy bills while keeping indoor air clean and healthy.
Participating in a Virtual HES Visit will not disqualify you from receiving a future in-person visit from our team. After the consultation, HES may recommend an in-person energy audit when the time is right. And they may find that your home could benefit from some free, energy-saving products that can be installed in the future too.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP):
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides Energy Assistance-qualified households the funds to make their home more energy efficiency and lower their utility bills long term.
Home Energy Guides:
Check out these guides to learn how to save money and energy in your home:
For single-family homeowners
For manufactured homeowners
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP or LIHEAP) provides financial help to income-qualified households for electricity and heating fuels (including delivered fuels).
For the 2021-2022 program year, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is expanding the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program to pay past-due water and sewer bills for those who qualify for energy assistance. The application for the Energy Assistance Program is the same one to determine if a household will qualify for water bill assistance. This is available to renters and homeowners.
For the 2021-2022 program year, the income threshold is 60% of the state median income. Prior to 2021, the guidelines were 50% of state median income, so if you were previously slightly above the income threshold, you may now qualify. If you think you might be eligible, contact your local Energy Assistance provider. All applications must be postmarked or received by EAP on or before May 31, 2022. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Find out details and how to apply from the State of Minnesota.
Use our energy assistance finder to help find your service provider by county or tribal government.
Electricity and gas affordability programs
Income-qualified households in many areas can receive discounts on their electric or gas service through their utility. Each utility’s program is different, so contact your utility to find out if you qualify, what the program offers, and how to apply.
Salvation Army Heat Share Program:
HeatShare is a Salvation Army Program that provides emergency utility assistance for people. Funds are typically used to pay for natural gas, oil, propane, and electricity. Eligibility for HeatShare is then determined by only two factors — need and available HeatShare funding. To get help, call their hotline at 1-800-842-7279.
Medical affordability & protection programs:
If you have special medical needs, you may qualify for special protections from shutoff, reduced energy rates, and/or forgiveness of a portion of your past-due bills. See more details at your utility's link below, and contact your utility to apply. Not all utilities have information about these protections on their websites, so don't hesitate to contact your utility even if you don't see them on the list below.
Cold Weather Rule:
If you are behind on your electric or natural gas bill, your service will not be shut off as long as you make a payment plan with your utility and make timely payments on that plan. It is a common misconception that your utilities cannot be shut off during the winter months -- you must contact your utility and work out a payment plan. The utility is required by law to arrange a plan that considers your household's financial circumstances and any extenuating circumstances that you face. If you have trouble arranging an acceptable payment plan with your utility, contact the Public Utilities Commission Consumer Affairs Office for assistance at 800-657-3782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tax-free heating fuel:
The primary fuel that you use to heat your home is exempt from taxes from November through April under Minnesota law. You can see whether taxes are being charged by looking at your monthly bill, and you may need to notify your utility if they are not aware that your home is primarily heated by electricity.
Most utilities provide budget billing options. This allows you to pay a generally consistent, average bill each month rather than your bills fluctuating greatly from season to season. This won’t save you money, but it can help your household better manage energy budgets. Contact your utility about enrolling in this program. You typically need to have been a customer for a year before you are eligible.
Feel free to contact CUB with any questions — or even if you’d just like us to look over your energy bills for savings opportunities. There’s never a charge for our services. You can reach us here, or call us at 651-300-4701.