Need help? Call 651-300-4701

Call Now   Contact Information

Utility Protections & Bill Assistance


Utility Protections & Bill Assistance

This page is updated regularly. Last updated on September 14, 2023.


If you have questions or run into problems, CUB can help. Contact us: 651-300-4701,, or Facebook message.


Utility bills and disconnection

If you are behind on your bills and are worried about your service being disconnected, CUB recommends:

  • Call your utility and ask to arrange a payment plan that works given your personal financial circumstances. If your financial circumstances change and you are no longer able to follow your payment arrangement, contact your utility again and ask to restructure the arrangement based on your new situation.
  • Check if you are eligible for Energy Assistance or other funding. (See below on this webpage for more information.)
  • If you require electricity service for medically necessary equipment, the utility must keep your service on or reconnect service if it has been shut off. You will need to provide certification from a medical provider. If you have an overdue balance, you can be required to make a payment plan. Contact your utility so they are aware of your medical need, and they will tell you what you must provide.

Other protections

  • Cold Weather Rule. The Cold Weather Rule (CWR) provides special protections for Minnesotans facing disconnection of their heating systems between October 1 and April 30. However, a utility can shut off service unless you take action. Under the CWR, you must call your utility and work out a payment arrangement, then make on-time payments on that plan.
  • Medical device protection (all utilities). If you have medical equipment that is needed to keep you or a household member alive, your household qualifies for medical account protection under state law. If you think you qualify, call your utility and request medical account status. They may give you forms to complete and will require a doctor’s note. If you are overdue on your bills, they will also require you to make (and keep) a payment agreement to pay back your arrears. If you and your utility disagree about whether a medical device qualifies you for this protection, or if you cannot come to an agreement on a reasonable payment plan, consult the Public Utilities Commission Consumer Affairs Office for assistance.
  • Military personnel protection (all utilities). State law forbids utilities from disconnecting the utility service of a residential customer if a member of the household has been issued orders for active duty if the household creates (and keeps) a payment plan with the utility provider.

Resources for paying utility bills

Household Size1 Month MaxAnnual Income
2024 Maximum Energy Assistance Program Income Guidelines

Energy Assistance Program

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) provides financial help to income-qualified households for covering natural gas, electric bills, and heating fuels (including delivered fuels). 

Applications typically open on October 1 and must be postmarked or received by EAP on or before May 31. The maximum income guidelines are based on fifty percent of state median income. Funding is on a first-come, first-served basis. Also, energy assistance enrollment may qualify for weatherization services.

Find your Energy Assistance provider by county or tribal government. You can also find a local Energy Assistance provider by calling 1-800-657-3710.


Electricity and gas affordability programs

Income-qualified households in many areas can receive discounts on their electric or gas service through their utility, and some utilities will even forgive a portion of past-due bills. See the links below to see if your utility has an affordability program. You must qualify for or receive Energy Assistance in order to participate in these programs. Each utility’s program is different, so contact your utility or the organization listed at the appropriate link below to find out more and apply. 

Other resources

Local community organizations often have programs or funds to help community members in times of need, such as when a power disconnection is imminent. The Salvation Army offers a program called HeatShare, which provides cash grants and emergency assistance with utility and heating bills on a year-round basis.

Consider other organizations including houses of worship, county assistance, or community social service agencies for emergency options to keep your power on. Students in college or vocational schools should consider contacting their institution’s student services to see if there are any assistance options available to them. K-12 school social workers may also be able to help families.


Personalized recommendations to reduce your bill

CUB offers individual utility bill consultations to anyone in Minnesota free of charge. During this time, we are providing consultations via telephone or video call.

A phone consultation takes about 30 minutes and saves the average household $150 in the first year. Households with higher energy bills can save much more.

Contact us: or 651-300-4701.


Energy conservation tips

Check out CUB’s energy efficiency tips for advice for this spring and year-round.


Beware of scams

Utilities have reported an uptick in scammers taking advantage of the COVID-19 emergency. A caller may demand immediate payment to prevent your service from being disconnected.

  • Never give out your banking information by email or phone. Utility companies won’t demand payment by phone. 
  • Utilities won’t force you to pay immediately as your only option.
  • Utilities won’t demand payment by gift card, cash reload card, wiring money, or cryptocurrency.
  • If you receive any suspicious calls, hang up and call your utility back to ask if it was them.

Stay in the loop!

Get the latest updates with CUB's monthly newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.