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The Commission is Here to Help

electricityIf any Minnesotan needs information or help with a utility or telecommunications issue under the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s (Commission) authority, please contact the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Office (CAO) for assistance at consumer.puc@state.mn.us; or 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-378; or online at https://mn.gov/puc/consumers/

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Can Help with Your Bills

Struggling to pay your utility bills? We can help. The Commission has required rate regulated electric and natural gas utilities to suspend disconnections, suspend negative credit reporting, and waive penalties and fees for reconnections, interest, and late payments. This protection continues throughout the Governor’s peacetime emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission has also required this disconnection protection to continue for at least 60 days after the end of the peacetime state of emergency.

Remember, you are still getting still charged for the electricity and natural gas you use even though rate regulated utilities have temporarily suspended disconnections. If you are having trouble paying your bills, first reach out to your utility provider. Your utility can help you set up payment arrangements to pay your bill now and pay off old bills. After reaching out to your utility provider, if you need more information, help with your utility service provider, or assistance setting up a payment plan, contact the Commission’s CAO at consumer.puc@state.mn.us; or 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782.

*If your power comes from a Co-op or Municipality, their policy might be different. Please check their website.

More Help is on the Way

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) is offering the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program. This program will distribute up to $100 million to households to help pay overdue rent, mortgage, and utility bills. Minnesota Housing anticipates people will be able to apply for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program beginning in early August. Check the MHFA website regularly. Once funding is available, information for applying will be posted on this website.

Additionally, the Department of Commerce administers the Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that provides help with paying utility bills for those who meet certain income requirements. More information is available at the Commerce Department’s Energy Assistance Program webpage: http://www.mn.gov/commerce/eap.jsp . While the deadline to apply for the program for this year has passed, next year more LIHEAP funding will be available in the Fall. LIHEAP helps pay utility bills and fix broken heating systems.

More COVID-19 Related Resources

Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Executive Orders by the Governor of Minnesota can be found at https://mn.gov/governor/news/executiveorders.jsp

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC) COVID-19 information which, includes summaries of what other states are doing can be found at https://www.naruc.org/compilation-of-covid-19-news-resources/

Click Here to be re-directed to our For Consumers page. Here, we have links to many more resources to help with things like bill payment, telephone service, and internet.

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