Minnesota Law Regarding Utility Payments For Active Military Personnel

Military Personnel

Minnesota law provides that a public utility, such as CenterPoint Energy, must not disconnect the utility service of a residential customer if a member of a household has been issued orders into active military duty, for deployment, or for a permanent change in duty station during active duty, provided that the customer enters into an agreement with the utility to make payments toward his or her utility bill.

Depending on income, two payment options exist under the law. They include:

  •  If the residential customer has household income below the state median (submitted after the date military orders are received), or is receiving energy assistance, the customer agrees to pay 10 percent of the customer's gross monthly income toward the utility bill and remains reasonably current with those payments.
  • If the residential customer has a household income above the state median (submitted after the date military orders are received), the customer agrees to a reasonable payment schedule that considers the financial resources of the household and the customer remains reasonably current with payments.

The law provides for income verification, which may be conducted by the local energy assistance provider or CenterPoint Energy, unless the customer is automatically eligible for protection against disconnection as a recipient of any form of public assistance, including energy assistance, which uses income eligibility standards as stated above.

If you desire to seek the protections provided by this law, you must contact CenterPoint Energy Customer Service at 612-372-4680 or 800-729-6164 to discuss verification of military status, household income and an appropriate payment schedule, or download an application form to complete.

The law provides for an appeal process if the utility and the customer are unable to agree on the establishment, reasonableness or modification of any payment schedule, or on the reasonable timeliness of payments made. If the customer appeals, the law provides that his or her service will not be disconnected during the appeal process.