MINNEAPOLIS – April 08, 2015 – Customers with past due natural gas bills should take steps to avoid having their natural gas service disconnected once the Cold Weather Rule (CWR) ends April 15. The Minnesota CWR protects residential customers who are having problems paying their natural gas bill from having their service disconnected Oct. 15 through April 15. While the CWR does not prevent disconnection, it does protect qualified customers during the coldest months as defined in the rule.
“We encourage customers who are having trouble paying their natural gas bill and are at risk at having their service disconnected to contact us right away,” said Joe Vortherms, vice president of Gas Operations for CenterPoint Energy. “We are in touch with many of the resources in our communities and can help customers connect with these agencies. We can also help enroll customers in the various bill payment programs that we offer.”
What does CenterPoint Energy offer qualify customers?
• Payment options and energy assistance program information
• Gas Affordability Program (GAP), which helps customers lower their monthly gas bills and pay past due balances. To qualify for GAP, customers must have an active Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grant for the current heating season. If accepted into the program, customers can receive credits on their monthly natural gas bill and will not have their natural gas service turned off during the program year, provided required payments are made. Customers can call 612-372-4727 (1-800-245-2377) to see if they qualify or visit the company’swebsite. Funds are limited so customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Additionally, customers can use CenterPoint Energy’s online and automated telephone options to make a one-time payment, setup a payment arrangement, report a payment made at an authorized bill payment center and to have service reconnected (web only) at CenterPointEnergy.com/SelfService. To make a payment by phone and avoid service disruption, or to learn more about energy assistance, please call 1-612-372-4680 or 1-800-729-6164.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 55.4 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,400 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com.