Minneapolis – Oct. 08, 2018 – CenterPoint Energy is reminding customers about certain rights and their responsibilities as it relates to the Cold Weather Rule (CWR). The CWR protects residential customers who are experiencing difficulty paying their natural gas bill from having their natural gas service disconnected between Oct. 15, 2018 and April 15, 2019.
While the CWR does not prevent customers from being disconnected for nonpayment, it does provide customers with extra protection as defined in the CWR. However, residential customers must contact CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan.
"The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule isn't just for customers who may have trouble paying their natural gas bill during cold winter months," said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of CenterPoint Energy Gas Operations in Minnesota. "It is also there for customers whose service is currently disconnected. If you are a customer in this position, I urge you to call us now to set up a payment plan under the rule. We can work together to create a payment plan so that you get service throughout the heating season."
Customers who anticipate having trouble paying their entire natural gas bill, have received a Notice of Proposed Disconnection, or need gas service reconnected are all urged to call CenterPoint Energy to establish a payment plan. A payment plan will include what is owed and the amount to be billed. The plan will also take into consideration a customer's financial situation and any other special circumstances. The plan must be agreeable to both the customer and CenterPoint Energy. If an agreed-upon payment plan cannot be reached, customers have a right to appeal under the CWR.
Under the CWR, special payment terms are available to customers who:
- Apply for and receive Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding assistance in Minnesota; or
- Meet income guidelines set by the state of Minnesota and provide proof of income.
Other helpful information:
- In addition to calling CenterPoint Energy to discuss and establish a payment plan, company representatives are available to refer customers to social service agencies who may have energy assistance funds;
- Customers interested in helping others pay their natural gas bill can support the Salvation Army's HeatShare program. Visit The Salvation Army's website to make a donation.
Call CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan at 1-612-372-4680 or 1-800-729-6164. For additional information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/ReadyForWinter.
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 54.0 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. Enable Midstream Partners, LP owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com.