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Cold weather rule takes effect Oct. 15

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule takes effect Sunday, Oct. 15, and Xcel Energy wants to ensure that residential customers who need assistance paying their energy bills this winter can get help they need.

Under the rule, income-eligible customers are protected from service disconnection Oct. 15 through April 15, if the disconnection would affect the customer's primary heating source.

"We understand that customers can sometimes face challenges paying their electric and natural gas bills and we want to provide the resources they need to make payment arrangements," said Pat Boland, customer policy and assistance manager. "We have several programs and work with many agencies that can provide assistance or identify other resources for customers in need."

Eligible customers must commit to a monthly payment not to exceed 10 percent of household income, and they must immediately contact the utility and set up a payment plan if they receive a disconnection notice.

Xcel Energy will also provide contact information for local community energy assistance programs.

Customers were recently sent information about the cold weather rule with their energy bills. For more information, customers can call Xcel Energy's 24-hour residential customer service line at 1-800-895-4999.

Additionally, customers can visit the Xcel Energy website for more information about the cold weather rule and energy assistance options.

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