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Emma Struss

Sustainability Coordinator
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Home energy

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Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule

Keep the Heat On: Shutoff Protection 

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule (CWR) is a state law that protects residential utility customers from having electric or natural gas service shut off between October 1 and April 30. You are eligible for CWR protection even if you rent – the electricity or gas must be the primary heat source and the utility account must be in your name.

You and your utility must agree to a payment plan that is reasonable for your household. You can set up a CWR payment plan any time during the CWR season.

All natural gas and electric utilities must offer CWR protection. 

The natural gas utility in Bloomington is CenterPoint Energy. The electricity utility is Xcel Energy

English 
Espanol
Soomaali
Flyer with thermometer that says "Keep the Heat On"
Flyer with thermometer that says "Keep the Heat On" in Spanish
Flyer with thermometer that says "Keep the Heat On" in Somali

Bill Payment Assistance

Blue flyer from Minnesota Department of Commerce with image of energy bill and text that says: "Need help with your utility bills? Up to $1,600 to pay your energy bills."

Energy Assistance Program

Click on the link to learn more 

The Energy Assistance Program helps pay for home heating and water costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households.

  • The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is a federally funded program

  • Grants are paid directly to your energy provider, or utility company, for your bill.

  • Grants are available to renters and homeowners.

  • Grants are based on energy cost, household size, and income.

  • Grants may be given to households with income at or below 60 percent of the state media income.

Flyer on white paper with small text, and an image of two people sitting by a computer with coffee and a calculator

Xcel Energy Payment Program

Click on the link to learn more 

If the balance on your Xcel Energy electricity bill is between $1,000 and $4,000, you may be eligible to sign up. The new program forgives up to 75% of the overdue amount on eligible customers’ Xcel Energy electricity bills. 

Flyer with small text, an Xcel Energy logo in the upper righthand corner, and two images of smiling people

Xcel Energy Medical Affordability Program

Click on the link to learn more 

The Medical Affordability Program is a special energy assistance program available from Xcel Energy and our partner, the Energy CENTS Coalition, a community-based organization that promotes more affordable utility service for low- and fixed-income Minnesotans with special medical needs.

Based on household income, the customer will be required to pay a set amount each month for electricity. Each time a payment is made, Xcel Energy will retire a portion of the past due amount on the bill.

Generic image of a natural gas bill

CenterPoint Energy Payment Arrangements

Click on the link to learn more 

CenterPoint Energy understands COVID-19 has created hardships for many customers, and they want to work with you to help avoid interruption of service.

Energy meter on a brick building

Citizens Utility Board- Avoiding Utility Disconnection

Click on the link to learn more 

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Minnesota is a nonprofit advocate for Minnesota’s utility consumers. Minnesota has consumer protections to help you keep your service on and catch up on your overdue bills.

 

Energy Efficiency Programs for 1-4 Unit Homes
Masked adult wearing a blue shirt with a Home Energy Squad logo installing a smart thermostat on a wall in a sunny living room.

Home Energy Squad 

Energy Advisor Service

Click on the links to learn more 

Instant Energy Savings

Home Energy Squad staff install materials at the visit so you save energy and money right away.

Equipment Inspection

They inspect your insulation, heating and cooling systems, and water heater.

Support on Next Steps

Energy Advisors connect you to vetted contractors, specialized financing, and rebates.


A kneeling person wearing red gloves rolls out yellow insulation

Weatherization Assistance Program

Click on the link to learn more 

For those who qualify, energy conservation specialists will identify and implement the most cost-effective, energy-saving measures for your home.

These may include: 

  • Installing insulation
  • Reducing air leaks
  • Performing heating tune-ups and modifications
  • Replacing appliances for energy efficiency and safety
Introduction to Weatherization Assistance Program Videos
English Espanol  Soomaali
Remote video URL
Episode 1: Introduction to Weatherization (Espanol)
Remote video URL

 

Energy Efficiency Programs for 5+ Unit Homes
Apartment building

Multi-family Building Efficiency

Multi-Family Building Efficiency program, provided by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, is a free service that helps owners find ways to make their properties more energy efficient — an easy way to save money.


 

Time-of-Sale Energy Disclosure

Blue and white for sale sign in front of house

Time-of-Sale Energy Disclosure 

The Time-of-Sale Housing Inspection Program will include energy disclosure after April 1, 2022. Energy disclosure provides data on a home’s energy efficiency. The building features inspected include the heating and cooling system, water heater, wall and attic insulation, and windows. There are no required energy efficiency improvements for the seller to complete.

The data is presented in an Energy Disclosure Report added to the main Time-of-Sale Evaluation Report. Additional resources and recommendations are provided for homeowners to increase their home’s energy efficiency through cost-effective improvements.

Time-of-Sale Energy Disclosure
Did you know?

Over half of energy used in Minnesota homes goes towards heating and cooling. 

Diagram of a house showing where energy is used by percent. 55% Heating and Air Conditioning, 15% Appliances, 15% Water Heating, 10% Lighting, 5% Electronics

What’s in the walls and attic?

Home Insulation Video (1 minute)
The importance of insulating your home
  • 25% of homes in the metro-area don’t have wall insulation, and 89% of Bloomington’s single-family homes were built before there was an energy code requiring insulation in homes (among other requirements). Under insulated homes can be costly to heat and cool in Minnesota’s climate.

In the news

Click on the image below to see the recent video and article from KSTP Channel 5. 

Image of roof with snow with text at the bottom

 

 

Health benefits

In addition to lowering energy bills, home weatherization can also provide health benefits by modifying indoor environmental conditions.

  • Temperature — Uncomfortable indoor temperatures, whether excessively hot or cold, have been associated with poor general health, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, and poor mental and social health
  • Humidity/Mold — Lowering humidity and moisture levels can reduce mold. The presence of mold is associated with overall poor health, including respiratory symptoms, neurological symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, and other symptoms including fever and sore throat.
  • Air Quality — Studies have found significant reductions in airborne pollutants and subsequent improvement in air quality following weatherization
  • Pests — Weatherization strategies such as air sealing can reduce pests such as rodents, cockroaches, and dust mites that are allergen and asthma triggers.
How Your Home Can Affect Your Health and Safety Videos
English Espanol Soomaali
Episode 8: How Your Home Can Affect Your Health and Safety (English)
Episode 8: How Your Home Can Affect Your Health and Safety (Espanol)
Episode 8: How Your Home Can Affect Your Health and Safety (Soomaali)