COVID-19 response FAQ
What is Minnesota Power doing for people who are unable to pay their bills?
Because we know some customers may be facing financial hardship during this time, we are suspending disconnections for residential and small-business customers. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please contact us at 800-228-4966 so we can work with you to develop a payment plan.
Please understand that while we won’t disconnect customers’ service right now and are allowing you extra time to pay if you need it, we will continue to read meters only if it doesn’t involve direct customer contact and send bills. We encourage you to stay as up to date with your payments as possible to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later.
In addition, we have waived late payment charges for residential and small-business customers. We also have waived reconnection fees during normal business hours for residential and small-business customers previously disconnected for nonpayment.
I know that you voluntarily extended Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule through May 31. How does that extension affect the payment plan I already had in place?
If you have an existing payment plan that is ending in April, please call us at 1-800-228-4966 to extend your payment plan through May 31.
I already received a disconnection notice. Will I be disconnected?
No. We have suspended disconnection for residential customers having financial hardship. Please contact us regarding payment plans and options.
I am currently disconnected. Will Minnesota Power help me to get reconnected?
We recognize many customers may be facing unusual financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. Minnesota Power will work with you to set up a payment plan to get service reconnected and will prioritize this work accordingly.
Will Minnesota Power visit my home or business for any reason other than an emergency?
To ensure reliable service, field crews will continue to construct and maintain our outdoor electric facilities and equipment—but with absolutely no direct customer contact and no inside work unless it’s an emergency. If we need to perform work outside your home, we will alert you by phone but will not knock on your door. For the safety of our workers and our customers, we are suspending some nonemergency customer site visits, including home energy analyses and other program visits, for the time being. In addition, some tree or vegetation management tasks may be postponed unless there is an immediate threat to power lines or equipment.
Should an emergency arise where it is necessary for Minnesota Power to visit your home or business, we will follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All company employees and contractors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart should customer interaction be required.
Minnesota Power is committed to keeping electric service safe and reliable, and we stand ready to respond in an emergency.
I thought Minnesota Power was suspending non-emergency site visits. Why was there someone here changing my meter?
For the safety of our workers and our customers, we are suspending until further notice all non-emergency site visits that would involve direct contact with a customer. To ensure reliable service, field crews will continue to construct and maintain our outdoor electric facilities and equipment, including the exchange of meters. This is important as part of our efforts to provide customers with timely information about their usage and in order to respond to outages or issues in the field using technology like advanced meters.
We do our best to alert you by phone if we are exchanging your meter, but we will not knock on your door. Please maintain a safe distance if you see a crew or technician at work and please stay at least 6 feet away from employees. You will experience a brief interruption in service during a meter exchange. To ensure we have your latest contact information, customers are encouraged to call us at 800-228-4966 to update any phone number changes.
How is Minnesota Power protecting its employees?
Protecting the safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We are taking several precautions, including suspending nonessential business travel, having employees who can work remotely do so, and closing our downtown Duluth headquarters to the public. (However, the payment drop box in the building’s east entrance will continue to be available 24/7.) When employees must be on-site, they have been directed to practice social distancing and use virtual forms of communication when possible.
Watch for scams
Customers should be aware of telephone, mail, email, and in-person scams that involve criminals posing as Minnesota Power representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal information. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, please be on the alert for scammers to use the situation to steal your money and personal information. For more information on how to protect yourself, please visit our scam alerts page.
The federal Small Business Administration has low-interest loans of up to $2 million available for Minnesota small businesses and private nonprofits affected by COVID-19. For information, visit the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan web page. Online applications are here.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has information and resources for workers, employers and businesses. Visit https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/.
Additional business resources:
- Federal SBA Emergency Disaster Loan
- Minnesota DEED Small Business Emergency Loan
- Minnesota Chamber COVID-19 Business Toolkit
- Entrepreneur Fund COVID-19 Toolkit
- Initiative Foundation COVID-19 Resources
- Northeastern Minnesota SBDC Resources
- Northeast Minnesota COVID-19 Response Fund
For emergency assistance as it relates to accessing food, paying housing bills or for other essential services, dial 2-1-1 or text the letters MNCOVID to 898-211. A certified community resource specialist will help to find available resources in your area. This is a service provided by United Ways nationwide and the outreach in Minnesota matches that of our service area. More information about this service is available at www.211.org/services/covid19.