COVID-19 response FAQ
Page translation: Spanish
In March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, we suspended service disconnections for residential and small-business customers. With the easing of pandemic restrictions, we’ll resume disconnections for nonpayment in August under a timeline approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
If you have a past-due balance on your bill or are struggling to keep up, we’re here to help. Please contact us to set up a payment plan and avoid disconnection.
- Contact us at 800-228-4966 so we can work with you to explore options and set up a payment plan.
- Late payment charges on past-due balances and fees for reconnection during normal business hours will continue to be waived through April 30, 2022, for residential and small-business customers who establish and maintain a payment plan.
- Disconnections will be halted through April 30, 2022, for residential customers who have an application pending or approved for LIHEAP.
- Energy Assistance Program dollars are available, including anticipated additional federal dollars through the American Rescue Plan. Eligible customers are encouraged to apply for assistance or refer a family member or friend to these financial resources. Information about energy assistance and discount programs as well as other resources can be found at:
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 limiting some nonemergency customer site visits. Safety protocols—including prescreening, social distancing and the use of face coverings—will be followed when our energy professionals visit homes or businesses. 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.
RentHelpMN offers assistance in paying rent and utility bills.
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/.
Covid-19 news releases:
- An important message for our customers from MP and SWL&P (Mar 16, 2020)
- Suspending disconnections among steps MP is taking to help customers affected by pandemic (Apr 13, 2020)
- Minnesota Power remains committed to helping customers with their energy bills during COVID-19 (10/15/20)
Other 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.