Header photo for Payment Arrangements and Energy Assistance page

If you cannot pay your energy bill due to financial difficulties, one of our flexible payment plans may help.

To make a payment arrangement please contact Customer Service at 507-433-8886 or customerservice@austinutilities.com

Cold Weather Rule

The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule applies from October 1 through April 30. The rule provides that a utility cannot disconnect your residential electric service during the winter if the customer meets the following requirements.

  • The customer's account is current for the billing period immediately prior to October 1 or the customer has entered into an acceptable payment schedule and is reasonably current with payments under the schedule.

  • The household income of the customer is less than 50% of the state median income, as documented by the customer to the utility.

  • Utility disconnect would affect the customer's primary heat source.

  • The customer has declared inability to pay on forms provided by the utility.

  • The customer has to pay at least 10% of monthly income or the full amount of the utility bill or whichever is less.

Payment Assistance Options

The Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program administered through the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The program provides financial assistance to help with household winter heating bills. Both homeowners and renters may apply.


Semcac 1-800-944-3281 (Energy Assistance & Weatherization Programs)


PO Box 549

Rushford, MN 55971

Applications can be filled out online

Or completed applications and supporting documents can be downloaded and mailed or emailed in to eap@semcac.org


The Weatherization Assistance Program is a year-round program funded by the Federal and State Government as well as local Utilities that provides energy saving home improvements to income-eligible households to reduce energy use and costs as well as keeping the household healthy and safe.

If you need an application, call the Energy Assistance program at 1-800-944-3281 e-mail eap@semcac.org or download an application by clicking here.

Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Client Education Series (English, Espanol, Soomaali, Hmoob, Visually Impaired )