For Release: 04/03/2008

Minnesota Energy Resources Utility Customers Face Natural Gas Service Disconnection Soon

With warmer weather and end of winter period, customers with unpaid balances could lose service.

Rosemount, MN – Natural gas customers of Minnesota Energy Resources who have fallen behind on their natural gas bills and not made apparent attempts to catch up will face disconnection of service, according to company representatives.

"Those customers that have worked out an agreeable payment arrangement and have kept those arrangements current shouldn't worry," said MERC president Chuck Cloninger. "However, customers who have neglected to make significant payments during the winter and who expect the company to give them additional time to bring their account current could face disconnection, especially those customers who ignore their winter bill year after year. It's not fair to our good-paying customers to allow these others to get service without paying in a timely manner."

Cloninger said that those customers with past-due balances should immediately take steps to pay the bill in full or set up a payment arrangement. Customers with an outstanding balance need to make payment or a payment arrangement and can do so by calling Customer Service at (800) 889-9508 to use the interactive voice response system, speak to a customer service representative or by visiting the company web site at www.minnesotaenergyresources.com.

Low-income customers should also contact local agencies for assistance that might postpone disconnection before those funds are depleted. The names of the agencies and their telephone numbers can be found on Minnesota Energy Resources' web site or by calling the customer service line.

"Customers will find we offer plenty of options for payment; but the bigger the balance, the bigger those payments need to be," Cloninger said. "If there are extenuating circumstances that can be documented, we need to know about them. Otherwise, we’ll expect full payment or service will be shut off."

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