ST. CLOUD - The air outside is cooling and the amount of money it takes to keep a home heated in Minnesota is rising.

With this in mind, Xcel Energy just announced the development of a new program in the St. Cloud area designed to help families save money in energy costs.

It's called the "Home Energy Squad," and it's a two-person team of efficiency experts that give assessments and do installations of energy-saving equipment.

Jean Hammer is with Xcel Energy's Residential Programs office. She says the installations are free with purchase of equipment, chosen by the customer, and are all performed on the spot.

Hammer says the supplies Xcel brings are typically lower than retail cost. The program has been active in the Twin Cities for over a year and has seen much success.

You must be an Xcel Energy customer to be eligable for the program.

For more information on making an appointment, visit the Home Energy Squad's website.