UNDATED (WJON News) - The cold weather is here, and Xcel Energy is sharing ways to keep your heating bills as low as possible.

Xcel Energy reminds everyone of these tips to keep winter heating bills in check.

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  • Keep interior doors open to provide the best possible airflow.
  • Lower your thermostat – 68 degrees is ideal.
  • Open blinds and drapes during the day to take advantage of direct sunlight.
  • Turn ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise to move heat downwards.
  • If you have a programmable thermostat, lower the temperature when you’re away or while you sleep.

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule is run through the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. It prohibits power companies from cutting off power for nonpayment from October 1st through April 30th, but you must apply for the program by calling your power company and requesting a Cold Weather Rule repayment plan.

The Energy Assistance Program is administered through the Minnesota Department of Commerce. It helps homeowners and renters who are struggling to afford their electric and heating bills. To see if you qualify, click here.

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