The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources wants low-income Minnesotans — especially seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children — to know that grant funds are still available to help pay their heating bills from the Energy Assistance Program (EAP).
“Even though winter may be coming to an end, cold weather will remain for several weeks and many Minnesotans may struggle to pay their energy bills,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “We still have funds to help households stay warm and we encourage families and individuals who need assistance to apply.”
Rothman said applications for heating assistance are down about 9 percent this year, from about 142,000 applications this time a year ago, to 116,000 so far this year.
The average energy assistance grant is $500 per household. Households with an income less than 50 percent of the state median income ($42,789 for a family of four) may qualify and those who do, are served on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last. People have until May 31, when the program year ends, to apply for the Energy Assistance Program.
Following is information on applying for assistance. The EAP pays the utility company directly on behalf of eligible households. Qualifying families must apply for assistance at the local service provider in their area.
Minnesota has 34 local service providers. A list of local service providers and information on applying for the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program is available by calling 1-800-657-3710 or 651-296-5175 or visiting the Energy Assistance section (http://mn.gov/commerce/energy/consumers/Heating-Assistance) of the Division of Energy Resources website (www.energy.mn.gov).