State Receives Energy Assistance Funds

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State Receives Energy Assistance Funds

October 27, 2015

SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced Tuesday, Oct. 27 that the state’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is receiving nearly $102 million in initial federal funding to provide winter heating assistance for eligible Minnesotans. Funds are expected to be available in early November.

The funds from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will help low-income homeowners and renters pay for heating bills this winter through grant money paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of eligible households.  Last year, the program served close to 140,000 Minnesota households. 

“Year after year, our Energy Assistance Program has helped needy Minnesota families with their heating bills during the winter,” said Rothman. “These federal funds provide an essential safety net to protect vulnerable Minnesotans from losing heat during the coldest months of the year.”

The Commerce Department administers EAP in partnership with 31 local service providers throughout the state.

The program helps homeowners and renters earning at or below 50 percent of the state’s median income ($46,056 for a family of four) pay their heating bills. The average annual payment for a household last year was about $500. Households with seniors, people with disabilities, veterans and children are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications were recently sent to households that qualified for energy assistance last year. Others who may qualify are encouraged to apply by contacting the local service provider in their county by calling 800-657-3710. Information, including income eligibility guidelines, is also available at the Commerce Department’s Energy Assistance Program webpage.