Households Encouraged to Apply for Energy Assistance

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Households Encouraged to Apply for Energy Assistance

November 10, 2015

The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP) started October 1, 2015 for the 2015-2016 program year. As of November 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, over 88,000 households have applied for assistance. Municipals should encourage their customers to apply early, as EAP applicants are served on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Thus far, The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP) has received $102 million in federal funds to assist low income households with their energy costs this winter.  Funding received so far is lower than last year’s total of $114 million. In the past full federal funding has been delayed as Congress struggled to reach funding agreements and often allocations were received in separate distributions throughout the program year. Again, it is important to continually encourage households to apply, as it is unknown at this time if and when additional funding will be received.

Partnering energy vendors have started receiving energy assistance payments for household’s accounts.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Commerce via the information below or a local Service Provider for questions regarding payments or program policies.  

EAP provides grants to help hundreds of thousands of Minnesota households lower their energy burden each year. The program targets low income families with seniors, disabled members, veterans and children under the age of six. Working together vendors, households and service providers can help households in need while reducing the vendors’ costs associated with collections or discontinuation of service.

EAP services include:

  • Primary Heat Benefits to reduce energy costs by paying a percentage of the household’s consumption costs;
  • Crisis Benefits used to help households reduce or eliminate an energy crisis by preventing shut-off, reinstating service, or enabling delivery of heat and electric services.
  • Emergency Repair & Replacement of eligible homeowner’s non-functioning heating units; and
  • Case Management to help households find additional resources and energy education, to maintain and encourage regular payments and advocate on behalf of the household.

EAP is a federal program authorized by the LIHEAP Act and administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce (Commerce). Commerce contracts with local service provider agencies consisting of community action agencies, counties, tribal governments and other private nonprofit organizations in assigned geographic service areas. Service providers determine eligibility, approve payments and provide advocacy, outreach and referral services. 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 by visiting the Commerce website.

Website

www.energy.mn.gov