MN Energy Assistance Crisis Funds Increase

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MN Energy Assistance Crisis Funds Increase

March 28, 2022

On March 23, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Assistance Program (EAP) announced an increase in the maximum Crisis benefit from $1,200 to $3,000. These funds are to further assist EAP households struggling to pay increasing energy costs. The additional Crisis funds will help households fill their tanks and catch up on their past-due energy bills.

Increasing the Crisis maximum was not the result of receiving any new or additional funding, said Jon Brown, energy vendor manager. “We looked at our current funding along with some analysis of our Crisis and utility arrears data and decided to increase the maximum to help those who are still behind but had exhausted all their Crisis funds. Even with this increase, we do not anticipate running out of funding this year.”

Brown said there will not be any automatic payments generated from this increase but households do not need to apply again to take advantage of the increase. If they are already approved they can simply contact their Service Provider and request help with a past due/disconnect notice/disconnection.

The Energy Assistance Program Dashboard published by Commerce shows over $109 million has already been paid to almost 87,000 Minnesota households since October 2021. The dashboard, which is updated weekly and also includes water assistance information, shows county-by-county info for household average energy costs and energy assistance for Minnesotans who have already applied and qualified for benefits.  

This year, Commerce raised eligibility and benefits, paying up to $3,200 to cover energy bills for income-eligible Minnesotans. The Energy Assistance Program helps people who own or rent their homes to pay for current and past-due bills for electricity, gas, oil, biofuel and propane, emergency fuel delivery, and repair/replacement of homeowners’ broken heating systems, and could also cover water and sewer bills.  

 How to apply: To request an application or find your local service provider:  

With one application to the Energy Assistance Program, households may also qualify for water bill assistance and for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which can permanently reduce household energy costs. The Energy Assistance and Weatherization Assistance Programs are both federally funded, with Commerce as the administrator working with local service providers across the state to serve Minnesotans. 

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