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Minnesota gets $14.7 million in extra federal funds to help Minnesotans pay heating bills

Minnesota has received an additional $14,739,042 in federal funds for the state’s Energy Assistance Program that helps low-income homeowners and renters pay their heating bills. Minnesota households still have time, through May 31, to apply for assistance.

“The heating season is coming to an end, but there are still many Minnesotans who need help to pay current and past-due heating bills,” said Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. “We urge all Minnesotans who may qualify to apply for energy assistance.”

The Energy Assistance Program is administered by the Minnesota Commerce Department in partnership with 30 local service providers throughout the state. With the additional funds, Minnesota has now received a total of $116,969,082 for the 2017-2018 heating season from the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Minnesotans who have difficulty paying their heating bills are encouraged to apply for energy assistance. Households with children under age six, people with disabilities, veterans and seniors are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications are accepted until May 31, 2018. Energy assistance funds are limited and households are served on a first-come, first-served basis. The funds are paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of their customers who apply and qualify for energy assistance.

Last year the Energy Assistance Program helped more than 126,000 Minnesota households. The average annual grant per household was about $520.

How to apply for energy assistance

Minnesota renters and homeowners earning at or below 50 percent of the state’s median income ($48,077 for a family of four) are eligible to apply for grant money to help pay their heating bills.

To apply, contact the local service provider in your county. To find your service provider, visit the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program on the Commerce Department website (mn.gov/commerce) or call 800-657-3710.

Other forms of assistance may be available through county social service programs, community-based organizations and nonprofit agencies.