The Minnesota Department of Commerce is reminding Minnesotans who need help paying their heating bills to apply to the state’s energy assistance program.

For those who have not already applied for help this heating season, there is still time. Households with young children, people with disabilities, veterans, seniors and those experiencing unemployment or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are especially encouraged to apply. “We are concerned more Minnesotans than ever are having difficulty paying heating bills because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commerce Department Temporary Commissioner Grace Arnold. “Last year, we granted an average of $500 to eligible households to help with heating bills.” 

Stimulus payments from the federal government and pandemic-related unemployment insurance payments are not counted as income when determining if a household is eligible for energy assistance.

The program serves households that earn less than $54,357 for a household of four or $28,266 for a household of one. It helps income-qualifying homeowners and renters with heating bills through grant money paid directly to utility companies or heating fuel vendors. The program can also help households pay past due bills, get reconnected or prevent energy disconnection, get delivered fuel, learn about energy efficiency and safety, and repair or replace homeowners’ broken heating systems.

New applicants have until May 31 to apply, however funding is limited and administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Households apply for assistance with the local service provider in their area. Call 800-657-3710, and press 1, or visit mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/eap-provider.jsp.

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