NEWSBRIEF: Funds are still available to help Minnesotans pay their heating bills

Heating systems throughout the state are still in use, and that means the energy costs to stay warm and safe continue. For Minnesotans struggling to pay their heating bills, help is available from the state’s Energy Assistance Program. Applications are accepted now through May 31.

The Energy Assistance Program helps low-income homeowners and renters pay heating bills through benefits paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of customers. Minnesotans who earn less than 50% of the state’s median income — $49,698 for a family of four — are encouraged to apply, especially households that include children under the age of 6, people with disabilities, veterans or seniors.

Last year, the program served more than 126,000 Minnesota households. The average benefit per household was about $545. Households receiving assistance had an average income of just over $18,000.

The Commerce Department administers the program in partnership with 29 local service providers throughout the state. It is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Qualifying households must apply for assistance at the local service provider in their area. New applications are accepted until May 31. Funding is administered on a first-come, first-served basis, so households are urged to apply as soon as possible. 

To determine the local service provider in your area, call 1-800-657-3710 or go to www.mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance.

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