State energy assistance still available
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources wants low-income Minnesotans, especially seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children, to know that grants are still available to help pay their heating bills from the Energy Assistance Program.
“Even though winter may be coming to an end, cold weather will remain for several weeks and many Minnesotans may struggle to pay their energy bills,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman in a news release. “We still have funds to help households stay warm and we encourage families and individuals who need assistance to apply.”
Rothman said applications for heating assistance are down about 9 percent this year, from about 142,000 applications this time a year ago, to 116,000 so far this year.
The average energy assistance grant is $500 per household. Households with an income less than 50 percent of the state median income — $42,789 for a family of four — may qualify, and those who do qualify are served on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last. People have until May 31, when the program year ends, to apply for assistance.
A list of local service providers and information on applying is available by calling 1-800-657-3710 or 651-296-5175 or visiting the Energy Assistance section of the Division of Energy Resources website www.energy.mn.gov.