April 13 - State energy officials urged families who may be affected by the April 15 expiration of Minnesota Cold Weather Rule to contact their local community action program to apply for heating assistance to help catch up on their utility bills. The federal government doubled the amount of money available for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for this winter and there is still money available to help Minnesota families.
The Office of Energy Security at the Minnesota Department of Commerce also announced that it is extending the period for accepting applications for energy assistance from May 31 to July 2, allowing more families to apply for assistance.
So far this heating season, the state has helped over 135,000 households with heating assistance grants averaging over $500 per household. With the increased funding from the federal government, the state expects to help close to 160,000 households this heating season, which would be a new record.
Customers with less than 50 percent of the state median income ($40,738 for a family of four) may qualify. Households with seniors, disabled, and children are especially encouraged to apply. A list of service providers by county can be found at: www.staywarm.mn.gov.
The Cold Weather Rule is administered by the Public Utilities Commission and protects consumers from having their utility service shut off during the winter months.
Source: MN Dept. of Commerce