May 25, 2011 -- The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources (DER) last week announced its Energy Assistance Program (EAP) has served more than 165,000 households so far this program year, up from a record of 164,783 last year.
The total number of households served this program year will not be available until all applications are processed after the May 31 program end-date. DER officials, however, expect the number to reach 170,000.
The Minnesota EAP is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and pays utilities directly on behalf of eligible households.
Households apply for EAP through 36 local service providers. The average grant per household is about $500. Customers with incomes below 50 percent of the state median income ($43,500 for a family of four) may qualify. Those with seniors, people with disabilities, and children are especially encouraged to apply. Qualified applicants are served on a first-come-first-serve basis while funds last.
Households needing assistance are encouraged to apply before the May 31 deadline. Those that have already received assistance this heating season, which started October 1, 2010, are not eligible for the primary grant. However, additional benefits may be available for those facing an emergency such as disconnection of service.
Qualifying families must apply for assistance at the service provider in their area. A list of local service providers and more information about the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program can be found at www.staywarm.mn.gov by clicking on "Finding Financial Assistance" or by calling 651-296-5175 or toll free in Minnesota 1-800-657-3710.
EAP is federally-funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human and administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Source: Department of Commerce