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MN Gas Affordability Program Helps Low-Income Customers

November 30, 2012 -- CenterPoint Energy customers who qualified for and received LIHEAP benefits funds during the 2012-2013 heating season can apply for additional funds through CenterPoint Energy's Gas Affordability Program (GAP).

GAP helps customers pay for current and past due natural gas bills to avoid service disconnection. Customers who are eligible for LIHEAP but have not yet applied, can contact CenterPoint Energy representatives who can refer them to agencies who may qualify them.

"We encourage all eligible customers to apply as soon as possible so they can receive the maximum benefit," said Greg Schirmers, energy assistance program manager for CenterPoint Energy. "The sooner customers apply, the sooner they can get the help they need to pay their natural gas bills."

Customers who provide proof of income and meet LIHEAP income guidelines set by the state of Minnesota at or below 50 percent of the state median income are eligible for LIHEAP and GAP. The programs provide payment to the customer's energy provider based on household size, income, fuel type and energy usage costs. GAP is offered in partnership with CenterPoint Energy and the Energy CENTS Coalition.

Customers can find out if they are eligible by calling 612-372-4727 (1-800-245-2377) to discuss program details and request an application or by downloading an application from the company's website.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, serves more than $5 million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state's largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities.

Source: IPR