For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Minnesota to Get $7 Million in Emergency Funds for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
(ST. PAUL, MN) The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security (OES) today announced Minnesota will receive an additional $7 million in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP). When added to the $143 million in federal funds already received by the state, this allocation will bring the total for the current heating season to approximately $150 million.
EAP helps low-income customers pay their heating bills through grant money paid directly to the utility company on behalf of the customer. Qualifying families must apply for assistance at one of 36 local service providers in their area. Funding is limited and is administered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
So far this heating season, OES has received more than 151,600 applications from households requesting assistance. Those needing assistance with paying their energy bills are encouraged to continue to apply.
Households with 50 percent or less of the state median income ($43,500 for a family of four) may qualify. Households with seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children are especially encouraged to apply.
Last year, Minnesota served 164,783 households with $160 million in federal funds. This year, the average grant per household is about $500.
A list of local service providers and more information about the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can be found at www.staywarm.mn.gov by clicking on "Low Income Assistance" or by calling 651-296-5175 or toll free in Minnesota 1-800-657-3710.