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$21.6 Million more for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

December 14, 2010

$21.6 Million more for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Minnesota Will Receive $21.6 Million More 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 $21.6 million in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP). When added to the $64.8 million in federal funds already received by the state, this allocation brings the total for the current heating season to $86.4 million.

OES reports it has already served nearly 100,000 households with heating assistance grants through EAP thus far. Upon receipt of the official grant award funds, DOES will immediately put this latest allocation into the hands of the 36 local service providers who work with households to distribute the funds.

EAP applications have increased 10 percent this year compared to the same time last year. The program helps low-income customers pay their heating bills through grant money paid directly to the utility company on behalf of the customer.

Last year, Minnesota served 164,783 households with $160.3 million in federal funds. This year, the average grant per household is about $500. Customers with 50 percent or less of the state median income ($43,500 for a family of four) may qualify. Households with seniors, disabled, and children are especially encouraged to apply.

Qualifying families must apply for assistance at the local service provider in their area.  Funding is limited and is administered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

A list of local service providers and more information about the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can be found on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website at www.energy.mn.gov by clicking on "Low Income Assistance."

The announcement of the grant awards to all the states from the US Department of Health and Human Services can be found at this link: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/12/20101210b.html