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Energy Assistance Program serves record number of households

May 25, 2010

Energy Assistance Program serves record number of households

For Immediate Release: Tuesday May 25, 2010

State energy program's year ends on May 31

(ST. PAUL, MN)  Minnesota's Energy Assistance Program (EAP) will set another record this heating season as the number of low-income households served continues to rise above the record of 153,721 set last year. To date, more than 160,000 households have been served this program year, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Office of Energy Security (OES), which administers EAP. The total number of households served this season will not be available until applications received by May 31 are processed.

Households in need of assistance are still encouraged to contact the Energy Assistance Program even after the May 31 deadline. The network of 37 service providers around the state that partner with the OES to administer the program can help advocate on the behalf of homeowners struggling to pay their heating bills and direct them to other sources of assistance. Applicants will also automatically receive an EAP application in the fall for next year.

Minnesota's EAP received $156 million in federal funding this year from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Minnesota EAP serves households at or below 50 percent of the state median income ($41,722 for a family of four) through grants to help pay their heating bills. The average grant per household this year is about $643.  Households with seniors, disabled and children are especially encouraged to apply.

For details about heating assistance grants, gas and electric discount programs, weatherization help, and energy efficiency and safety tips, consumers should visit www.staywarm.mn.gov or contact the Energy Info Center at 651-296-5175 or 1-800-657-3710.