Log on to eHEAT, become a vendor, obtain user manuals, or find out about eHEAT development and the system.
Note: energy vendors must register to receive an Energy Assistance payment.
The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP) will stay the same, but how business gets done has changed with the launch of the eHEAT software on Oct. 1, 2004.
Electronic Household Energy Automated Technology (eHEAT) is an Internet-based data and payment management software. Energy vendors will experience changes primarily in three areas: receiving payments, returning refunds and providing consumption information.
EAP Service Providers will still take client applications, but payments will come directly from the state. Vendors should register with the Dept. of Finance to receive payments and to register with eHEAT. Vendors can receive payments faster by registering for direct deposit.
Vendors with Internet service can use eHEAT to find out if customers have applied for EAP, payment amounts and if they have applied for the Cold Weather Rule. Vendors will also be able to enter the customer's consumption information into the eHEAT system.
Vendors who do not have Internet service and who do not use eHEAT will receive a printed copy of customer payments. These vendors can also register for direct deposit.
The continued need for vendors and service providers to work together on behalf of the applicant will not change with eHEAT.
For additional information about eHEAT, contact your local service provider.
The launch of eHEAT in the fall of 2004 changed the way vendors work with the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) and Service Providers. The biggest change is vendors with Internet service will have direct access to the same eHEAT software EAP Service Providers (SPs) use.
There are three categories of vendors for EAP and eHEAT. They are:
Vendor Non-Users, and
Vendor without a vendor agreement. Vendors without a vendor agreement are an EAP issue, not an eHEAT issue.
Vendors and SPs will continue to work together on behalf of the EAP applicant and communicate about changes in EAP regardless of whether a vendor is an eHEAT user.
As eHEAT users, Vendors can complete three activities: receiving payments, returning refunds and providing consumption information. They will have access to the most up-to-date information about customers' EAP applications, payment amounts and Cold Weather Rule application requests. To protect EAP applicant confidentiality, vendor access to eHEAT will be limited to vendor-related activities.
As of Oct. 1, 2004, all EAP payments will be made centrally by eHEAT through the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget. Vendor Users can download information about payments using eHEAT and upload information into their system, if a vendor chooses to do the programming. Vendors can also choose to receive payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Download the EFT application form from the right column. For more information go to the Department of Management and Budget.
This centralized payment system will simplify refunds. Vendor Users will refund any funds authorized to an account using eHEAT, but they will retain the cash using their own internal process. This is accomplished by reducing the next eHEAT payment issued to the vendor by the amount of the non-obligated cash they have on hand. When funding for the program year concludes, vendors will send refunds to the Minnesota Department of Commerce's fiscal unit (because there will be no EAP payments to offset the refunds).
Vendor Users will have a proactive role in providing consumption information. Vendor Users must open eHEAT and either upload or enter the data. The program will notify users of the need to enter consumption on a large scale or one-by-one. Status reports of this activity will be available to SPs on eHEAT.
In the future, the process to provide consumption information will be very different. In general, Vendor Users will download customer information and use their own procedures to record consumption use. Then they will upload consumption information. This can be done in large numbers or one at a time. Specific procedures for consumption will be available soon.
Vendor non-users will continue to complete most transactions by telephone or fax, on paper or electronically, on disk or by email.
Vendor non-users will receive a printed statement from the State containing the "check stub" information. Vendor Non-Users can also contact SPs who can access payment status in eHEAT. Vendor Non-Users can opt to receive payments directly to their bank account through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
Vendors non-users can contact the SP by e-mail, mail or fax (to have something in writing) to make the refund entry in eHEAT and have the next payment adjusted by the refund amount. Once the program year's funds run out, payments go back to Commerce. Non-users cannot check this online or notify the SP online.
This year Service Providers will prepare an Excel spreadsheet for Energy Vendors containing household information for their EAP customers (with data on consumption, cost, fuel type, fuel use and dates). The spreadsheet can be sent to a vendor electronically (e-mailed or on disk) or printed and mailed. This spreadsheet replaces the "green bar" printout of EAP recipients' information that vendors received in previous years.
In the future, methods used by Vendor Users and Vendor Non-Users to provide consumption information will be very different. Vendor Non-Users will provide consumption information to Service Providers, who will enter it onto eHEAT. Specific procedures for consumption will be available soon.
All Energy Assistance Program (EAP) payments will be made by the Minnesota Management and Budget.
To receive an Energy Assistance payment, energy vendors must:
Have a signed vendor agreement with each Energy Assistance Service Provider in the service territory. Contact the local Energy Assistance Service Provider for your area.
Register for eHEAT with the Department of Commerce.
To register with the Department of Commerce:
Complete the Vendor Registration form
Email or fax the completed form to:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Mark Kaszynski with any questions:
Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101-2198
To receive direct deposit of payments:
To authorize direct deposit of EAP funds into your bank account, complete the Minnesota Management and Budget EFT form.