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Tips to stay warm and safe during this week’s extreme cold

1/28/2019 5:31:06 PM

Energy Assistance can help those who struggle to pay heating bills

For Immediate Release

SAINT PAUL – The extreme cold this week is a reminder to Minnesotans that safety should be the first consideration when heating our homes.

The Minnesota Commerce Department offers these tips to ensure a warm and safe home:

  • Make sure your home heating system is working properly. Faulty home heating equipment is a leading cause of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Check that outside furnace vents aren’t blocked by snow or ice. Annual safety testing of furnaces, boilers, and other heating equipment is recommended.
  • Use space heaters safely. Any space heater that burns with an open flame (such as natural gas, propane or wood) should be vented to the outside. Keep children and pets away from a portable heater.
  • Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors work. These are essential safeguards to warn you of a fire or dangerous malfunction with a furnace, water heater, fireplace or stove. Batteries should be tested monthly and changed every year.
  • Don’t let your home fuel tank go dry. If you depend on a delivered fuel such as propane or heating oil, keep your fuel tank well supplied. Call for a refill when your tank drops to 25 or 30 percent full.
  • Apply for energy assistance. Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program helps income-eligible households pay their heating bill or get fuel delivered. Last winter’s average grant per low-income household was about $545. Learn more about the Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program on the /commerce/eap.jspCommerce website ( or by calling 1-800-657-3710.
  • Conserve energy and save money. Lower your thermostat when you’re at work or sleeping, Use a programmable thermostat or other efficiency measures to reduce your energy use and costs. See the Commerce Department’s Home Energy Guide (

Commerce is here to help

Media Contact
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 |



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