The state of Minnesota, along with the federal government, local governments, utility companies and charities, provide several programs that offer electric bill assistance to eligible residents. If you are in need of help paying your electricity and utility bills in Minnesota, read on to see if you are eligible for any of these assistance programs.
Energy Assistance Program
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is a state run program that provides low income households with help paying for the costs of heating their homes. To be eligible, households must be at or below 50 percent of the state median income level.
EAP funds are available to both renters and homeowners, and those with the lowest incomes and highest heating costs receive the highest grants. EAP offers direct payment of heating costs, help with utility disconnections and emergency fuel deliveries, and emergency repair or replacement for heating systems.
To apply or get more information about EAP, call 1-800-657-3710 to find the local agency that services your county.
LIHEAP, which stands for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, provides Minnesota residents with heating bill assistance as well. LIHEAP also provides weatherization services, which helps eligible people pay for efficiency upgrades to their home which will bring down heating and electricity costs. For more information on these programs, call 1-800-657-3710.
Many charities in the state provide emergency assistance to individuals and household who cannot pay their electric and utility bills. These funds are generally a last resort and are often limited:
Reach Out for Warmth (ROFW): 1-800-657-3710
HeatShare (administered by the Salvation Army): 1-800-842-7279
Agralite Electric Cooperative: 1-800-950-8375
Benco Electric Cooperative: 507-387-7963
Kandiyohi Power Cooperative, Operation Roundup: 1-800-551-4951
Minnesota Valley Cooperative, Light and Power Association: 1-800-247-5051
Utility and Power Companies
In addition to these government and charitable programs, it may be possible for you to get help directly from your utility or power company. Many of these companies offer discounts and other assistance programs, particularly for lower income customers. To find out what options are available to you, contact your utility company directly.
According to state law, any electric company that serves over 200,000 customers must provide a discount to low income customers. As of now, this only applies to Xcel Energy, Minnesota’s largest power company.
Xcel offers this discount through its Energy CENTS program. You can apply and learn more about Energy Cents by calling 888-774-9070. However, to be eligible for this program, you must first apply and be approved for the state Energy Assistance Program (EAP). To learn more about EAP, see the beginning of this article. You can get more information by calling 1-800-657-3710 and getting in touch with your local agency.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
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