Energy Assistance Program helps eligible Minnesotans afford heat
As temperatures drop, many heating bills increase significantly. For those who meet the income requirements, the Energy Assistance Program can help with heating bills as well as the cost of furnace repair or replacement.
“It’s not unusual for people to struggle to pay their energy bills, especially when the weather gets this cold. That’s where this Energy Assistance Program comes in,” explained Senator Tina Smith. “This has been around for a while. What happened is President Biden and Congress passed bipartisan legislation to help to provide even more help for energy assistance, and that’s available for Minnesota right now.”
Renters and homeowners alike can apply for this program. Eligibility is based on income and household size.
“People might say, ‘Oh, this isn’t going to be for me and my family would never qualify,’ but you don’t know until you go and look,” said Senator Smith. “There’s a very simple calculator that will help you to assess whether or not your family would be eligible.”
The example provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce is that a family of four could earn up to $62,822 annually and qualify to receive financial assistance with energy bills. Senator Smith has heard from many Minnesotans about how much this program can help.
“One is a family, a Minnesota family that reached out to us. The mom in the family stopped working because they had a new child, and because of that, they were struggling. They did not have enough income to be able to pay their energy bills, but thanks to Minnesota Energy Assistance, they were able to solve that problem. It made a huge difference to the family,” recalled Senator Smith.
The Energy Assistance Program can also help defray the costs of improvements to a furnace.
“I talked to a man a few years ago in Saint Paul who had lived in his home for 30 years. He lived on a fixed income. He was living with a disability and the furnace in his house went out,” said Senator Smith. “There was no way that he could afford to repair the furnace on the fixed income that he had, but thanks to the Energy Assistance Program, they were able to help provide him with the resources to make those repairs, and that allowed him to stay in his home. So it provides really tangible benefits to people who need it.”
More information on the Energy Assistance Program and how to apply can be found at this link.