Less Money Available for Heat Assistance in MN

Updated: 11/09/2012 4:15 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

Minnesota will get less money this year to help low income families heat their homes this winter.

The Minnesota Department of commerce announced Friday the state is slated to receive more than $105 million in federal funding from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It’s part of the Energy Assistance Program (EAP), which helps low-income homeowners and renters pay heating bills through grant money paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of customers.

Last year Minnesota had more than $117 million to dole out to households. They served more than 163,000.

“These critical federal dollars are good news and will make a big difference to help Minnesotans who struggle to pay for home heating and make ends meet in the cold winter months ahead. The Minnesota Commerce Department has and will work hard to make sure these funds best help low-income families and individuals in need of energy assistance," said Commissioner Mike Rothman. “No Minnesotan should be without a warm place to call home.”

The average household income of those receiving EAP funds was $16,000. Approximately 85% of the homes included at least one senior, person with a disability, or a child under the age of 18. This year, the average grant per household will be $500.

To see if you qualify, click here.