The Minnesota Department of Commerce has been awarded $106 million in federal funds for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program for the 2021-2022 season, which will help more Minnesotans than ever.  

The Energy Assistance Program Dashboard published by the Commerce Department shows over $28.5 million has already been paid to over 25,000 Minnesota households in just the past 30 days. The dashboard, which is updated weekly, shows county-by-county information for household average energy costs and energy assistance for Minnesotans who have already applied and qualified for benefits.

“As the weather turns colder, it’s important for Minnesotans to take actions now to stay warm and safe,” said Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold. “Energy assistance is here to make your energy bills more affordable. You shouldn’t have to choose between paying your energy bill and buying groceries or prescription medications.” 

This year, the Commerce Department raised eligibility and benefits, paying up to $3,200 to cover energy bills for income-eligible Minnesotans. 

The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program helps people who own or rent their homes to pay for current and past-due bills for electricity, gas, oil, biofuel and propane, emergency fuel delivery and repair/replacement of homeowners’ broken heating systems, and could also cover water and sewer bills. With higher income eligibility, a family of four could have income of almost $68,000 and still qualify. The program only considers the past three months of income for a household.

For households heated by propane or heating fuel, the homeowner or renter should apply for energy assistance before paying to fill your tank so energy assistance can help pay for the cost of the fuel. Otherwise, the energy assistance will be credited to your account by your utility and be applied to future energy costs.

Minnesotans pay as high as 30% of their income on their energy bill, depending on their income and what fuel source and energy efficiencies their home has.

With one application to the Energy Assistance Program, households may also qualify for water bill assistance and for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which can permanently reduce household energy costs. The Energy Assistance and Weatherization programs are both federally funded, with the Minnesota Department of Commerce as the administrator working with service providers across the state to serve Minnesotans.

How to apply:  To request an application or find your local service provider, search online for “Minnesota energy assistance;” go online: gov/energyassistance; or call 800-657-3710 and press 1.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce mission is to protect all Minnesotans in their everyday financial transactions by investigating and evaluating services, and advocating that they be fair, accessible and affordable. Wherever you are in Minnesota, the Department of Commerce is with you every day. Whether you’re filling up on gas, purchasing a home, working to reduce energy consumption or rebuilding after a disaster—we are with you, no matter what. The Minnesota Department of Commerce oversees more than 20 regulated industries, ensuring that Minnesota businesses are strong and Minnesota consumers are protected. Learn more at mn.gov/commerce

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