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Energy Assistance Programs Help Lower Income Minnesotans Combat Winter

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Winter can be a tough time for many people, especially those who struggle to make ends meet. Fortunately, Minnesota has several programs available that provide some help.

EAP

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) provides a grant or credit on an account for struggling and lower income households who need help paying their home energy bills. EAP's purpose is to help lower income households meet their immediate home energy needs. Those who qualify can get help paying for both winter heating bills and summer cooling bills.

EAP is available to both renters and homeowners, typically at or below 50 percent of the state median income level. Qualification is based on household size, income, etc. Applications for 2019 benefits must be postmarked by May 31, 2019. To learn more, visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce's website: http://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/.

Reach Out for Warmth

For Minnesotans with slightly higher income, Reach Out for Warmth (ROFW) may be able to help. ROFW is a community-based emergency fuel fund that is a last resort for residents in crisis. Funds are donated from the community and granted from the State of Minnesota, local and federal government funds.

Donations to ROFW are tax deductible and all money raised within a county will stay in that county to help local people struggling to keep their heat and lights on during the winter. ROFW has dozens of agencies that administer the program that can also provide support, referrals and can advise applicants on the options available to them. For more information, call 1-800-657-3710. To apply, visit https://www.utilitybillassistance.com/html/minnesotareachoutforwarmth.html .

Application Assistance and More

Minnesota's Senior LinkAge Line can also help people apply for these programs. Expert staff are available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.