Minnesota expands energy assistance programs, extends cold weather rule

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 7:41 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program is expanding to help keep more homes warm in the winter.

The changes announced by the Department of Commerce makeover 600,000 Minnesota households income-eligible for the program, up from about 116,000 Minnesota households served during the program year.

The Energy Assistance Program helps households pay for current and past-due heating bills, including the repair and replacement of broken heating systems.

The state’s Department of Commerce has raised the program’s income eligibility limit to $67,765 for a family of four with benefits increasing up to $1,600 for energy bills and up to $1,200 for past due bills.

In addition, the cold weather rule that protects residential customers from having power or gas shut off goes into effect 15 days earlier this year. Beginning October 1st and lasts through April 30th.

“It’s the protection offered to Minnesotans because we know it gets very cold here and if your heat is turned off during the winter it’s life-threatening,” said Minnesota Valley Action Council Housing Services Director, Judd Schultz. “It involves communicating with your utility provider, if you have to enter into a payment plan you need to keep that payment plan up, most of our larger utility providers are really good at working with households during this cold weather rule time”.

For more information on the energy assistance program visit Energy Assistance Program / Minnesota.gov (mn.gov).

For local assistance, contact Minnesota Valley Action Council at 507-345-6822 or stop into their office at 706 N Victory Dr. Mankato, MN.

MVAC offices are also located in Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan Counties.

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