Minnesota gets $106M federal dollars for winter heating assistance

Minnesotans can apply based on need for the Energy Assistance Program
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Minnesota will receive $106 million from the federal government for its Energy Assistance Program, the state Department of Commerce announced this week. 

The funding, from the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, will help cover energy and heating bills for those who meet the income requirements. 

Those eligible to apply include: homeowners and renters who earn less than 50 percent of the state's median income – $54,357 for a family of four. The average grant is $500, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. 

“Heating your home is a necessity in Minnesota, and no one’s health or safety should be at risk because they cannot afford to stay warm,” said Department of Commerce Temporary Commissioner Grace Arnold, whose agency administers the Energy Assistance Program, in a statement. 

Under the Cold Weather Rule, utility providers in Minnesota are not allowed to shut off heat between Oct. 15 through April 15 if the customer contacts the company to "establish and maintain a monthly payment plan," according to the Department of Commerce. 

Propane, fuel oil or wood-heated homes wouldn't be covered by the Cold Weather Rule, but could be eligible for the Energy Assistance Program. 

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