MN Energy Assistance Program expands to offer more benefits

(ABC 6 News) – This year, Minnesotans can access greater financial assistance and newly expanded protections to keep their homes warm and lights on through Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program and Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce raised the income eligibility limit to 60% of Minnesota’s median income levels ($67,765 per year for a family of four) and is significantly increasing benefit amounts to reduce energy burdens more than ever, including up to $1,600 for energy bills, plus up to $1,200 for past-due energy bills.

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule (CWR), which is administered by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, protects residential utility customers from having electric or natural gas service shut off between October 1 and April 30. The effective dates of the Cold Weather Rule were extended 15 days in the fall and 15 days in the spring by the Minnesota Legislature in 2021. Commerce advocated for this change after engaging in annual Tribal consultation and learning from Tribal leaders about concerns that Minnesota’s changing climate was leading to cold spells earlier in fall and later in spring.

“Commerce is working to provide Minnesotans with more options so you can afford critical services – heat, water, lights, power – that you need to be safe and comfortable in your home,” says Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold.

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