Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households. Customers receive help by applying to their local agency for assistance. Minnesota Power works with these agencies to provide additional services to qualifying households.
EAP changes made to help during COVID-19:
- The program year runs October 1 – June 1.
- The annual Crisis maximum is increased to $1,200 (up from $600).
- EAP can help households pay a past due bill, even without a shut-off notice.
- Income eligibility is based on past one month only.
- EAP still has sufficient funds and expects more from the CARES Act.
How to apply for LIHEAP eligibility
Customers should apply directly with the EAP provider serving their county or tribe.
- Find Your EAP Provider.
- Contact your EAP provider and have them send you an application (Sample application). You will also need three months proof of income for each household member and a copy of your last heating and electric bill.
- Mail your completed application to your EAP provider.
After customer-eligibility is determined the agency will contact you. Agencies work with Minnesota Power to let them know if customers are LIHEAP eligible. For help finding your local EAP provider, call 1-800-657-3710.
Services from EAP may include:
- Payment of energy bills.
- Help with utility disconnections or fuel deliveries.
- Education on efficient and safe use of energy.
- Advocacy with energy suppliers and human service providers.
- Repair or replacement of homeowners' broken heating systems.
Benefits and services that Minnesota Power provides to LIHEAP qualified households:
- Eligibility for reduced rate (CARE).
- Weatherization programs provided through a partnership with local agencies.
- Exemptions from some fees (such as late payment fees).
Other Fuel/Heating Assistance Resources:
- United Way’s First Call program: Simply dial 211
- Minnesota Power’s Energy Partners Program
- Energy Assistance Hotline: 800-657-3710
- Salvation Army/HeatShare
Who can apply?
EAP is for renters or homeowner whose households have an income at or below 50 percent of the state median income. Details about EAP eligibility guidelines can be found here.
What will I need to apply?
- An application from your local agency (find your local agency here), completed, signed and dated.
- Proof of income received in the last 3 full calendar months for each household member.
- A copy of your last heating and electric bill and/or a copy of your last fuel receipt if you use delivered fuel for heating (such as propane).
The deadline for submitting an application for EAP benefits has passed, should I still submit my application?
Yes! Although Energy Assistance Program (EAP) funds are seasonal, there other are year-round benefits and discounts for LIHEAP-qualified customers. You can apply to be LIHEAP-qualified at any time, but you will need to reapply for LIHEAP at the beginning of each program year to continue your enrollment in programs that use LIHEAP guidelines.
What if I don’t qualify for EAP but still have trouble paying my bill?
- Payment Plan: Works with customers to set up a payment plan to resolve past-due balance while continuing to make current payments. Call customer service 1-800-228-4966.
- Cold Weather Rule: Available to all Minnesota Power residential customers to reconnect or prevent disconnection of service between October 15 and April 15 (customer required to make and keep payment arrangements).
- Salvation Army’s HeatShare program: Provides emergency utility assistance for families that have been denied county or other assistance.
- United Way’s First Call program: Simply dial 211 for crisis intervention and referral services 24/7.
- Lutheran Social Services, churches, and other local organizations may be able to provide additional assistance.