ENERGY ASSISTANCE

I am 83 years old; without fuel assistance, I’d probably be in a nursing home.

With the rising cost of electricity and fuels and no rise in our income, it helps us to make our bills.
What a blessing. 

Energy Assistance allowed us to have more money for expenses and groceries, etc. to keep our children warm & safe during the long Minnesota winters. 

Energy Assistance Program

If you are experiencing difficulty paying your heating and electric costs, the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) may be able to help you. BI-CAP has three programs that serve households with different needs.

Primary Heat:  Heating assistance is available to households who rent or own, whose income is at or below 50 percent of the state median income. The assistance you receive pays a portion of home energy and heating costs. Grants are based on household size, gross income, and the previous year’s energy costs. Grants are paid directly to your energy providers.

Crisis Program:  Households experiencing a heating or electric emergency may be eligible for additional crisis assistance. You must be approved for energy assistance and a primary heat grant does not resolve the situation.

Energy Related Repair (ERR):  ERR funds are available to homeowners experiencing a life threatening situation or a no-heat emergency due to a malfunctioning or nonfunctioning heating system. You must be approved for energy assistance to qualify for this program. Proof of ownership is required.

How to get started and apply for assistance:

1.  Find Your Energy Assistance Provider
2.  In response to COVID-19, complete the revised program year application. The application for Beltrami and Cass County residents is (at right) under “Resources.”
3.  Provide the previous month’s proof of any and all household gross income.
4.  Include a copy of your primary heat and electric bills.
5.  Return the application to the Energy Assistance Provider for your county.

Am I eligible?

Households must apply between October 1st and July 1st to receive assistance.

Energy Assistance Program (EAP) facts

  • Renters and homeowners are eligible.
  • Assets such as the home are not considered in determining eligibility.
  • Grants range from $200 to $1,400, based on household size, income, & fuel cost.
  • The average grant is about $500.
  • In addition to the initial grant, additional Crisis funds are available to:
  • Help pay a past due bill or get an emergency fuel delivery.
  • Help homeowners get their broken furnace repaired or replaced.

EAP changes made to help during COVID-19

  • The application deadline is extended to July 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
  • EAP still has enough money including more money from the CARES Act.

Households must meet the Current Income Guidelines.

The previous month proof of any and all household gross income is used to determine eligibility.

Energy Assistance Program Makes a Difference

“The energy assistance program was able to help me stay financially stable. My home does not keep heat well, as it is old, and I am doing my best to update it as much as I financially can. Without this assistance program, I would have either been really cold, or going in the red financially!” 

– 2020 EAP recipient

Contact BI-CAP: (218) 751-4631

Our Energy Assistance staff is here to help with your questions. Due to COVID-19 precautions, doors are currently closed to the public. We are still providing services. We are receiving phone calls Monday-Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Toll Free: 800-332-7161

Experiencing a furnace outage? Please call (218) 751-4631 or 1-800-332-7161 during business hours and ask to speak with someone in Energy Assistance.

You must be approved for Energy Assistance and own your home to qualify.

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