By Adam Carter

By Adam Carter, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More Minnesotans than ever needed federal assistance to pay their energy bill over the past season, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

The commerce department oversees the Energy Assistance Program, which pays utilities on behalf of eligible households.

From October until now, the EAP program has served more than 165,000 households. That number, already an increase from 2009 through 2010, will likely keep climbing.

“Folks have until May 31 to apply,” said Nicole Garrison-Sprenger with the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “We’re expecting that we will serve this year about 170,000 households in Minnesota.”

Garrison-Sprenger said there is a mix of factors for the continued increase in help.

“The economy is one factor, the weather is certainly another factor,” Garrison-Sprenger said, noting the brutal winter the state has just come through. “They kind of coincide to create the demand that we’ve seen.”

Qualifying households are ones with incomes below 50 percent of the $43,500 state median income for a family of four. The average assistance grant per household is $500.

WCCO Interviews Nicole Garrison-Sprenger

Comments (8)
  1. GOPSUX says:

    Maybe the GOP should demonize these people too.

    1. M B says:

      Considering it IS government assistance, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

  2. tom says:

    When will the congressmen and women learn. Tax us to death, let jobs leave this tax ridden state, but hey the vikings need a few billion lets help them build a stadium that they can continue to show their losing ways. If i were governer i would say , untill they win a championship or the super bowl , No STADIUM!!!!, They cannot even fill the venue they have now. Instead of putting a new roof on the dome,(vikings never filled it) lets put a retractable roof on it and they can continue to lose there.

    1. M B says:

      Dude, this is SO not about the stadium. I don’t like it either but this article is not the place for this particular rant…

  3. BG says:

    Why should some people get their heat paid for?. I work hard and pay all my bills on time and never have I been given any help on paying my heating bill. If you can’t afford heat your home move somewhere warmer quit asking for hand outs!

    1. ehidi says:

      BG- Someday if you are laid off from your job, or become disabled, or have a child that is disabled and needs around the clock care, you will appreciate that there are assistance programs available to help you.

  4. Louis Freehdomfries says:

    It sucks to find yourself on the backside of credit expansion. You know, the one that Reagan started. Mourning in America. Contraction ALWAYS follows a period of credit expansion.

  5. L says:

    some truly are in need, most scam the system. i’ve seen it.

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