ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Requests for heating aid are on a record pace for central Minnesota.

Tri-County Action Program provides heating assistance for residents of Stearns, Benton, Morrison and Sherburne counties.

The St. Cloud Times reports that the program has received more than 5,500 applications since Oct. 1. Executive Director Angela Theisen says that’s about 900 more than this time last year.

Theisen says demand is being driven by a combination of the economy and the harsh winter, as well as the group’s efforts to make sure those who are eligible apply.

She says the recent news that Minnesota will receive an additional $142.7 million for the low-income home energy assistance program is welcome. She says they’ve almost exhausted the $3 million it received so far.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. Pete J says:

    LOL….that photo makes me LAUGH…..I think ANYONE on “heating assistance” should not be able to turn their thermostat ABOVE 60!!!! The thermostats should be STATE or UTILITY ISSUED and once they can pay their bills….they can have their regular thermostat back! I have mine at 62 for all of FOUR HOURS a day and as low as 55 at night to SAVE MONEY! $10 says these people have theirs at 68 at night and 2 deg short of a SAUNA when they are home! Grrrrr….I mean….brrrrrrr…..guess I need to go outside and cut more wood!

  2. Callie's Mom says:

    Whoa!…We have a very old house that is hard to keep warm and also have a 2 year old…there is no way I’d have our house set at 60, and 55 is just out of the question! You must have some very hot-blood if you find 68 too hot!

  3. Pete J says:

    Not too hot….too expensive…..A sweater goes a lot farther on an active 2 year old than 68 for one watching cable TV..God bless you for being a good Mom (I hope you are) but age other than being too old is no excuse…..

  4. Lori says:

    I am honored to work for a program where I can help people who need help with their heating bills.
    I know there is a misconseption that everyone is looking for a hand out but many of the people who receive energy assistance do not receive any other assistance.
    Energy assistance is not a program that pays off everyones heating bills. Our program can give a supplement that makes the heating bill more managable for people during the months when the bill is the highest.
    Without our program, some of our clients would have to choose between having medication and food for the month or paying the energy bill.

  5. CHUCK says:


  6. Jj says:

    Mine is 52 at night and 66 day. My kids know that layers and quilts are a smart way to conserve even though we can more than afford our bills. When it’s all free then you’re right, there’s no incentive to conserve.

  7. Imagem says:

    I have received assistance with my propane. I keep my thermostat at 68 when I am home…5pm til about 11 pm…then I go to bed and set it at 55…where it is set when I am at work. I work 2 jobs right now…have had 3. I am 68 and bring home about $1500 a MONTH. I wear triple layers when I am home. Be sure you know what you are talking about…it is not easy. I have been without propane…so no heat and no stove…that was not fun. I used space heaters at that timeand cooked with small appliances.

  8. Jen says:

    My parents have received fuel assistance for a few years, which is SUPPLEMENTAL, it does not pay for whatever they decide to keep the heat on! They still have to pay for whatever the “assistance” doesn’t help with and they always keep the temp set really low(too chilly for me). They also live in an old house, which has awful efficiency, but can’t afford to do anything about it.
    Do you all REALLY think that picture was taken from an ACTUAL home of someone with heat assistance? No, it was most likely taken in the WCCO studio or purchased from a stock photographer and could have been ANYWHERE.
    The real issue in Minnesota is the welfare handout. I know people that decide they’ll use Welfare so they can start having kids early in their twenties or younger, now that’s a problem!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE