By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — About $106 million in federal funding will be available to help low-income Minnesotans pay for their heating bills this winter, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

On Thursday, commerce officials said funds from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be provided to reduce home heating costs “by making payments directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of eligible Minnesota homeowners and renters.”

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The assistance is available to homeowners and renters who earn less than 50% of the state’s median income, which is $54,357 for a family of four. Assets, such as the value of a home, is not considered in determining eligibility.

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“Heating your home is a necessity in Minnesota, and no one’s health or safety should be at risk because they cannot afford to stay warm,” Department of Commerce Temporary Commissioner Grace Arnold said, whose agency administers the Energy Assistance Program in partnership with 29 local service providers throughout the state. “The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program is available to help Minnesotans pay for home heating costs, repairs and fuel delivery.”

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The average grant is about $500. For more information on eligibility and applying, call 800-657-3710 and press 1, and click here.