Weather Alert

Minnesota expands eligibility for home heating aid program

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: An air-conditioning unit is tested in a revoloutionary and environmentally-friendly housing estate April 13, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. 16 houses in the estate use technology that converts natural gas into electricity. Utility provider Grid X claims that each house generates a third less greenhouse gas than houses that use coal fired electricity. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is expanding the number of households that qualify for its Energy Assistance Program.

The changes announced by the Department of Commerce makeover 600,000 Minnesota households income-eligible for the program. During the previous program year, which ends Friday, about 116,000 Minnesota households applied and qualified.

The Energy Assistance Program helps households pay for current and past-due heating bills, including repair and replacement of broken heating systems. It can also help with water and sewer bills. Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule takes effect Friday, 15 days earlier than before. The rule protects enrolled customers from having power or gas shut off.

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