Many Minnesotans in and around Duluth are having difficulty paying their heating and electricity bills amid the pandemic. The state of Minnesota and a group called the Clean Energy Resource Teams may have some support to offer those feeling the burden of energy expenses.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has funds available for energy assistance, and the recently approved federal stimulus includes more than $100 million for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, nearly doubling the amount of support. If you qualify, you could receive significant assistance to help pay your energy bills. Eligible applicants receive an initial grant between $300 and $1,600 for energy expenses and can be eligible for up to $1,200 more to help pay overdue bills, avoid a utility shut off, or get a fuel delivery. The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency provides energy assistance services in the Duluth area and can be reached at aeoa.org/energy-assistance-program, 218-623-3011 in Duluth, and 218-735-6839 outside Duluth. Eligibility is based on income and family size. Individuals need to earn less than $28,266 to qualify, while families of four can earn up to $54,357.

I serve as a volunteer for the Clean Energy Resource Teams, a group that helps people in Minnesota with their energy questions. The Clean Energy Resource Teams has created a series of home-energy guides for single-family homes, manufactured homes, renters, and landlords. These guides provide tips for how to keep your home comfortable, safe, and efficient; for how to understand energy bills; and for what to do in the case of energy emergencies.

I sincerely hope that these resources provide some relief for local residents.

Brian Bluhm

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Duluth

The writer is a volunteer for the Clean Energy Resource Teams (cleanenergyresourceteams.org/home).


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