Energy Assistance FAQ’s

 (Frequently Asked Questions)


What is it?

Energy Assistance is a program designed to assist low-income households with energy costs during the winter months.



Who can apply?

Families, single people, and seniors who meet the eligibility guidelines.



When can I apply?

The Energy Assistance heating season begins on October 1st each year, and runs till the end of May the following year.



How do I get an application?

Applications can be mailed to you by contacting the Energy Assistance application line at 763-783-4712, it is also available on this website.  You may also stop in our office to pick up an application.  We are located at the Human Service Center for Anoka County, 1201 89th Ave. NE, Suite 345, Blaine, MN.



How is an Energy Assistance grant amount determined?

An energy grant is based on what it cost to heat your home the previous heating season, household size and household income.



What are the eligibility guidelines?

The guidelines change each new season.

See them on this web site under Application Information.



Will Energy Assistance pay my entire bill?

Your energy grant amount is based on the above information.  Each household’s grant amount is different and has no reflection on how much is owed to the utility company.  Remember, this is an assistance program and it is not designed to pay all your heating related utility costs.  You are responsible for your utility bills and will need to make monthly payments to maintain your service.



Do I need to wait for a disconnect or final notice to apply?

NO  –  If you feel you meet the eligibility guidelines for the Energy Assistance program, apply as soon as you can, this program has limited funding.



How long will it take?

Applications are processed on a first-come first-serve basis and are generally processed within 30-60 days, depending on the program funding and the information you provide. An incomplete application will delay processing.



Does Energy Assistance pay all my utility bills?

NO  –  Payments may be made to your heating and electric utilities only.  This program does not make payments toward water, sewer, garbage removal, or phone bills.  However, if you are approved for the Energy Assistance program, you may be eligible for a discount on your phone service.  When you receive your approval letter from the Energy Assistance program, contact your phone company and request an application for the Telephone Assistance Program.




Does Energy Assistance pay on my bill every month?

NO  –  The energy assistance grant amount is a one-time assistance, payable in 1 to 4 payments and deposited directly to your utility account.



How often can I apply for Energy Assistance?

One time per heating season.



What if I need more assistance with my utility bills?

If you are in one of these situations – Disconnected/Threat of Disconnection/No or Low fuel.

If you received the Primary energy grant, then you could be eligible for the Energy Assistance Crisis funds.

If the Crisis funding is not available or you do not meet the requirements, we have a listing of other resources that you may contact to see if they can assist you.  Contact our office and we will let you know what is available.



Can the utility company shut me off in the winter?

YES  –  You can be shut off any time of the year if you owe on your bill.  However, if you contact your utility company and apply for the Cold Weather Rule protection and you meet their payment requirements, you will be protected from disconnection of your service during October 15th through April 15.  You will need to make monthly payments for this protection.



What if I need help filling out the application?

Anoka County Community Action has an Energy Assistance staff and Outreach program that may be able to assist you.  Contact our offices at 763-783-4712 to request this service.