Kootasca’s Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to pay a portion of a household’s energy and heating bills. In addition, the program offers emergency assistance for utility disconnection, educates consumers to use home heating energy efficiently and safely, and provides emergency heating system repair or replacement for homeowners.
PRIMARY HEAT: Heating assistance is available to households who rent or own, whose income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income. The assistance you receive pays a portion of home energy and heating costs. Grants are based on household size, gross income, and the previous year’s energy costs. Grants are paid directly to your energy providers.
CRISIS PROGRAM: Households experiencing a heating or electric emergency may be eligible for additional crisis assistance. You must be approved for energy assistance and a primary heat grant does not resolve the situation.
ENERGY RELATED REPAIR (ERR): ERR funds are available to homeowners experiencing a life-threatening situation or a no-heat emergency due to a malfunctioning or nonfunctioning heating system. You must be approved for energy assistance to qualify for this program. Proof of home ownership is required.
Applications for Energy Assistance are accepted from October 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023. Applications for the 2022-2023 Energy Assistance Program will be mailed to households who previously received Energy Assistance. Households who have not previously applied for Energy Assistance can request or print an application below. To request an application by mail or for questions about the program, call Kootasca at 877-687-1163 or request an application at MN.gov. Applications are available to download in English, Español, Hmoob, Soomaali and Tiếng Việt.
Ten benefits of the Energy Assistance Program
- It’s free!
- The average grant is more than $1,000
- Local Energy Assistance Partners can help with your application!
- Grants are based on household size and income, and on utility costs
- Up to $1,400 per household – for heat and power bills
- Can also pay off your entire past due water/wastewater bill!
- It works if you use electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil or biofuel.
- Grants are paid to your account at your utility company or provider – we do it for you!
- The program is open to people who rent AND who own their homes
- We can also arrange emergency fuel delivery, and repair or replace homeowners’ broken heating systems.
- A new application must be completed, dated and signed in order to receive Energy Assistance
- A new application must be submitted for each program year (Oct 1 to May 31) to:
KOOTASCA Energy Assistance Program
201 NW 4th Street, Suite 130
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
If you have already applied, please be patient. Every application submitted will be properly processed. For emergency situations, if your heat, power or water are disconnected, your heating fuel is gone, your furnace stopped running – contact your local Energy Assistance Program provider immediately.
Energy Assistance Program Service Provider Phone Number List
AFTER HOURS NO HEAT CRISIS LINE: 888-249-8879
Energy Conservation Tips & Tricks That Could Help YOU Cut Energy Related Costs:
- Electronics: Plug electronics into a power strip then turn the strip off when not in use to save energy costs. Invest in a “smart” power strip, which keeps important items on while shutting off others. Unplug your battery charger when not in use – many chargers draw power continuously even when the device is not plugged into the charger.
- Cooking: Use microwave or toaster or crock pot to cook or warm leftovers. You will use less energy than cooking with a conventional oven and keep your kitchen cooler in warmer temperatures. Keep the oven door closed while cooking – the temperature can escape (and unintentionally heat up your kitchen) by as many as 25 degrees each time you open the oven door.
- Refrigerators: Unplug any home electronics not in use- a 2nd fridge can cost $100-$200 a year to run. Buy Energy Star appliances – they are more efficient and cost less to run. An Energy Star is 15% more efficient. Your fridge should be kept at 36-38 degrees. Set your freezer temp between 0-5.
- Laundry: When doing a load of clothes make sure they are full loads. Wash clothes in cold water unless very dirty. Clean the dryer lint filter before every load to keep your dryer running efficiently. Avoid over-drying your clothes — it wastes energy, plus causes static and wrinkling. Hang clothes on a drying rack or outside (it’s free!).
- Lighting: Keep light bulbs clean and turned off when not in use. CFL (compact florescent lamp) bulbs use 75% less energy and last 8-10 times longer than regular bulbs and they can knock $80 off your energy bill a year. LED (light –emitting diodes) bulbs cost more but can last 15 years. Imagine the long-term savings! Use light colored lamp shades to allow more light in a room from less wattage bulbs.
- Central Air: Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture. Give your air compressor space to work efficiently – never stack anything against your A/C or drape anything over it. The rule of thumb for A/C is that you can save about 3% on your cooling bill for every degree that you increase your thermostat full time. To counteract the slightly warmer temps, engage ceiling fans to cool your house down.
- Dishwashers: When doing a load of dishes make sure they are full loads. If your dishwasher has an economy option, use it. Air drying dishes saves energy and money.
- Use curtains: Closing curtains during hot days will keep unwanted heat out.