The Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program administered through the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The program provides financial assistance to help with household winter heating bills.  Both homeowners and renters may apply. Assets, such as the home, are not considered in determining eligibility.  A household must complete the application process to determine eligibility and the amount of their utility assistance. Electronic signatures are not accepted, please sign the application before you send. Financial assistance payments are made directly to the household’s utility company. Grants range from $200 – $1,400 depending on household size, income and fuel cost; average grant is $500. Income guidelines below.

Maximum Energy Assistance Program Income Guidelines for fiscal year 2024  (Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2024)

For households size 1-16, based on 50% State Median Income (SMI). For households size 17-20, based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, below.

Household Size Annual Income 1 Month Max.
1 $32,667 $2,722
2 $42,719 $3,559
3 $52,770 $4,397
4 $62,822 $5,235
5 $72,874 $6,072
6 $82,925 $6,910
7 $84,810 $7,067
8 $86,695 $7,224
9 $88,579 $7,381
10 $90,464 $7,538
11 $92,349 $7,695
12 $94,233 $7,852
13 $96,118 $8,009
14 $98,003 $8,166
15 $99,887 $8,323
16 $101,772 $8,481
17 $106,503 $8,875
18 $112,157 $9,346
19 $117,811 $9,817
20 $123,465 $10,288

Emergency heating system repair or replacement (to owner-occupied EAP eligible households, only). To receive assistance a household must apply for the Energy Assistance Program. The latest EAP application information is posted here. or Call 1-800-944-3281 for an application or with questions, or use our Semcac Message Center.  If you have additional questions or concerns for the Department of Commerce, please visit their website, here.

To view a list of EAP service providers, listed by county, visit this page on their website.


The Energy Assistance Program season begins October 1 each year, and runs until the end of May the following year. You can apply one time per heating season.
It is available on this website, or call 800-944-3281 to have one mailed to you, or your local County Semcac office has applications available for pickup, these are also available after hours. If you cannot complete the application yourself, please call for an appointment.
Please refer to the detailed instructions that come with the application as to income/benefit verification.

You can mail your application to Semcac, PO Box 549, Rushford, MN 55971, email to or fax to 507-864-2597.

The guidelines change each new season. Please see the current guidelines above.
You will receive confirmation that we received your application. Applications are processed in the first-come/first-serve basis and are generally processed within 30-60 days, depending on the information you provide. Important- an incomplete application will delay processing.
The grant amount is based on your household size, household income, the type of housing you live in and what it cost to heat your home the last heating season.
Your energy grant amount is based on the above information. The grant amount is a one-time assistance, payable in 1 payment and deposited directly to your utility account. 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 of your heat and/or electric costs. You are responsible for your utility bills and will need to make monthly payments to maintain your service.
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.
If you received the Primary Energy Grant, then you could be eligible for Energy Assistance Crisis funds. If you are in threat of disconnection/20% or less fuel or have a past due water bill, contact our office and we will let you know what is available and a emergency assistance referral if needed.