Funds are still available to help Minnesotans pay for their heating bills. Help is available through the state’s Energy Assistance Program through May 31. The program helps low-income households and renters pay heating bills through benefits paid directly to utility companies. Minnesotans who earn less than 50 percent of the state’s median income (around $50,000 for a family of four) are encouraged to apply. Last year the program helped 126,000 households with an average benefit of $545. Locally, check with the Minnesota Valley Action Council in Mankato.