The Minnesota Department of Commerce is urging income-eligible Minnesotans to apply for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program before Cold Weather Rule protections end April 30th to avoid having their utilities disconnected.

“The average benefit for energy assistance is about $1,100 but for folks who are experiencing a disconnect from the utilities now even if you just get a disconnect notice or if you run low on your heating fuel you can now receive up to $3,000 more to pay those pesky energy bills.”

Michael Schmitz, director of the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program at the Department of Commerce, says the Cold Weather Rule expires on April 30th, but Minnesotans can sign up for assistance through May 31st. For more information, call 800-657-3710 or visit