By LESLEY TOTH
Mille Lacs County Times
While this winter has been rather mild so far, Minnesotans know better than to think January through March will be anything but cold. And colder weather means higher energy bills for a majority of residents. Fortunately, assistance is available in several forms for qualifying residents.
State and federal assistance
Lakes and Pines Community Action Council, the local organization facilitating programs of Minnesota’s Energy and Housing Department, is reminding residents to check with them to find out if they are eligible for assistance.
For questions or an application, call 320-679-1800 or 1-800-832-6082, visit www.lakesandpines.org, or visit the office at 1700 Maple Ave. East, Mora (office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday).
Utility provider assistance
Assistance may also be available for residents using certain utility providers. Residents should contact their utility providers for details concerning their gas affordability programs.
CenterPoint Energy: 1-800-245-2377; Xcel Energy: 1-800-657-3710; East Central Energy: 1-800-254-7944.
Help is also available through various non-profit private organizations, but residents should remember that these charitable funds are last resort emergency funds with limited resources and limited times of operation.
Reach Out For Warmth: 1-800-657-3710; HeatShare: 1-800-842-7929 or visit http://thesalarmy.org/serv/heatshare.htm
For the full story, see the Thursday, Jan. 5 print edition of the Times.