The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which helps low-income renters and homeowners pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs.  A member's annual household income must be at or below 50% of the state median annual income ($62,822 for a family of four) to qualify for benefits.  Also, applications must be received or postmarked by May 31, 2024.

To learn more about accessing the EAP, click on the SEMCAC or Three Rivers links below.  Additional organizations that may be able to help are also listed below.

Energy Assistance Increase

The Energy Assistance Program Crisis Benefit Maximum has been increased to $3,000.  Members may be eligible for additional Energy Assistance funds (Crisis benefits) if: 

  • They have a pending heat/electric disconnection.
  • Their heat/electricity is disconnected.
  • They have less than 20% of propane or oil in their tank or are out of fuel, and cannot get a delivery on credit.
  • They are age 60 or older and need help paying their current energy bill.

Some households may have already used the previous maximum Crisis amount of $1,500.  With the maximum raised to $3,000, households can request additional Crisis funds.  To get extra help, members must contact their local Energy Assistance service provider by June 30.

Minnesota Cold Weather Rule

The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule is in effect October 1 to April 30.  For more information, please click below.


SEMCAC serves the counties of Dodge, Freeborn, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Steele and Winona.

(800) 944-3281

Three Rivers Community Action

Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. serves Olmsted and Wabasha counties.

(507) 316-0616

Rochester Salvation Army

Provides assistance to residents of Olmsted County with a wide range of programs.

(507) 288-3663

Minnesota Department of Commerce

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has a website with information and resources to help Minnesota families get through our cold winters.

USDA Service Center Locator

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with people at the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development.  There are resources here for farmers and ranchers who may need assistance.