Minnesota and Wisconsin Respond to the Propane Shortage and Offer Help
The cold temps have taken a toll on us. A propane shortage, lost PTO time because you had to stay home with the kids. The kids home because school was cancelled and may now have to attend school longer in June. Worried? There is help for those that qualify for both MN and WI.
In MN, Governor Dayton declared a State of Peacetime Emergency in response to the propane shortage and the fact that many households are at an increased risk of running out of heating fuel.
Consumers who need assistance to pay heating bills may find help through the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program. Minnesota residents with questions about the current propane situation or who are in danger of running out of heating fuel can call 1-800-657-3504. The Hotline will operate Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Qualifying families must apply for assistance at the local service provider in their area. Money is still available for households that have not already applied.
In WI, Governor Walker has directed DOA’s Division of Energy services to release a total of $8.5 million in crisis benefits to counties and tribes that have households that use propane to heat their homes. In addition, crisis benefits include financial assistance to purchase home heating full, help in locating fuel providers, and temporary lodging. Residents may be eligible if the gross household income is 60% of the state median income level or less.
With the severe cold weather, the Department of Administration (DOA) is reminding individuals about where to call for emergency heating assistance. Customers that need emergency heating assistance can contact their county or tribal office.
For more info from Wisconsin’s Home Energy Assistance Program call toll-free at 866-HEATWIS (432-8947) or Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund toll free at 1-800-891-9276.
Whether you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin there are things you can do.
- Conserve energy as much as possible. Turn down thermostats and be aware of your propane use.
- Check in on your family members, neighbors and friends. Call 9-1-1 only in a crisis
- Use Alternative Heat Sources Safely
People often turn to alternative heat sources to stay warm when the temperature plummets. The State Fire Marshal (SFM) reminds residents to use caution when using alternative heating sources.
Types of alternative heating sources often seen include:
- Portable electric heaters
- Liquid-fueled heaters:
- Waste oil
- Gas-burning heaters – Propane is most common
- Solid-fuel heating:
Please note: Any heating appliance with an open flame needs to be vented to the outside because the combustion process of burning fuel uses oxygen and also gives off carbon monoxide — a deadly combination inside of a home.