Cold weather services available for qualified families - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Cold weather services available for qualified families

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Colder weather means higher utility bills. But if you're worried about keeping your home heated this winter, there is a state program that could help you cover your bills. 

A government-funded program called Energy Assistance is there to help.

"Yeah, I think it's a good idea," said Matt Robinson, a new resident of Minnesota. "I haven't been here in the winter, but I know it gets cold, so if they can't afford to pay the bill, it makes sense that someone would help them out."

It is created to aid those who make 50 percent or less than the median state income, $42,789 for a family of 4, modeled particularly for the elderly, disabled, veterans and children.

"It would definitely help out," said Cassie Westfall of Rochester. "I mean, I don't make very much. So, with bills, if I just got a little extra, it would be nice. But I know there are people less fortunate than me that could use it as well."

"I mean, there's a lot of families that have a tough time with bills depending on their circumstances," said Crystal Wildfeuer of Rochester. "So, it's a great program that's offered to those that need it."

The program gets people through the winter, and if given the opportunity and if they qualify, families welcome the help.

"If I needed it, I probably would," said Westfall. "It's nice to know that it's at least there if I needed it. Knowing that I have little ones, it would be nice."

"Yeah. If I can't pay the bills I suppose I would definitely do that," said Robinson.

The snow will soon be blowing in, and the cash will soon be blowing out of wallets. The state is there to help if the need is dire.

The Cold Weather Rule is also approaching this month, which prevents people from losing their heat until mid-April if they talk to their utility company.

Programs and help are available for those who show the required need.

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