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Extra help available to help qualifying customers pay natural gas bill

CenterPoint Energy customers who qualified for and received funds during this heating season under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can apply for additional funds through the Gas Affordability Program (GAP).

GAP helps qualifying customers pay for current and past due natural gas bills and avoid service disconnection. For customers who are eligible for LIHEAP but have not yet applied, representatives are available to refer customers to agencies who may qualify them.

"Due to limited funds, we urge customers to apply now for energy assistance before funds run out since program funding is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis," said Greg Schirmers, energy assistance program manager for CenterPoint Energy. "This year, the state of Minnesota's funding level is lower than last year and funds are expected to be depleted sooner."

Customers who provide proof of income and meet income guidelines set by the state of Minnesota at or below 50 percent of the state median income are eligible for LIHEAP and GAP. The programs provide payment to the customer's energy provider based on household size, income, fuel type and energy usage costs. GAP is offered in partnership with CenterPoint Energy and the Energy CENTS Coalition.

Customers can find out if they are eligible by calling for an application and program details by calling (612) 372-4727 (1-800-245-2377) or by visiting the website .