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Westrom offers energy tips, advice

Having trouble paying your heating bills or keeping your energy costs low? State Representative Torrey Westrom, who represents District 11A in Douglas County, said the Stay Warm Minnesota website offers plenty of helpful energy-related informatio...

Having trouble paying your heating bills or keeping your energy costs low?

State Representative Torrey Westrom, who represents District 11A in Douglas County, said the Stay Warm Minnesota website offers plenty of helpful energy-related information as winter descends on Minnesota.

This site - www.staywarm.mn.gov - includes tips on making your home more energy efficient, finding financial assistance, if necessary, and keeping safe this winter.

There also are details on how to seal up air leaks, which can cause ice dams and other problems, provides tips on how to find products that have energy saving features, and shows you how to properly insulate a basement.

You'll also find links to various state departments and energy providers where other information is available.

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If you prefer to speak with someone at Minnesota's Energy Info Center, call 1-800-657-3710.

Westrom noted that many folks are struggling to make ends meet these days and the site also provides details of the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, also known as the Energy Assistance Program in Minnesota.

This program provides heating assistance for Minnesotans who meet certain income guidelines.

In addition to this program, there are several other short and long-term assistance programs available to help homeowners get through the winter, Westrom said.

Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule currently is in place, protecting residential utility customers from having their electricity or natural gas shut off through April 15, provided they contact their utility to set up a payment plan, Westrom said.

"Most of our utility companies will work with consumers who are in a pinch, but it's very important to contact the provider as soon as possible so payment arrangements can be worked out," he said.

Contact information for Minnesota's utilities and energy providers is available at the Stay Warm Minnesota website and there are no minimum income requirements for some of these forms of assistance.

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