Energy Conservation/Education

Compact Florescent Light (CFL) Bulbs

1. Why should I use CFL Bulbs?

ENERGY STAR qualified CFL bulbs use up to 75% less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.

2. How do CFL Bulbs work?

Unlike incandescent bulbs which use a filament, CFL light bulbs give off light when a mixture of three phosphors are exposed to ultraviolet light from mercury atoms.

3. Do CFL Bulbs contain mercury?

There are trace amounts of mercury in CFL Bulbs. For the home user, this presents no problems. The problem can come from improper disposal. CFL Bulbs should be recycled properly.

4. What is a CFL Bulbs?

CFL stands for “Compact Fluorescent Lamp”. As the name implies, they are compact versions of the long, tubular fluorescent lamps that are commonly seen in offices, schools and institutional buildings. CFL Bulbs are becoming more familiar as they replace the standard, incandescent bulbs.

Home Electric Savings Program (HESP)

1. What is the goal of the Home Electric Savings Program?

The goal of the Home Electric Saving Program is to achieve an annual reduction in the amount of electricity used in your home by providing customer education, energy efficient appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

2. Who pays for the HESP?

Xcel Energy pays for the Home Electric Savings Program. All publicly regulated utility companies in the state of Minnesota are required to spend funds on what are called Conservation Improvement Programs.

3. Who is eligible to receive the HESP service?

Households that are income eligible for Energy Assistance are also eligible to receive the HESP service. You must also be an Xcel Energy customer and have a current Xcel Energy residential account.

4. How is the HESP provided?

Once eligibility has been determined a Community Action of Minneapolis energy educator will come to your home to provide you with free compact fluorescent lights and other miscellaneous free energy savings items. The energy educator will talk to you about ways you can reduce the amount of electricity you use in your home and look at your appliances to determine how much energy they consume.

5. What appliances can be replaced?

Refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners. Xcel Energy considers these appliances to be the three largest consumers of electricity in your home.

6. How can I receive ENERGY STAR appliances?

If your old appliance (refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner) is at least ten years old and/or in bad working condition it can be traded for a new ENERGY STAR appliance. You must have an old inefficient appliance to trade in order to receive the new ENERGY STAR appliance.

7. How many appliances can I receive?

Each household could be eligible to receive 1 refrigerator, 1 freezer and we can now provide up to 2 air conditioners if a household has 2 air conditioners to exchange.

8. What happens if I have problems with my new appliance?

All new ENERGY STAR appliances received through HESP come with one year warranty, free of charge, on all parts and labor. The warranty starts the day you receive your appliance.

9. How long does it take to receive my new appliance?

It can take 4 to 6 weeks from the date the application is completed to receive your new appliance.

10. What type of air conditioners are provided?

HESP provides window and wall air conditioners with a replacement. Central air conditioners are not provided.

11. What size are the new air conditioners?

Window air conditioners are 8,000 BTUs and cools approximately 400 sq. ft. Wall air conditioners are 10,000 BTUs and cools approximately 600 sq. ft.

12. What is the size of the new ENERGY STAR refrigerator and freezer?

The standard refrigerator size is 18.2 cubic ft. and is frost free. A smaller refrigerator is available if there are space limitations in your home.

The standard freezer is a 7.1 cubic ft. chest model and is manual defrosting.

13. Can I get an ice maker with my new refrigerator?

No. Ice makers are not provided. If your old refrigerator has an ice maker it must be dissembled before the new appliance is delivered.


1. Who is eligible to receive Weatherization?

If you are a homeowner living in your rental property you are eligible to receive weatherization once you have been approved for Energy Assistance.

If you are the owner of single family buildings or multiple family buildings, tenants of those buildings must qualify for Energy Assistance before a weatherization grant can be assigned.

2. Are multiple family buildings that are occupied by tenants eligible for weatherization?

Yes. Building owners must sign an agreement not be raised the current rent for 2 to 4 years. Two-thirds of the building's tenants must qualify before a weatherization grant can be assigned. This includes homeowners living in a rental property.

3. How do I apply for weatherization?

Call (612) 335-5837 and request an Energy Assistance application. You can also download the application from our website at Fill out the application and mail it to:

Community Action of Minneapolis
Energy Assistance Program
2104 Park Avenue
Minneapolis MN 55404

4. Will this grant help with my electrical, plumbing, window replacement and roofing problems?

No. These activities are not allowed under this grant.

5. What kind of work does the weatherization grant allow for?

The weatherization grant allows for insulation of attic systems, empty exterior walls, weather stripping, other air sealing, and some heating systems. .

6. How is the weatherization work assessed?

Our energy auditor will come to your house and conduct an audit. The audit takes 2 to 4 hours and includes a blower door, pressure diagnostics, furnace testing, oven testing, water heater testing, and client education. Our mechanical and weatherization contractors will go over the extent of our work.

7. How much is the weatherization grant?

The grant amount depends on the age, size, and individual needs of the building.

8. Does the weatherization grant have to be paid back?

No. This is a one-time grant for the address where the weatherization work will be done. No credit background or home equity payment is required..

9. When will I be notified about my weatherization eligibility?

We cannot predict a time period. We generally receive funding for 325 slots a year. We have a weatherization referral list of approximately 6,000 people. We will focus on customers whose address has not received a weatherization grant in the past.

10. Do I need to apply every year if I am on the waiting list?

Yes. Your eligibility expires September 30th of every year. If you have not been selected for weatherization services within the current program year you will need to reapply with the Energy Assistance Program to maintain your standing on the weatherization waiting list.

11. Who do I contact for additional information?

Call the Weatherization Program at (612) 335-5911.


Energy Programs

Energy Assistance Program (EAP)

1. How can I get an application to apply for assistance?

You may request an application by calling (612) 335-5837; stopping by one of our offices located at 2104 Park Avenue S, 411 E. 38th Street, and 2100 Plymouth Avenue N; or you can download an application from our website at

2. What documents do I need to include with my application?

  • Previous three months gross income for all household members with income
  • Copy of gas and electric bills
  • Copy of lease if both gas and electric is included in rent

3. Does Energy Assistance pay my bill each month?

No. You receive once per heating season. The Energy Assistance heting season runs from October 1st to May 31st.

4. Does my utility service have to be disconnected before I can apply for Energy Assistance?

No. However, it is always a good idea to submit your application before your reach this point.

5. Does my utility bill have to be listed in my name?

Yes. Your name must be on the bill, or an adult living in your household. If you are a renter and the bills are in your landlord's name we can pay on behalf of the landlord.

6. I qualify for assistance, how are the payments made to my utility company?

Payments are made directly to your utility provider in four installments. You may also be eligible for up to $500.00 additional funds through our crisis program.

7. Does Energy Assistance pay my water, sewer or phone bills?

No. The Energy Assistance Program assists low-income individuals and households pay their energy bill.

8. How long will it take?

It may take up to 60 days to process your application. Continue paying your bills while waiting for a decision on your application. If your bills are overdue or you are in danger of running out of fuel, contact your heat or utility company to set up a payment plan and let them know you have applied for Energy Assistance.

9. How are grants calculated?

Energy Assistance grants are calculated using a point system which considers income, household size, and consumption. A grant is then automatically  generated in the system.

10. Do I qualify if I live in Section 8 or subsidized rental housing?

If heat and electricity are included in your rent, you do not qualify for heating assistance. If you live in Section 8 or subsidized rental housing and you are responsible for gas, electric and/or fuel utilities, you are eligible to receive an Energy Assistance grant.

11. Can I apply for Energy Assistance if I do not live in the home?

No. You must live in the home to qualify.

12. Can I transfer my grant?

Once you have received your grant, it cannot be transferred unless you have moved to an area that is served by a different heat/electric company. Contact the Energy Assistance office if you move so we can help you transfer your grant.

Emergency Benefit Assistance (EBA)

1. Can you help me with a disconnection if my utility bill is large and I have already received Energy Assistance?

You may quality for crisis assistance and you may also qualify for an additional grant of $200.00

2. The gas/electric company will not make arrangements with me because my bill is too high. Can your agency assist me with this and give me some referrals?

Yes, we can advocate for you and give you referrals to assist you with getting your past due amount reduced.

Energy Related Repairs (ERR)

1. I'm having problems with my furnace, I have no heat. Can you help me?

We can help if you have applied for Energy Assistance and you are the homeowner.

2. I am having problems with my hot water heater. Can you help me?

We can help if you have applied for Energy Assistance and you are the homeowner.