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Extra help available to help qualifying customers pay natural gas bill
CenterPoint Energy offers the Gas Affordability Program

MINNEAPOLIS – March 20, 2012 – 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 our Website.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $21 billion.  With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.