To help members with limited financial resources, Dakota Electric spends approximately $200,000 each year partnering with local organizations such as the Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver and Dakota counties (CAP) and the Community Development Agency (CDA).
Michelle Polson, housing program manager at the CAP Agency in Rosemount, explains the organization and services available for the energy assistance program.
Explain the CAP Agency and what you do:
The CAP Agency is a local nonprofit organization that works to stabilize individuals and families experiencing crisis. We assist and empower people to achieve social and economic well being by providing them with the necessary resources needed for self reliance.
As for what I do at the agency, I oversee our Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) and affordable housing units, which are primarily located in Dakota County and some in Scott County.
Describe your partnership with Dakota Electric:
As a longtime partner of the CAP Agency, Dakota Electric provides funding and support for our CIP program. Working with Dakota Electric has made a big impact in our community and neighborhoods. The partnership allows us to have a program that helps with saving energy on a larger scale.
How do you use the funds you receive from Dakota Electric?
With support from Dakota Electric, we perform energy audits and provide households with new ENERGY STAR® appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, electric water heaters and more. Appliances must be over 10 years old to qualify. These households are then able to save money on energy costs and direct those savings to other urgent costs such as food and housing.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To qualify for the CIP program, a household must be under 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. Eligibility is determined by using the past three months of the homeowner’s household income prior to signing the application, or last year’s federal tax forms for self employment. This means that a family of four must have an annual income of less than $51,500 in order to qualify.
How do people apply?
I would invite you to apply for this program if you are income eligible for energy assistance. To apply for the CIP program you must first apply for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Visit capagency.org or call 651-322-3500 for an application. Once you have been approved for the EAP, an application will be sent to you in the spring for the CIP program. We are here to help our community!