With propane prices still extremely high, Gov. Mark Dayton has expanded eligibility for Minnesota's heating assistance program.
Dayton's executive order means households of four earning less than $52,370 are now eligible for help. The expanded heating assistance is available to any qualifying household — not just propane users, the state Commerce Department said.
The assistance program is vital to many Minnesotans, said Joe Stariha, co-president of Como Oil & Propane in Duluth.
"We have 22,000 customers so, of course, we hit pretty much every demographic," he said. "We have a lot of customers on fuel assistance, and it's helping them a lot." Propane prices appear to be stabilizing around $3 a gallon after an extremely volatile period, he added.
DPS propane update: More lines added at propane hotline to handle increased call volume. 651-297-1304 (metro), 1-800-657-3504 (greater MN)— Minnesota HSEM (@MnDPS_HSEM) February 4, 2014
Last week, residential propane prices averaged $4.66 a gallon in Minnesota. That was a 91 percent increase over the previous week.
The latest prices will be posted Wednesday morning, Stariha said.