Great Plains Home » Customer Service » Low-Income Assistance Programs
great plains natural gas financial energy assistance

Great Plains COVID-19 Payment Plan

Great Plains Natural Gas has established special payment plans for customers who have experienced a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans are tailored to fit your individual financial situation. Please contact us at 877-267-4764 to discuss how we can best help you maintain service.

Beyond our COVID-19 Payment Plan, we are also able to direct you to federal, state, and local resources that offer financial assistance for those who qualify. More information about these programs is listed below.

Minnesota Assistance

Minnesota Commerce Energy Assistance Program

Too many low-income Minnesotans have to choose between paying their energy bill and other necessities – food, medicine and healthcare. Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program offers eligible residents help to pay their energy bills so they do not have to choose between life’s necessities.

To ensure Energy Assistance is available to Minnesotans when disconnections resume, they have extended the deadline for submitting an application for this program year from May 31, 2021 to September 1, 2021. The application has to be postmarked no later than September 1, to be considered.

The Energy Assistance Program:

  • Serves both renters and homeowners
  • Provides benefits to pay for home heating ranging from $300 to $1,600, with an average benefit of about $550
  • Benefit amounts are based on the household’s heating costs, household size, and income
  • Provides help with energy disconnections, no/low fuel in the tank, and homeowners’ furnace repairs
  • Eligibility is based on the household’s past 3 months of income and assets are not counted.
  • EAP income eligibility threshold has increased from 50% of State Median Income (SMI) to 60%.

Click here to learn more or call 800-657-3710 to connect with your local service provider.

Available now.

  • Eligible Minnesota renters can receive help with rent and utility bills dated on or after March 13, 2020. If you qualify, you could receive up to 15 months total assistance.
  • This program is now open. Click here for more information and to apply.
    • PLEASE NOTE: Initial assistance will go to renters who owe back rent. The second phase will open up the program to all who qualify.

Crisis Assistance Available for Minnesota Residents

Households may now qualify for assistance without needing a disconnection notice. Households with a bill that has an unpaid balance beyond the current month’s charges are eligible to receive Crisis Assistance to pay their past due and current balance.

Additionally, the maximum Crisis Assistance amount is increased from $600 to $1,200.

If you find yourself having trouble paying your heating bills, please call 877-267-4764 and we will direct you to available assistance in your area.

Minnesota Gas Affordability Program

Great Plains Natural Gas offers its Minnesota customers a Gas Affordability Program (GAP)* designed to help qualifying residential customers manage their monthly gas bills and pay past due balances. To qualify for the program, customers must have received a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grant for the current heating season. If accepted into the GAP, customers can receive credits on their monthly natural gas bill.

  • To apply for the GAP program, complete and submit the following application to
    The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior Avenue N, Roseville, MN 55113-2714.

Gas Affordability Program Application Form (pdf)

For further information regarding applying for heating assistance, visit our Minnesota Gas Affordability Program page.

GAP benefits include:

  • Helping customers manage their monthly natural gas bills and pay past due balances by providing flat monthly payments.
  • Allowing participants who continue to make payments to avoid having their natural gas service shut-off.

GAP Offers Qualifying Customers Two Types of Credit:

  1. Monthly Affordability Credit for current natural gas charges: Your monthly natural gas charges will be averaged for the year. Qualifying customers will receive a monthly credit so your annual gas bill will not be more than 4% of your household income.
  2. Matching GAP Installment Credit for past due natural gas charges: Great Plains will set up a GAP Installment Plan to help you pay off your past due bill over a period of up to 24 months. Each month you pay your GAP Installment amount, a matching GAP credit will be applied to your account. If you make your payment each month, you will be paying for only one-half of your past due balance.

Conditions of Service:

  • Enrollment participation is limited to a first come first served basis until the estimated GAP dollar cap is reached.
  • If a qualified customer fails to pay two consecutive monthly payments in full under the GAP, they will be terminated from the GAP and will be subject to Great Plains’ regular collection practices including the possibility of disconnection.

*GAP is offered under the Gas Affordability Program Tariff and is subject to annual regulatory review by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Minnesota Cold Weather Rule

Policies regarding the disconnection of residential heating sources from October 1 through April 30 are governed by Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 216B. Minnesota PUC ​Cold Weather Rule.

Minnesota Customer Service and Billing Rules

Utility customer service is governed by Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7820. Minnesota PUC Customer Service and Billing Rules.

North Dakota Assistance

If you find yourself having trouble paying your heating bills, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income households pay part of their energy bills. You can find out if you are eligible for this program by calling 877-267-4764 and we will direct you to available assistance or by checking North Dakota Department of Human Services about programs to help individuals and families in your area.


  • Existing LIHEAP changes
    • Emergency Assistance is available for up to 90 days prior to the application date and qualifying households can receive Emergency Assistance more than once
    • A disconnection notice is not required
    • Costs must have been incurred from the current residence
    • Crisis grants can be used for reconnection fees but cannot be used for deposits
  • CARES Act: HHS will provide additional LIHEAP funding.  North Dakota’s allocation amount has not yet been announced.