LIHEAP is an acronym for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a federal program that provides help with heating bills.

125,000 households in the state have applied so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

Available to families at or below 50 percent of the state's median income, or a maximum of about $10,430 over the past three months for a family of four.

Average yearly grant is $600, but can vary according to need and energy bills.

Federal allocation to Minnesota this year is $144 million, in line with what the state got last year. Program provides about $5.1 billion nationwide.

To learn more about the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and other energy-saving ideas, call 1-800-657-3710 or go to www.staywarm.mn.gov.