In Beltrami and Cass Counties, Bi-County CAP (BI-CAP) delivers the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). EAP helps low-income households pay a portion of their home heating bills by providing payments directly to the household’s fuel dealer.
Seeing a need for consumer education, BI-CAP launched an initiative to provide classes to 25 EAP participants with high energy burden who had utilized crisis assistance over two or more years. The initiative provided six class sessions on topics aimed at reducing household energy consumption and enhancing energy security including:
- Tune It Up,
- Energize Your Budget,
- Organize Your Way to Savings,
- Shopping on a Budget, and;
- Conserve It.
Each session included one guest speaker from the community and/or BI-CAP staff. Participants were given a pre- and post-questionnaire to measure participant learning. Results showed that 82% of households improved their score, demonstrating greater knowledge of energy efficiency as a result of the classes.