Frequently Asked Questions

Weatherization Questions

  1. How do I get on the list for weatherization? / How do I apply for weatherization?
  2. When will I receive weatherization? / How long will it be before I am called to receive weatherization?
  3. What kinds of work does weatherization cover?
  4. Does weatherization do doors and windows?
  5. Is there a lien put on our property if the weatherization work is done?
  6. How much does weatherization cost?
  7. Do you provide home repair loans?
  8. Do you have homes for sale?
  9. Are there income requirements for purchasing homes and who do we contact for more information?

Public Transit Bus Questions

  1. What is the cost?
  2. Where can I go?
  3. Who can ride?
  4. Where am I picked up?
  5. When is my return?
  6. What if I make a reservation but don't go?
  7. How soon in advance can I schedule a ride?

Employment Questions

  1. How do I hear about job openings at Tri-CAP?
  2. What do I have to do to apply?
  3. How do I get an application?
  4. How will I hear if a position is filled?

Energy Assistance Questions

  1. What is the Energy Assistance Program (EAP)?
  2. What are the income guidelines?
  3. What is the time period to apply for Energy Assistance?
  4. Do I need to apply every year?
  5. Do I need to be in an emergency situation to apply for Energy Assistance?
  6. How do I get an application?
  7. Can my utility vendor shut me off?
  8. Are all utilities covered?
  9. What is Cold Weather Rule (CWR)??
  10. Is this a monthly grant?
  11. Do you pay my entire bill?
  12. Should I continue to pay my bill?
  13. How long of a process is this?
  14. What if I receive a disconnection notice?
  15. What if I am having problems with my furnace?

Self-Sufficiency Questions

  1. What is FAIM and how do I apply/sign up for the FAIM program?
  2. How do I become eligible for each program? How long does it take to find out if I qualify?
  3. How often can I apply for help with rent, damage deposit?
  4. Do you offer classes? What are they? How do I apply?
  5. What if I am not eligible for your services? Are there others where I can apply?
  6. Who can I talk to if I just have questions?
  7. What if I fear for my safety or the safety of my children?

Weatherization Answers

  1. How do I get on the list for weatherization? / How do I apply for weatherization?
    Once you apply for the Energy Assistance Program, we will determine if you qualify for weatherization, and you are put on a waiting list. We may call you to set up an appointment.
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  2. When will I receive weatherization? / How long will it be before I am called to receive weatherization?
    We cannot predict a time period to recieve weatherization. Once you are placed on our waiting list and we get to your name, we will set up an energy audit at that time. It is important that you continue to apply for the Energy Assistance Program each year in order to remain on the list if we have not yet called you. { Top }


  3. What kinds of work does weatherization cover?
    We can do items such as insulating, weather-stripping, caulking, pressure diagnostics, and HVAC work.
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  4. Does weatherization do doors and windows?
    Generally not.
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  5. Is there a lien put on our property if the weatherization work is done?
    No.
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  6. How much does weatherization cost?
    There is no cost to the homeowner / renter. However the owner of the property may have a fee depending on the contract that has to be signed before weatherization can be done.
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  7. Do you provide home repair loans?
    Yes, loan funds are available in Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns Counties excluding the city of St. Cloud.
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  8. Do you have homes for sale?
    We occasionally have homes available for purchase.  Please check our listing on this website to see if there are any current homes for sale. 
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  9. Who do we contact for more information or to purchase a home?
    Call Tri-CAP at 320-251-1612 or 888-765-5597.

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Public Transit Bus Answers

  1. What is the cost?
    The cost for rural transportation in Benton, Morrison and Stearns County is $3.00 per one way from community to community. The cost for in city transportation is $1.25 per boarding. Children under 5, accompanied by a parent, ride at no cost.
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  2. Where can I go?
    Our rural transportation covers Benton, Morrison and Stearns Counties with varying levels of service, depending on the day and existing schedule.
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  3. Who can ride?
    General public within Benton, Morrison and Stearns Counties, outside of St. Cloud Metro Bus service area. Individuals must be able to care for themselves or be accompanied by a parent/guardian or an aide.
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  4. Where am I picked up?
    We offer curb to curb service on most routes. Some "fixed scheduled" routes have assigned pick up locations.
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  5. When is my return?
    Our Dispatch Center will work with you on scheduling a return as close to your desired time as possible.
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  6. What if I make a reservation but don't go?
    We ask that you cancel transportation as soon as you know you won't be going. There is no charge for canceling a ride. If the bus arrives and you don't go, it could result in a warning letter, as per our policy.
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  7. How soon in advance can I schedule a ride?
    Rides can be scheduled out as far as 2 weeks in advance. For the more rural routes the schedules are not created until approximately 3 days ahead of time.
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Employment Answers

  1. How do I hear about job openings at Tri-CAP?
    Job openings are posted with the MN Workforce Center, advertised in the local paper, posted on the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce & Tri-CAP's web sites, as well as numerous schools and employment facilities are notified.
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  2. What do I have to do to apply?
    A Tri-CAP employment application must be completed for all openings during the time the position is posted for applications. For some positions a resume is requested. The completed employment application must be returned by the closing date to the main office, located at 1210 23rd Ave South Waite Park Mn 56387.
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  3. How do I get an application?
    You can stop in at the main office, call for an application to be mailed (320) 251-1612 or download and print out an application form from this web site.
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  4. How will I hear if a position is filled?
    All applicants will receive a letter or phone call once the position is filled.
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Energy Assistance Answers

  1. What is the Energy Assistance Program (EAP)?
    The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) provides a financial aid grant to assist with heating costs to households who qualify, crisis intervention for threat of or no heat situations, Energy Related Repairs for home heating systems and referrals to weatherization and other human service providers.
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  2. What are the income guidelines?
    Income guidelines can be viewed in the Energy Programs section of our website and they are available with the application.
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  3. What is the time period to apply for Energy Assistance?
    Households can apply for Energy Assistance from 10/01/xx through 5/31/xx.
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  4. Do I need to apply every year?
    No, not every year, but every heating season. The heating season at this time is from 10/1/xx through 5/31/xx.
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  5. Do I need to be in an emergency situation to apply for Energy Assistance? 
    Apply as soon as you can, your application will be processed in the first-in, first-out priority category.
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  6. How do I get an application?
    Applications English and Spanish versions for Energy Assistance are available on Tri-CAP's web page, or call (320) 251-1612 or 1-888-765-5597 for an application to be mailed to you or you can stop in at our office at 1210 23rd Ave South Waite Park Mn 56387.
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  7. Can my utility vendor shut me off?
    YES, unless you take steps under the Cold Weather Rule (CWR) to protect yourself. You must contact your utility company to apply for protection from having your heat shut off. This is true for all residential customers, including families with young children and senior citizens.
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  8. Are all utilities covered?
    All utilities must follow some level of the Rule. Rate-regulated utilities (Xcel Energy, Reliant/Minnegasco, Minnesota Power, Otter Tail Power and others) must follow a more expanded Rule than municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. There are separate laws that have similar protections for municipal and electric cooperative customers.

    Delivered fuels, such as fuel oil, propane and wood, are not covered.
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  9. What is Cold Weather Rule (CWR)?
    The CWR regulates the conditions under which gas and electric utilities may disconnect residential service in the winter (from October 15 to April 15). The Rule requires that ratepayers who have difficulty paying heating bills contact their utility to work out a mutually acceptable payment plan to preserve service. The type of plan available depends on your household income level.
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  10. Is this a monthly grant?
    No, this is not a monthly grant. Upon your approval of the program the entire amount you are eligible for will be sent to your selected vendor(s) within four months.
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  11. Do you pay my entire bill?
    No, the Energy Assistance grant is not based upon the amount of your bill, the grant amount is determined from your consumption use, household size, and household income.
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  12. Should I continue to pay my bill?
    Yes, you should always continue to pay your bill on a monthly basis to avoid past due balances. Ask your vendor about the budget plan to make your payments affordable to your needs.
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  13. How long of a process is this?
    Processing your application can take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on the number of applications received in the office. Applications are processed in a first-in, first-out priority category.
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  14. What if I receive a disconnection notice?
    1.  Contact your vendor to arrange a payment plan.
    2.  Submit an application for Energy Assistance and include a copy of your disconnect notice with the application.                                                                                                          3.  Tri-CAP will contact your vendor upon receiving the application if your disconnect notice is within the current billing cycle.  If the vendor informs Tri-CAP that they are willing to schedule a payment plan with you, your application will be processed in the first-in, first-out priority process within 1 to 6 weeks.  If Tri-CAP is not able to negotiate with your vendor, your application will be processed within 18 to 48 hours if funding is available.                                                                                                              { Top }


  15. What if I am having problems with my furnace?
    If you are having furnace problems, you are a homeowner, and you have been approved for Energy Assistance please contact our office first. Someone in our office is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have not been approved for Energy Assistance you will need to apply and be approved.. We are unable to pay for work not authorized by our office.
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Self-Sufficiency Answers

  1. What is FAIM and how do I apply/sign up for the program?
    Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) is a program that assists a household in establishing a savings account for the a goal of achieving housing, education or small business start-up costs that will enable the household to become self-sufficient.
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  2. How do I become eligible for each program? How long does it take to find out if I qualify?
    Eligibility requirements are determined by the funding sources and differ per program in our department. Contact Tri-CAP, Inc. for further information and application process.
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  3. How often can I apply for help with rent, damage deposit?
    The housing assistance that is offered through Tri-CAP are one-time only programs. You may not receive housing assistance more than once.
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  4. Do you offer classes? What are they? How do I apply?
    Refer to each individual section on this website.
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  5. What if I am not eligible for your services? Are there others where I can apply?
    Contact our office to talk with a Counselor about other options.
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  6. Who can I talk to if I just have questions?
    Contact our office to speak with an available Counselor.
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  7. What if I fear for my safety or the safety of my children?
    Contact the Central Minnesota Task Force on Battered Women/ Anna Maries at (320) 253-6900, or for immediate safety assistance, call 9-1-1.
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