Energy bill program assists during winter heating season

Local News

Before you know it, snow will be falling and temperatures will be dropping here in the QCA, and that can mean higher heating bills. But what if you can’t afford the costs of keeping your home warm?

A federally-funded program is available to help during the winter heating season, LIHEAP, or the low-income home energy assistance program. LIHEAP helps qualified low-income families pay winter heating bills. States receive and administer funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so programs vary by state.

“Winters can add a financial strain for our customers who struggle to pay their energy bills,” Mike Gehringer, vice president of customer operations for MidAmerican, said. “We encourage any customer with financial challenges to contact their local community action agency to find out if they are eligible for assistance.”

  • Illinois LIHEAP
    To be eligible for LIHEAP in Illinois, the total household income must be at or below 200% of 2021 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $25,760, and a family of four is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $53,000. Customers should apply as soon as possible for LIHEAP to ensure they receive the assistance they need. The program will accept applications through May 31, 2022. Illinois residents in Rock Island, Mercer and Henry counties can contact Project NOW, Inc. at (309) 793-6391. Residents can also call the state’s LIHEAP hotline at 877-411-WARM (9276).
  • Iowa LIHEAP
    Community action agencies in Iowa review applications and administer grant funds. Household income and size, type of primary heating fuel, housing type and other factors are considered. To be eligible for LIHEAP in Iowa, the total household income must be at or below 200% of 2021 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $25,760. A family of four is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $53,000. The program began taking applications October 1 for those 60 years old or older, and will accept applications starting November 1 for all others. The program accepts applications through April 30, 2022.

Eligible customers who need help with energy bills should apply for LIHEAP at a local community action agency. The Iowa Department of Human Rights has additional information about the program and eligibility requirements.

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