Now that temperatures are dropping, MidAmerican Energy says customers who have financial difficulties paying their bills may be eligible for winter heating bill assistance.
State agencies that administer home heating assistance through the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP are now accepting applications for assistance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides LIHEAP funding to states, which administer their own programs.
“For customers who are struggling financially, LIHEAP is a lifeline that helps them stay safe and warm in the winter through energy assistance,” said Mike Gehringer, vice president of customer operations for MidAmerican Energy. “We encourage customers who need help to check whether they qualify for LIHEAP funding and, if they do qualify, please apply for it.”
Other assistance besides LIHEAP may be available in some areas. Customers who need help should contact their local community action agency to learn more about available payment assistance options.
MidAmerican customers who have received a disconnection notice should call the company at (888) 427-5632 to discuss payment options.
In Illinois, the total household income for an applicant must be at or below 200% of 2023 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $29,160, and a family of four is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $60,000.
The program began taking applications on October 2nd for people 60 and older, disabled and families with children under six years old. On November 1st, households that have been disconnected or have received a disconnection notice can start applying for LIHEAP assistance. All other income-eligible households can start applying on December 1st. The program will accept applications through August 15, 2024, or until funding is exhausted. Customers who are eligible for assistance are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Illinois residents in Rock Island, Mercer and Henry counties can click here to apply, contact Project NOW, Inc. here or call (309) 793-6391. They can also call the state’s LIHEAP hotline at (833) 711-0374.
In Iowa, the total household income for an applicant must be at or below 200% of 2023 federal poverty guidelines. A single-person household is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $29,160. A family of four is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $60,000. The program began taking applications for people 60 years old and up on October 1st. All other applications can be entered starting November 1. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2024.
Customers who need help with energy bills should apply for LIHEAP at a local community action agency; click here to find locations or dial 211. The Iowa Department of Human Rights also has information on the program.
Customers who want to avoid bill fluctuations from month to month can join MidAmerican’s Budget Billing program. The program lets customers pay the same amount each month for a set period. This doesn’t lower rates or costs but offers more predictable bills.
Customers can donate to MidAmerican’s I CARE program. The program provides funds to local community action agencies to help low-income residents with heating bills and home weatherization. I CARE is funded by customer donations, along with a 25% match from MidAmerican. Donations to the I CARE program, which are tax deductible, stay within the local community and go directly to help those in need. Click here to donate.
For more information about MidAmerican Energy Company, click here.