Access to heating and cooling is one of the most important utilities, especially during the winter and summer months. If your household struggles to pay utility bills to keep your home comfortable during extreme temperatures, you may be interested in learning about financial assistance programs available from the government.
Keep reading to learn more about LIHEAP, one of a few energy assistance programs in the U.S. that could help you.
LIHEAP stands for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, provides funding to U.S. states, territories, and tribes to help make homes more energy efficient, which can help reduce the cost of energy bills. It even covers a portion of home energy bills for low-income individuals and families.
Here are the six main functions of LIHEAP:
Energy Bill Help
LIHEAP may provide free electric for low income individuals and families when bills are high due to long-term, heavy use of energy systems. It also offers low income heating oil assistance in the winter in some states. However, LIHEAP assistance is only available for a short amount of time, such as during winter or summer. The length of time a qualifying household can receive LIHEAP benefits varies by state.
LIHEAP provides money to qualifying households to pay for new insulation, repair broken windows, or replace windows with more energy-efficient ones. You can also use LIHEAP to cover the costs of other weatherizations that protect your home from harsh temperatures, improve your home’s energy usage, and reduce your energy bills overall.
LIHEAP also provides free educational resources so you can learn how to prepare and maintain their homes during harsh seasonal changes. You can also find out how to use energy efficiently and keep bills as low as possible.
Maybe your home suffers an energy crisis after a natural disaster, such as damage after a hurricane that lets in heat. LIHEAP often provides emergency assistance to make essential repairs.
If you received warnings of energy shut offs or are experiencing a shut off, you can use LIHEAP resources to get priority reactivation. This is especially important to keep you and your family safe during extreme heat or cold.
Repairing and Replacing Energy Equipment
If you qualify, you may be able to get funding to fix or replace the heating system or cooling system in your home. That way, your home can maintain a safe, comfortable temperature throughout the year and your energy usage is more efficient and cost-effective.
While LIHEAP is a type of utility assistance program, the funds you receive cannot be used for anything except energy costs. You are not able to use LIHEAP money for water or sewer bills, unless the water is used in your heating or cooling system (such as a radiator system).