Remsen, Iowa — The return of cold weather to the state is reminder that you won’t be able to keep your heater turned off all winter. Julie Colling, the Energy Services Director with Mid Sioux Opportunity, says the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is available to those who may struggle to pay that heating bill.
She says there’s an associated weatherization program that can provide low-income Iowans some longer-term relief by improving their energy efficiency and educating them on ways that they can also help to reduce their energy use. Those who are the highest energy users are chosen first for the weatherization program.
She says eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income.
She says another benefit of being eligible for LIHEAP, is you are then protected on the utility shut-off moratorium.
She says you should check as soon as possible to see if you might be eligible for the program, as some years they do run out of funds. If you are on a budget plan with your utilities, it’s even more important to apply soon so that the utility has the LIHEAP funds when they figure out any changes to your monthly payment and you’re not stuck paying a higher amount for several months.
Colling tells us what you will need when you apply for LIHEAP.
She says it doesn’t matter if you own or rent, and it doesn’t matter where you get your fuel for heat. She says they help people who use natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and more.
Mid-Sioux is the community action agency serving Lyon and Sioux County (and several others). They can be reached toll-free for more information about LIHEAP at (800) 859-2025 or at midsioux.org The local community action agency serving Osceola and O’Brien Counties (and several others) is Upper Des Moines Opportunity. You can reach them toll-free for more information about LIHEAP at (800) 245-6151 or at udmo.com.
If you live in another area of Iowa and don’t know who to contact, you can get information from the Iowa Department of Human Rights at humanrights.iowa.gov.
Those who are age 60 and over and/or those who are disabled can apply now. All other households can apply starting November 1st.
Income Maximums for LIHEAP 2015-2016
|Household Size||Three Month Gross Income||Annual Gross Income|
LIHEAP officials say that for households with more than six members, add $1,820 per three months or $7,280 annually for each additional member.