Colder fall temperatures indicate that Iowa’s winter heating season is rapidly approaching. The Iowa Utilities Board is reminding eligible utility customers that limited financial heating assistance is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and to contact their local community action agency (CCA) for an application.
Iowa CCAs are accepting applications now from households with elderly or disabled residents while other interested persons may apply starting November 1. Eligibility for the federally funded LIHEAP program is based on household size and income. Interested applicants should review the federal income guidelines to determine if they qualify.
The LIHEAP program is designed to assist low income families meet the partial cost of home heating. Iowa law requires that a qualified applicant, who is also the head of household under LIHEAP or the weatherization assistance program, shall not be disconnected from natural gas or electric service during the annual winter moratorium, which begins November 1, 2017, and runs through April 1, 2018. The LIHEAP payment is made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. Heating assistance dollars for both federally funded programs are limited.
Although qualified applicants cannot be disconnected during the moratorium, the IUB urges all LIHEAP certified customers to continue paying toward their energy bills through the winter to avoid accumulating high debt and potential utility service disconnection in the spring.
For assistance, utility customers may contact their local utility company or the Iowa Utilities Board Customer Service staff toll-free at 1-877-565-4450, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit the IUB’s LIHEAP web page at iub.iowa.gov/liheap or the Iowa Department of Human Rights, humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/liheap, or call 515-281-3861.