The Federal government program LIHEAP provides assistance for low income families to keep there heat and air conditioning on at different times of the year and during different temperatures. “The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. We provide federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with:
- Home energy bills
- Energy crises
- Weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs
LIHEAP can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer through programs that reduce the risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices” the Office for the Administration for Children and Families site explains.
You can find the office in your state or US territory that handles LIHEAP inquiries here. Tribal offices of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Program
How does it work?
Most states will use LIHEAP to help you pay for your energy bill for heating or cooling your home and offer additional help in cases of energy crisis. A number of States may also offer weatherization services.
Will LIHEAP pay for my whole utility bill?
Probably not. LIHEAP is not meant to pay for all of your energy costs for the year, the season, or even the month.
In many places, you can get help only with your main heating source. For example, if you heat with gas, you might get help with your gas bill but not your electric bill. Or you might get help with one bill or the other.
The highest benefits go to those households that have the highest home energy costs or needs, taking into account income and family size. The amount of help that you get will depend on where you live (each grantee’s payment levels are different), your income, your energy costs or needs, your family size, and possibly other factors.
Because of the way the LIHEAP funds are distributed, some states receive more LIHEAP funds than others, and are able to pay higher benefits.
It is unlikely that you will receive enough to pay your entire heating or cooling bill for the year, because LIHEAP is not designed to do that.
How can LIHEAP help me to lower my energy bills in the future?
LIHEAP grantees can spend a portion of their funds on low-cost energy related repairs for homes, but they are not required to do so. These types of repairs and improvements are known as weatherization.
If they wish, they can use some of their funds to do things like:
fix leaky doors or windows;
install insulation; and
fix or replace broken or inefficient furnaces or air conditioners.
Sometimes, grantees will not weatherize rental homes or apartments unless the landlord agrees to pay for a portion of the cost or agrees to other conditions.
The U.S. Department of Energy runs a program called the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program to weatherize homes or apartments of low income people. You can find out more about this program on their website.
Can LIHEAP help me fix my furnace or air conditioner?
Yes. LIHEAP grantees can use some of their funds to help fix broken or inefficient furnaces or air conditioners. Not every state offers this type of help and those that do have different rules about who they will help