Ways to Get Heating Bill Help in Illinois
For many households in Illinois, energy costs, and in particular heating bills, continue to place a severe and growing stress on the family's budget. In many instances, the Illinois resident needs to decide between making painful decisions regarding which bills to pay and which of their everyday necessities to survive without. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by the US Gov’t, was designed to help struggling and qualified low-income households pay for winter bills.
The LIHEAP assistance program is funded by the state of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Heating bill assistance is provided by various local community action agencies as well as not-for-profit agencies located throughout the state. You can contact the agency provider in your area to apply for assistance with heating bills in Illinois.
The LIHEAP program will give a one-time benefit to eligible Illinois households that can be used used for energy and heating bills. The amount of the one-time benefit is determined by household size, income, fuel type and your geographic location. A cutoff notice or overdue bill is not required. You do not even have to own your home or be responsible for paying energy bills directly to be eligible for assistance. Also note that your source of fuel does not need to be electricity or natural gas in order to receive heating bill help.
Also, what may be available as well is emergency assistance if your household is disconnected from an energy source needed for your heating needs and/or a delivered-fuel supplier has refused to deliver, and the tank you use for your heating fuel contains 10% or less. Read more on LIHEAP.
Assistance for reconnection to your utility will only be provided to those households that have made a good faith effort to make some payments and maintain their energy services, or those households that can that pay a portion of the amount owed for reconnection.
Other heating bill assistance programs offered throughout Illinois include :
Good Samaritan Initiative
This is a program that is offered by most Illinois utility and gas companies. It will allow families to get their heating or utility service restored by paying only a portion of a bill, such as 20 percent or $250 of their remaining unpaid balance.
ComEd - Rate Relief Program
Residential Rate Relief Program: A one-time credit can be obtained. It will be a credit up to $240 for customers who have experienced a higher-than-average utility or heating bill rate increase of 30 percent or more. This assistance program is for lower income households.
Residential Hardship Fund: A grant up to $1,000 will be provided to help to offset utility and heating bill rate increases for Illinois residents with hardships or special circumstances. Customers that have a household income of up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or up to $80,000 for a family of four, may be eligible for assistance if they have a special hardship issue such as military service, medical expenses, person in the home with a disability, a senior requiring in-home care, grandparents raising minor grandchildren, or someone experiencing an extreme financial hardship. Verification of the hardship will be required in order to get help.
Power Up will provide a one-time energy assistance cash grant of up to $400 to assist families with heating bills.
Helping Hands : An new program launched by ComEd that will pay a large portion of a customers heating bill if they are facing a financial hardship. Read more.
City Of Chicago - Emergency Housing Assistance Program
Emergency repair grants are available for residents in the Chicago area. Grants are mainly for lower income homeowners. The grants may be used for repairing or replacing heating units, emergency roof repairs and other energy saving measures.
Peoples Energy Corporation - Share the Warmth
This heating bill assistance program provides up to $200 in assistance, per household, to qualified customers that are experiencing difficulties paying their gas heating bills.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for Illinois was implemented to struggling families or low-income households pay for their winter heating bills.
Ameren - Residential Bill Payment Assistance offered by Ameren will provide energy assistance cash grants to help pay utility and heating bills. In addition to this program, Ameren Illinois Utilities will provide cash grants that can be used for heating bill payment assistance for certain residential customers facing hardship situations. Dollar More Funds and grants pay for a wide variety of home energy bills including gas, electric, heating oil and propane. In addition, Warm Neighbors will provides heating bill payment assistance and weatherization services.
Springfield City Water Light & Power - The Senior Citizen Discount Rate is a 10% discount for those customers who are 62 years of age or older.
Atmos Energy - Sharing the Warmth is funded by customer donations and it helps Illinois families pay their gas bills.
City Water Light and Power - The RELIEF assistance program provides aid to pay bills.
Mid-American Energy Company - I CARE will assist those who recently lost a job, or are living on a fixed income by helping Illinois families pay their heating bills or making their homes more energy efficient.
Nicor Gas - Sharing Program provides one-time annual cash grants to help pay bills.
Peoples Energy Corporation and Northshore Gas - Offers Share the Warmth, which is an energy and heating bill assistance program
Heating bills in Illinois may jump up to 30% this winter. Read more.