Help from the Iowa Low Income Energy Assistance Program
Low to moderate income households in Iowa can get help with paying their heating bills from the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It was created in order to provide assistance to eligible households with the payment of a portion of their winter heating bills.
While the Bureau of Energy Assistance administers the LIHEAP Program at the state government level, you need to apply at your local community action agency and they run the program at the local level. Applications are accepted each and every year, and you can usually begin to apply in November of each year and the application period will run thru April.
There are some conditions to be met before a homeowner is accepted into the Iowa LIHEAP program. A household may able qualify for grants or credits from this program if the applicants total household income is within the income range that is established by both the federal government and the state of Iowa. This assistance program was not designed to pay for a household's total heating bills or total energy costs, but instead the main goal is to provide partial assistance in the form of payment of residential heating bills.
You also need to bring documentation and provide your case. At the time you apply for LIHEAP at your local community action agency, be sure to bring all necessary documentation with you. This includes a copy of your heating and utility bills, you will need to proof of your income for the last 13 weeks. Your information will be reviewed, and a decision will be made as to how much aid you can receive. This amount also depends on the funding that is available from the government. In most cases if you are accepted into the program you will receive a credit on your monthly heating bills.
There are two different components to the LIHEAP program. The first being the crisis intervention. This component will provide immediate assistance in the form of cash grants to address what may be potentially life-threatening situations, such as someone’s heating service being turned off, running out of heating oil or fuel, or some other type of emergency.
There is also a client education component of the program which deals with non emergency situations as well as education. This will provide grants and funds for non critical activities, including regular monthly utility and heating bill payments, it will promote energy awareness, show people how to reduce their heating bills, and provide free energy saving improvements to the homeowner through weatherization assistance programs.