Tuesday, June 28, 2022

As electric bills rise, here’s how to apply for energy assistance

There's a federal program designed to help offset heating costs during winter months, and applications for eligible households open up next week.

The federally funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program is now open for applications to make one-time payments to utility vendors on behalf of low-income households. (Port City Daily / FILE PHOTO)
The federally funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program is now open for applications to make one-time payments to utility vendors on behalf of low-income households. (Port City Daily/File photo)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — As temperatures fall, inevitably, electric bills rise. For eligible low-income families, there’s a federal program to offset heating costs during winter months.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will begin taking applications early next month for eligible adults. Last year, the program awarded over 1.8 billion in heating assistance to 5.4 million households.

RELATED: Here are the human foods that can seriously harm your pet this Thanksgiving

Starting Dec. 3, disabled adults or adults over the age of 60 can begin applying for energy assistance through this federal program. Applicants can apply in person at their respective social services department or allow a representative to apply on a homebound individual’s behalf.

In order to be considered for electric bill reimbursement, a household’s total countable income must be equal to or less than 150 percent of Federal Policy Guidelines, with $2,250 or less in total household resources available.

For example, for a four-person household, total household income must be less than $37,650 with less than $2,250 in savings or available assets.

On Jan. 2, anyone can apply to receive these funds. To prepare for an in-person meeting, applicants should bring checking and savings account statements, property, stocks, bonds and other asset statements for all those living in a household. Associated social security numbers, birthdates, electric bills with an associated energy account number for household members should be provided at the meeting as well.

Area social services departments will begin hosting drop-in appointment times beginning next month. Applications will be accepted through March 31 or until funds run out.

To learn more about when and where to apply for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website here.


Related Articles