If it seems like the costs of everything keep going up while your income stays the same or goes down, you’re certainly not alone. This trend can be particularly problematic if you’re living on what’s considered to be a low income and are struggling to keep up with your monthly bills.
You cut unnecessary items, such as dining out and your Netflix subscription, to stretch your budget, or you could get aid from the government. One area where the government offers help with paying bills is with cooling and heating costs, and LIHEAP is how it does it.
How LIHEAP Helps With Energy Bills
You may dread getting your energy bill each month, especially during the summer and winter. Why? Because those are the times of the year where your AC or furnace tends to work overtime, and that can result in higher bills that are harder to pay.
With LIHEAP, you can reduce your cooling and heating costs via financial help from the government instead of having to suffer with your AC or furnace turned off or turned down to uncomfortable levels.
Does LIHEAP pay your entire energy bill? No, as it’s solely intended to take care of things related to cooling and heating. As such, here are some specific ways LIHEAP can help your bottom line:
- Paying the cooling and heating portions of your energy bills.
- Aiding with utility shut offs and other emergencies.
- Making home improvements to increase energy efficiency through a process called “weatherization.”
Although weatherization may not be available through every LIHEAP office, it can be extremely beneficial if you can get it. For instance, you can use weatherization to install insulation or improved sealing to keep cool or warm air from entering or escaping your house. You may be able to get your AC or furnace repaired or replaced as well. All of the above can lead to lower energy costs in the future.
How to Apply for LIHEAP
As you can see, LIHEAP can make a significant difference with your energy costs now and into the future. Since the program’s funding is limited, you’ll want to apply as quickly as you can to get in line for benefits before they run out. Here’s how to do so:
- Contact your nearest LIHEAP office. When contacting your office, be sure to ask about requirements, as they differ from state to state. To qualify, you will likely have to meet specific income requirements.
- Since LIHEAP isn’t the only way to get help with your energy bill, ask if the office can direct you towards any other programs via local charities or utility companies.
- If you cannot reach anyone at your local office, contact your state’s LIHEAP office.