Winter weather has arrived in the Perry area, and your furnace has probably been running day and night. If you’re worried that you will struggle to pay your heating bills this winter, please consider applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is intended to help low-income renters and homeowners who are within certain income guidelines.
LIHEAP pays a portion of your residential heating bill for the winter season, whether your energy source is electricity, natural gas or propane. The program is not meant to pay your whole heating bill, but it can help a lot. The program does not pay to heat businesses or non-residential structures, such as garages, shops or barns.
Dallas County residents can apply for LIHEAP by calling New Opportunities at 515-465-5185, or download their application form at the New Opportunities website.
Applicants must provide proof of household income, the most recent heat and electricity bills (this might be the same bill) and a copy of each household member’s Social Security card.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LIHEAP appointments are being held over the phone this year.
After applying for LIHEAP, continue to pay your energy bill until your assistance is approved. The LIHEAP grant will appear as a credit on your utility bill.
Monitor your bill each month, because you will see the credit amount go down as you use up your grant. When the LIHEAP credit is used up, your bill will show that you owe money. Then you must start paying the full cost again.
New Opportunities also has a weatherization program that can assist you with energy-saving measures, such as insulation, sealing windows and doors and replacing water heaters.
For more information, call Laura Baltazar at New Opportunities at 515-465-5185.
Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.