Pennsylvania Department of Human Services announced the extension of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Due to excess funding, LIHEAP will remain open until May 20, 2022.
“We are pleased that the Department of Human Services has agreed to extend the LIHEAP program for two additional weeks. This will allow households that are struggling to pay their home energy bills the opportunity to get some much needed assistance. I urge all Pennsylvanians who need help with their bills to reach out to their utility company and apply for LIHEAP.” stated Patrick Cicero, Acting Consumer Advocate.
LIHEAP is an emergency and seasonal program designed to assist low-income families pay their heating bills in three different ways.
Types of LIHEAP Grants
1. Cash Grants: income eligible households who have home heating responsibility. Customers do not need to be facing termination for this grant. Range from $500-$1500.
2. Crisis Grants: income eligible households whose heating service is turned off, about to be turned off or off due to lack of fuel. Customers must be considered in immediate need. Range from $25-$1200
3. Crisis Interface: repair or replacement of broken or inoperable heating system(s)
*Households may be eligible for all three types of LIHEAP assistance.
Universal Service Programs
Utility companies have programs that are designed to assist eligible customers with their bills each month.
· Budget Billing: divides total annual energy costs evenly over 12 months
· Payment Agreements: agreement between the customer and the utility company to pay the outstanding bill after its due date but before the date of the next bill
· Customer Assistance Program (CAP): payment assistance that provides a lower monthly bill and may forgive past due balances
· Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP): helps reduce energy use and lower energy bills through free efficiency, conservation and weatherization after a home energy audit is complete
Consumers may apply for LIHEAP by visiting Pennsylvania’s COMPASS website or filling out a paper application at their local county assistance office. For additional information on company specific programs, they can contact the appropriate utility directly.
About the PA Office of Consumer Advocate: The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) represents the interests of Pennsylvania utility consumers in cases before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), federal agencies and state and federal courts. The OCA uses its resources to help the greatest number of consumers and generally focuses on the needs of residential consumers. Attorneys and staff advocate for Pennsylvanians’ access to reliable, safe and affordable utility service.