Think you may have problems paying your winter heating and electric bills? Well the time to act is now! Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are all now accepting applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is a Federal program that provides assistance to individuals who are having trouble paying their electric, natural gas or other energy bills. Homeowners, renters, and subsidized housing tenants may be eligible.
Grants vary from state to state and are based on household size and income, type of fuel used and county of residence.
For example, in Pennsylvania a family of four with an annual household income of $33,525 can qualify for help. To be eligible, ANNUAL household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the Federal poverty income guidelines, or for example:
- $16,335 – One person household
- $22,065 – Two person household
- $27,795 – Three person household
- $33,525 – Four person household
- $39,255 – Five person household
In New Jersey, income guidelines are based on 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or MONTHLY incomes of:
$1,815 – One person household
$2,452 – Two person household
$3,089 – Three person household
$3,725 – Four person household
$4,362 – Five person household
In Pennsylvania, the LIHEAP program provides cash grants, up to $1,000 per customer, through a direct payment to a vendor, such as a utility like PECO. LIHEAP also has money allocated for emergencies including payments to reinstate service that has been shut off for non-payment, fuel payments, and repairing leaking pipes and broken furnaces. The maximum grant funding for emergencies like these is $300 per customer.
In Pennsylvania customers can call their local gas or electric company to apply.
For example PECO customers can obtain more information, get help in filling out the application, or can have their questions answered by calling 1-800-34 HELP4 or visit www.peco.com/help.
New Jersey residents can obtain information from their utility company or by contacting a community action agency. Click here for a list: www.energyassistance.nj.gov.
In Delaware The Division of State Service Centers (DSSC) administers the LIHEAP program on a contractual basis with Catholic Charities, Inc. It is important to call Catholic Charities to find out where and how to apply for assistance. To contact Catholic Charities call:
- KentCounty: (302) 674-1782
- New CastleCounty: (302) 654-9295
- SussexCounty: (302) 856-6310