Programs that can help you meet your energy needs in Arizona include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, as well as free energy conservation from weatherization. These services are coordinated among the federal government and state of Arizona, as well as utility companies and local community action agencies. A focus is on those households with seniors, the disabled, and low income families with children.
Once-a-year assistance is offered for paying utilities, while weatherization is a permanent update to your home, however there is usually a waiting list. Families that are faced with an emergency situation can also explore the Arizona Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP), which will expedite your application and may be able to prevent a disconnection.
In Arizona, community action agencies at the local level in your town, county, and city) administer the federal government Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It can also assist with paying for utility bills, deposits, and reconnection assistance payments for applicants whose utility service has been disconnected for nonpayment or for those applicants who are being denied service because of an old bill. Funds can be used to pay heat (primary utility), cooling, and electric, secondary utility bills. While not as common and it comes with stricter requirements, LIHEAP may also able to provide for the replacement or emergency furnace repair for eligible applicants whose furnace does not work. Contact your local provider directly for an application.
Another service is the Crisis Intervention Program, which may be able to offer financial assistance and cash grants to Arizona low-income households and families that are in an emergency situation. Examples include a household that has received an imminent disconnect notice or potential service termination by their utility company. Another situation this may help with is an energy-related crisis, such as a life-threatening situation, that may exist in the applicant's household.
Be prepared when you apply for LIHEAP. In general you will need a recent copy of your utility bills, proof of all income you receive (including Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, etc.), social security cards or numbers for all people living in your home, proof of address and total household members, and more. Aid is only offered for US citizens and/or legal immigrants in Arizona. Call (602) 542-4446, or your local community action agency.
The federal government weatherization program can help families save money by reducing their fuel or electricity expense for space cooling, heating, and even water bills for income-eligible households. The program can also help improve the health and safety of the client/household. The U.S. Department of Energy funds this service for the state of Arizona.
A focus is on helping lower income-eligible individuals and families that spend a higher percentage of their total household income for energy to cool, heat, and run appliances in their homes. The elderly and families with children also receive priority. The federal government and state of Arizona Weatherization Program was established to help decrease their home energy costs and help the nation become more energy independent.
While the exact type and number of improvements will vary based on the age of your home, your income, and other conditions, in general contractors will do some of the following. They will add thermal insulation to the residential building envelope, most typically attic insulation. Contractors will test, tune and maintain your heating and cooling equipment. Get help with implementing air leak control measures to reduce excessive infiltration of outside, including the shading of sun-exposed windows, primarily for houses using central refrigeration cooling. Water bills may be addressed as well by the installation of low-flow showerheads and other general energy and water efficiency measures.
In Arizona, the Governor's Office of Energy Policy (OEP) is the managing agency for the free Weatherization Assistance Program, and on average a few thousand homes are updated per year. All contractors are trained by the Energy Office in the use of computerized energy audit programs as well as sophisticated residential energy diagnostic techniques.
You need to apply at your local community action agency, and the state organizations do not accept or process applications or requests for information.
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