The two main federally-funded energy assistance programs in Kansas that can help low-income households are LIHEAP and weatherization. Both of them are focused on assisting families with the lowest income and that also pay a high proportion of that income for their utility, heating, and energy bills. Cash grants for paying bills can be provided by LIHEAP, while weatherization will help people save money by providing free conservation measures.
While the programs are paid for by the federal government, they are administered across the state of Kansas by the Department of Social Services and it is offered locally by Community Action Agencies and non-profit organizations. You will need to call those locations in order to apply.
The Kansas Low Income Energy Assistance Program provides qualified customers with at most a one-time per year benefit for paying winter heating bills. There are a number of conditions that need to be met by applicants, and all aid is limited by government funding and resources.
For example, any applicant must have demonstrated a recent history of payments on their account, so they needed to have made an effort towards the purchase of their primary heating energy source and/or bills. Financial assistance is only offered for people who are personally responsible for paying the heating bills incurred at the current home, residence, or apartment. It doesn’t matter who you pay, whether a landlord or the fuel vendor, you can still qualify for LIHEAP. Income guidelines are in place as well, and the more people at your home the higher your income can be and still be qualified.
Kansas energy bill assistance is a once per year program that helps offset the high cost of winter bills. Applications are accepted for the elderly and disabled first (as they are given priority) and then others can apply.
The amount that recipients may receive in Kansas will vary based on several factors, including government funding. One of the key benefits is that oftentimes people who do qualify will be put onto a waiting list for weatherization services.
When the state and your community action agency is deciding how much to pay out for your home heating bills and utility costs, they will take into consideration your household income, type of heating fuel and dwelling, as well as the number of persons living at the address.
Another option is the LIHEAP crisis assistance program. This is offered when someone is out of fuel or faced with imminent disconnection. Any applicants for this heating bill assistance program must have their heating/cooling service completely shut off or they need to be threatened for disconnection. Call 1-800-432-0043.
The Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program is another option, and it is the country’s largest efficiency program. It is a free program, and is will improve a homeowner’s fuel savings and heating efficiency. It does this by helping to hold in your heat and air-conditioning, while keeping cold and hot air out. Some of what can be provided includes insulation and caulking, repair or replacement of heating systems, insulation and caulking, and more.
As with LIHEAP, qualifications need to be met, and eligibility is based on the household’s total income and number of family members relative to federal low-income guidelines. Priority is for the handicapped, seniors and low-income families with young children. This program includes rental properties as well as individually owned homes. Note that if a household contains a member who receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the household in Kansas is automatically considered eligible for free weatherization services from the government.
Some examples of improvements may include weatherstripping, cleaning, testing, repairs or replacement of refrigerators, heating and/or cooling systems, caulking around doors and windows, adding insulation to walls, ceilings and foundations infiltration reduction and more. Also get help with cleaning and tuning up of the furnace to assure efficiency and safety or replacement of furnace if necessary.
Grants may also be provided for furnace repair or replacement in homes, and this can be offered for rentals as well if a landlord agrees to contribute. The weatherization program is paid for with federal government Department of Energy (DOE) funds and also the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), and everything is regulated by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation as well as your local community action agency. Call 1-800-432-0043 for more details.
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