The government funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and weatherization services are offered to qualified families in Louisiana. Both programs can help the low income and those facing a financial hardship pay their utility bills. Individuals may also be able to save money on their energy bills from the free weatherization program that is also offered.
The Louisiana Housing Finance Agency works closely with various non-profits agencies and other organizations, such as the Louisiana Association for Community Action Partnerships (LACAP), to administer weatherization and LIHEAP across the state. All 64 parishes across the region are served by this program.
There are several conditions and terms that need to be met, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has multiple components to it. Additional details can be found below.
One of the terms of the program is that people can only receive assistance from LIHEAP at most once per month. In addition, all cash payments and grants that are paid out as part of LIHEAP are made directly to your utility company, and funds are not paid to the Louisiana household. Note that the recipient may decide to have the payment made to one energy supplier or they may have the payment split between two or more utility companies. Also, households may not be certified for assistance more often than once every six months.
There is a Crisis Intervention Assistance Policy that is made as part of LIHEAP in Louisiana and is available under certain conditions. Emergency financial assistance may be made to eligible families and individuals whose economic or social hardship is compounded by a cooling energy bill or home heating crisis. This can include emergency cash assistance to help someone avoid a shut off of their power or electric service.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will provide an energy bill payment and/or a so called in-kind benefit up to a maximum of $475. However the amount paid can change based on federal government funding. The term in-kind benefits can mean space heater (vented or electric), fan, air conditioner repair, and/or funds to pay for a heater or furnace repair. In cases when the repairs of a heating or cooling exceed the cost of a new system, then the total replacement of the heating or cooling system is allowable by LIHEAP. All in-kind benefits are limited to the $475 maximum benefit amount. Call 888.454.2001.
The federal government funded Weatherization Services are also provided by the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (dial 888-454-2001) and various community action agencies. When both the applicants household and their home or apartment are both determined eligible for free upgrades, then weatherization services are provided at no cost. The exact type and nature of weatherization measures that are installed on the home will be determined by a Priority List. There are two different Priority Lists of measures, one which is built for mobile homes/trailers and another that is offered for standard home.
A number of free enhancements and services are offered by weatherization. Many families can save a few hundred dollars per year on their utility bills. The energy conservation measures include the installing of floor, attic, duct, and pipe insulation; installing sunscreens; installing low-flow showerheads; cleaning air conditioners;; installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, replacing old refrigerator; improving clothes dryer operation; applying cool-roof reflective coating to metal roofs and more. Homes receiving weatherization upgrades may also receive incidental upgrades or repairs to make the installation of weatherization materials more effective and lasting. For example, Louisiana families can get roof repairs, door and window repair; weatherstripping, replacement of missing or cracked window panes; caulking; installing door bottoms, patching cracks and holes in ceilings, walls and floors; switch and outlet gaskets, replacing thresholds; and similar updates.
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