The Low Income Energy Assistance program, or LIHEAP, can help renters and homeowners in Iowa. Federal government money can be used to help pay the heating and cooling bills of low-income customers, and the program will issue grants to qualified residents. There is a focus on the most vulnerable, such as the elderly or families with children.
Money is offered and can be used for the payment of a portion of an individual’s residential heating costs for the winter heating season. Other programs and resources will promote energy awareness, encourage regular utility bill payments, and also provide education and tips. These are all offered to encourage and show people how to reduce their energy usage, and some of the resources include weatherization and energy efficiency. All MidAmerican Energy customers applying for LIHEAP will also be automatically registered for this weatherization assistance.
The state and federal Low Income Energy Assistance program will not pay your entire heating bill. It only helps pay a portion of your expense. The exact amount of money provided will be based on your dwelling type, type of heating fuel used, income, and family size. The application period will usually begin in October of every year.
I CARE was created by Mid-American Energy Company, and it is both a conservation and financial assistance program. Individuals who are low income, live on a fixed income, or the unemployed all may be able to receive help. The objective is to make homes more energy efficient and also help people pay their winter heating or gas bills. The guidelines for applying are similar to LIHEAP. 1-888-427-5632
Local community action agencies in Iowa also administer the I CARE program. The program is mostly funded from donations, and all contributions are not used for paying for administrative expenses or salaries. All donations made to I CARE will be paid to low-income customers in your community in order to help them pay their bills. MidAmerican Energy will match, to a certain extent, all funds raised by donations and contributions. Call 888-427-5632 to make a donation, or contribute using the pledge form.
All of the money that is part of the program will go directly to the community action agency that oversees the weatherization and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program in the area where the contribution originated. So funds go directly to those who need help.
Families and individuals, including seniors and the disabled, who are struggling with paying their winter heating bills, or who are concerned they may fall behind in the future, should call MidAmerican Energy. Representatives from the company may be able to come up with a payment arrangement on your account. Or you can explore other options like a Budget Billing Plan, which allows customers to pay a more predictable monthly amount on their bills.
Weatherization is usually offered at the same time as LIHEAP. Low-income customers can usually apply for this free energy conservation resource, or weatherization year-round. The Iowa Department of Human Rights, local community action agencies and non-profits usually partner with Mid-American's energy efficiency department. They accept applications, distribute funding, oversee and manage the contractors, and otherwise ensure that weatherization is successful. The agencies ensure that improvements to low-income customer homes are made, and they will meet program goals. Call the Iowa Bureau of Weatherization at 515-281-3861 or your local community action agency.
HomeCheck is another conservation type program for older homes which are classified as those built before January 1995. Dial 1-800-545-0762 for details. MidAmerican customers may be able to receive low-flow faucet aerators, installation of water heater blanket, energy-efficient light bulbs, pipe insulation, and shower heads, and waterbed mattress pads.
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