One of the main programs for assisting with heating bills in Pennsylvania is the LIHEAP Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Qualified applicants can receive cash grant to be used for paying their utility and heating bills during the winter. Many low income families can also sign up for the weatherization program, which can help residents across Pennsylvania save money on their monthly energy bills.
More details on both of these federal government funded programs are below. Each has an application process in place, and the amount of aid provided will vary based on many factors. When applying, families will need to provide proof of income, Social Security Numbers and birth dates for all household members as well as proof of citizenship. Applicants will also need to provide a recent statement or copy of an energy bill from their fuel dealer or utility company verifying their status. Apply at your local county assistance office in Pennsylvania or dial 1-866-857-7095.
The program has a few main components. LIHEAP will provide most recipients with a grant that offers heating bill assistance in the form of cash or a credit that is applied to their account. Cash benefits are paid out in order to help eligible low-income households pay heating bill or their home fuel. These payments, will often be in the form of a credit on your monthly statement/account, and it will help families pay their monthly heating bills. There is also a crisis grant for low income households in immediate danger of being without heat in the winter.
If your power has been disconnected, or if are just about of your main heating fuel, whether that is heating oil, coal, kerosene, or propane, then a crisis grant from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to help you. Customers that are in jeopardy of being without fuel in less than 15 days, or those in danger of having their utility service terminated within 60 days may also qualify.
You will also be considered in an emergency situation if your main heating source is broken or has been completely shut-off. Maybe you have leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, or your furnace has died and just won’t turn on. If you have experienced a recent termination of utility service, then that is considered a crisis situation too.
Families that are faced with these challenges may be able to receive additional benefits through the Pennsylvania LIHEAP crisis program. These payments, if needed, are made in order to resolve weather-related, supply shortages, and other household energy-related emergencies. You should contact your local county assistance office, and any form of assistance that you qualify for will be paid out in less time due to the emergency situation. Assistance with home heating crisis situations will often be made available to eligible individuals 24 hours a day. The bottom line is that additional money from the government may be made available if you have an emergency situation and are in danger of losing your heating source.
For Pennsylvanian residents that are struggling or living on a fixed or limited incomes, the LIHEAP program can provide people with access to a critical safety net that allows them to both pay their heating bills and importantly keep their heat turned on during the cold winter months. The resource will help vulnerable citizens stay warm and safe. For more detail on the Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, call the hotline at 1-866-857-7095 or call your local county office.
Weatherization is another federal government funded energy conservation program that is available to low income families in Pennsylvania. It can help people address home-heating problems or provide individuals with long-range solutions to their challenges. The service can provide recipients with a permanent solution to their high energy prices by making permanent energy efficient improvements to the home.
Energy conservation really is most effective when we make the energy we use more efficient, and it no longer means just putting on a sweater or turning down the thermostat. The objective of weatherization is to reduce the energy and heating bills of low income families, with a focus on the elderly and families with children. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, and funding comes from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Block Grant as well as the Department of Energy.
Community action agencies coordinate these services at the local level. The non-profits will provide information and comprehensive services to increase a home’s efficiency, reduce energy bills and help families conserve energy. The average amount of improvements provided per household from the weatherization program is $6,500, but the key determinant is the result of a home audit that will occur.
The first step of the process is an on site energy audit that will be conducted. A diagnostic air flow testing process will also occur. Highly trained and certified contractors will assess the condition of your home, and they will also identify the most cost-effective energy conservation measures to be installed.
Some of the weatherization services available to income-eligible households include window repair or replacement, weather stripping and caulking, heater inspection and service, and extra attic insulation. Some more complicated improvements and updates can be made as well. These include minor home repairs, including addressing health or and safety deficiencies. Other updates include heating system modification or replacement to increase the efficiency of their heating system.
Applications for both LIHEAP and weatherization will be available at your local county assistance offices, utility companies and community action agencies in Pennsylvania. Also try contacting an Area Agencies on Aging office in your area. Or call 1-866-857-7095 for more information.
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