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Hawaii LIHEAP and weatherization program.

Households in Hawaii that need help with paying their gas or electric bills can receive financial assistance and grants from the federal government funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. In a typical year thousands of families will qualify for this program. Hundreds of these families may also be qualified for free energy conservation measures from the weatherization program. These are two of the main energy programs available in Hawaii for low income families with an emphasis placed on senior citizens and households with young children.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program has two main components to it. Those who need information or wish to apply should contact their community action agency or Department of Human Services in Hawaii. Individuals who are found to be eligible can enrolled into one of two assistance programs.

Energy Crisis Intervention is government aid for those households whose electricity or natural gas service has been shut off within 60 days of applying. Funds from LIHEAP may also be offered for those households that are facing an imminent, future shut off and who are out of options. A major difference of this program is that the application process is accelerated and the money is available in a short term period of time.

The second component is regular Gas or Electric Bill Payment Assistance. For this particular program an energy credit will be provided for those households that are having difficulty paying their monthly gas or electric bills. So this will help Hawaii households on more of an ongoing basis.

Please keep in mind that LIHEAP is a federally funded program to help eligible low income and working poor households meet their home cooling or heating needs. Some funding relies heavily on annual government budgets. Families with a member who has a disability or have a senior member of the household may be especially at risk for life threatening illness or even death if their home is too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. So that is why Hawaii will prioritize those households.

The application process will usually occur during the late summer or early fall. You can apply at a community action agency. Dial 521-4531 or 586-5740 for more information.




The Weatherization Assistance program in Hawaii provides qualified households with a number of resources. This includes funds to pay for home improvements that will reduce the cooling and heating bills for low-income families. The updates made to your home can also ensure their health and safety. The conservation measures are available for low-income households, particularly for families with children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities. The weatherization program provides direct installation of energy-saving measures including some of these below.

  • Replacing or repairing inefficient or unsafe heating systems.
  • Receive assistance with sealing air-leaks with caulking, insulation and weather-stripping.
  • Some of the safety measures include the installation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • Repairing leaky duct systems and other gaps in your home.

The United States Department of Energy works with the state in an effort to provide funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program. Additional administrative support comes from your local community action agency as well as the Hawaii Department of Social Services. Many people who qualify for weatherization will be automatically enrolled into LIHEAP, or vice versa. Assistance is available throughout the entire state of Hawaii from nonprofit housing organizations as well as local community action agencies.

Families who are able to enroll will save money. While the savings will vary based on the age and makeup of your home and many other factors, weatherization may be able to knock up to 25% off your utility bills. In addition to these direct and measurable economic benefits, as indicated weatherizing a home makes the home more comfortable and it also improves the safety of the heating systems. So there are a number of benefits provided. Call 1-808-586-5740.




By Jon McNamara

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