Idaho LIHEAP and weatherization programs.
Idaho low income families can receive financial assistance from LIHEAP, as well as free energy conservation measures from weatherization. Both of these government programs are focused on helping with winter heating bills.
The demand for energy bill assistance in Idaho is very high, and resources are limited. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program opens for enrollment in the fall, while weatherization runs year round, but will have a waiting list. Priority is for people who are most at risk, so this can include children or the elderly.
Heating assistance from Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Types of financial assistance available from LIHEAP include a crisis grant if a qualified household’s home energy or heating service is shut off or about to be disconnected. Or regular home heating bills can be paid as well. The Idaho Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will only help people who are qualified, and aid is offered on a first come-served basis. You need to call your local community action agency to apply or get more information.
The main objective is to provide funding and cash grants to help low income households make their home heating costs more affordable, help them maintain a warm, safe, and healthy environment, and will assist people with avoiding disconnection of their utility services. A focus is on those with the lowest household incomes that pay an excessively high energy bill, at least relative to their income.
Income restrictions are in place, and households whose prior three-month income meets federal government guidelines may be able to receive help. The LIHEAP program is only available from November 1 through March 31, or until funding runs out. However the Idaho crisis program operates year round, and may even be able to help with paying utility bills in the winter.
While the application process could change, some of what needs to be provided is below. You should call your local social service office or community action agency for additional documentation that is needed.
While services will vary by each Idaho County, in general the free Weatherization Assistance Program will be available to both renters and homeowners. Priority for the program and its services are given to individuals over 60 years of age, persons with disabilities, and families with children under 6 years of age.
In order to apply for energy and heating bill conservation services or to determine if you are qualified for Weatherization or LIHEAP, call your local community action agency. There are organizations that support residents in all towns and cities across the state. If you are able to enroll, some of what can be provided is listed below.
Conduction measures can help reduce heat loss. This is done by addressing the interior/exterior of the residence by installing extra insulation. This can be installed in the walls, ceiling, heat ducts, floor, and even water pipes. Another resource can pay for the repair or replacement of doors and windows. Infiltration measures are designed to reduce the air leakage from the home, keep warm air in and cold air out of the Idaho residence.
Heating conservation and efficiency measures from weatherization were originally designed to improve the operation of the home’s heating system and may include furnace repair, a tuning and cleaning for the furnace, or evens grants for furnace replacement. The heating system duct system can be sealed too.
Weatherization in Idaho will also address health and safety issues. This includes heating system diagnostic testing, air quality testing, general site inspections, and heating system diagnostic testing, and all of these are performed to identify energy related safety issues which might exist.
Minor repair of homes may be offered. This is limited to that which will maintain the structural integrity of the home and that which may be needed to help preserve or protect the material that has been installed.
Apply for LIHEAP or free weatherization in Idaho
When applying for LIEHAP and/or weatherization, examples of documents that applicants might need to provide to their community action agency may include Social Security numbers for all household members, names/birthdates for all household members, income verification for the previous 3 months, heating Energy Vendor Name/Account number (utility bill), and verification of address. Dial (877) 375-7382.