Washington DC LIHEAP and weatherization programs.
The Washington District Department of the Environment can help low income families and seniors apply for energy bill assistance from LIHEAP. The government organization can also advise on energy conservation measures and programs such as weatherization.
These federally funded programs can help residents pay their heating and summer cooling bills, or save money on them. Emergency assistance may also be offered for Washington DC residents who have received a disconnection notice or who have run out of fuel/heating oil.
LIHEAP offers heating and financial assistance
Thousands of local families struggle with paying their energy and heating bills every year, and this is where LIHEAP can help. If you apply and are eligible, some people may be able to receive several hundred dollars as a one-time cash/grant benefit for your household. However funding varies every year, and the exact amount of assistance is based on type of dwelling, household size, total household income, and your primary heating source.
Another option available in Washington DC is emergency financial or crisis assistance, and this can help those with a disconnection notice for natural gas or electric service. Crisis aid is also offered for those who are currently disconnected. Emergency assistance is also available to those local residents without home heating oil during the winter or a means to cool their home during the summer. If you have already received any form of emergency assistance from LIHEAP in a given year, you are not eligible to receive it again, so be sure to apply at the right time.
The low income energy program will only pay a portion of your heating bill, and it was never intended to pay the entire cost. Any payments from the government are made directly to your fuel vendor or utility company on your behalf. Renters can apply as well, so even if you do not have any monthly utility bills because your electricity or gas costs are included in your monthly payment, you may still be eligible for aid.
Energy conservation in Washington DC
The Washington DC Weatherization Assistance Program is another option for the low income. It is paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy with maybe some local funds. It offers both financial and technical assistance to help low-income residents, seniors, and families with children reduce their energy bills and it will help them save money by making their homes more energy efficient.
Contractors who are part of WAP perform energy audits and installs energy efficiency measures to your home, and all of this is done for free. It will help families maintain energy-efficient yet safe and healthy homes. Community Based Organizations in the District of Columbia hire local contractors to install the energy efficiency and weatherization measures.
Eligibility for WAP is determined by DDOE’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Below is a breakdown of the income eligibility limits at the 200 percent of poverty guidelines. Eligibility is similar to LIHEAP, and is established by the District Department of the Environment.
To apply for these programs, some or all of the following may be needed. Bring your most recent utility bills, or a copy of them. Bring your government-issued ID, as well as proof of income for everyone in your home who receives income. This can be Social Security cards (or documents with SSN number such as a paystub or birth certificate) for all persons living in your household and/or proof of US citizenship or permanent residence.
Application process for the programs
In general, eligibility for low income energy bill or weatherization assistance is based on the size of your household as well as your annual gross income. Applicants will need to provide proof of income and assets for all household members that live with you. This includes items such as documentation showing income from Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Pension Funds, disability, etc.
The main DDOE Energy Offices in the District of Columbia are at 1207 Taylor St., NW, Washington, DC 20011 (Serves Wards 1,2,3,4, & 5) as well as 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20020, for Wards 6,7, & 8. Dial 311 for an appointment.