Board spokesman Rob Hillesland says the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can provide some help. “It’s also known as LIHEAP, and they also have an associated weatherization assistance program, which can help people weatherize their homes — for basically winter — but also for year-round and help them to be more energy efficient,”
Hillesland says LIHEAP is a federally funded program and you can qualify based on your income. “It’s not intended to pay for all of their winter heating costs, but it will provide them some assistance,” Hillesland explains. “And then related to that, between November 1st through April 1st, Iowa has a winter disconnection moratorium.”
You must be qualified for LIHEAP to be covered under the disconnection moratorium. “Qualified customers cannot be disconnected for nonpayment of their bills,” Hillesland says. “Of course, we still encourage people to pay what they can throughout the winter, otherwise they are going to be stuck with a large bill in the spring, and that can easily result in disconnection at that time.”
You can sign up for LIHEAP through you local Community Action Agency or online at www.dcaa.iowa.gov. Hillesland says the weatherization program is a way to ensure you are getting the most out of the money you are spending on heating and cooling. “They can actually go in through the weatherization program, and if they find that a furnace is in really bad shape, they can actually replace that. And they can help with various other things like better insulating the home,” Hillesland says.
You can also find information on the LIHEAP and weatherization programs on the Iowa Utilities Board website.