Low-income Iowans struggling to pay their heating bills are getting a bit of good news today (Friday). The Iowa Utilities Board has directed MidAmerican Energy and Interstate Power and Light to funnel some left over insurance money into the state’s LI-HEAP program.

Utilities board chair John Norris says this will provide an extra four-point-two million dollars, but he says more is still needed. Norris says even with this extra money, LI-HEAP could be short an additional 18-million dollars. He says this is money that could have been refunded to customers but will be better spent helping low-income families pay their heating bills.

Norris says requests for home heating assistance were up eight-percent from last year in October and November. He says Iowans can help by contributing to their utility’s “customer contribution fund.” He says if customers just give a few dollars each, it’ll make a big difference. He hopes Congress reconsiders funding for LI-HEAP when it reconvenes in January.