The Iowa Utilities Board is encouraging low-income Iowans to check into the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program know as LIHEAP. Board spokesman, Rob Hillesland says LIHEAP provides some monetary help with heating bills, and can also provide protection if you fall behind on your bill.
He says people who are certified in the program are protected from having their utilities disconnected from November first through April first. The protection against having your heat turned off is a safety measure for the cold months.
Hillesland says the I.U.B. “very strongly encourages” LIHEAP certified customers to keep paying as much as they can on their bills through the winter, as he says the bills could pile up if it is a very cold winter. He says the LIHEAP program only pays for a portion of the heating bills. Hillesland says if you get too far behind, you may face disconnection of your utilities in the spring.
Hillesland says customers who are behind could have their utilities disconnected after April first. There are income guidelines that determine who is eligible for LIHEAP. Hillesland says you should find out where you Community Action Program Agency is and apply, and if you don’t know, you can call your local utility.
He says you can also check with the Department of Human Rights. HIllesland says customers who qualify for LIHEAP are also eligible for the Home Weatherization Program, which helps people improve the energy efficiency of their homes. You can find out more details about the LIHEAP and weatherization assistance programs on-line at: www.dcaa.iowa.gov.