Colder temperatures are here and that means some Iowans can qualify for financial assistance for their heating bills. from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP.

State energy assistance bureau Chief, Bill Marquess the program was still using extra funds last year that it got through federal pandemic relief. “During the pandemic, we were able to offer up to $3,000 to assist with a crisis. And now we’re maxed at 500 on that. And, and that’s a significant difference,” he says. There were a record 90,000 applicants last year and the program issued payments to about 83,000. He says so far this year, the program has about half the amount of applications they did at the end of the season last year.

“Our goal is always to get as much out into the community as possible,” Marquess says.” And the last two years showed us that even when, when we’re handed an enormous amount of money, we were able to funnel that into the community.” The LIHEAP helped is based on income, and you can apply through your local community action agency. Applications are open through April.

(By Catherine Wheeler, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa