Harrisburg, PA – November 3, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Tom Wolf today joined Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Gladys M. Brown to kick off the start of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application process for the 2015-16 season.
Representatives from PPL Electric Utilities and UGI Utilities Inc. also participated in the event, held at Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg. Dauphin County Assistance Office employees were on hand to enroll individuals in need of support.
“This federally-funded program provides a basic human need — a warm place to live – for thousands of Pennsylvanians during the colder months,” said Governor Wolf. “I am proud to participate in the start of the 2015-16 LIHEAP season, so that we can begin enrolling those low-income families, seniors, and children before the cold kicks in.”
LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months. It’s available to renters and homeowners. Crisis and regular LIHEAP grants begin Nov. 2, 2015 through April 1, 2016.
“LIHEAP helped approximately 400,000 Pennsylvania households stay warm during last winter, including hundreds of thousands homes with older Pennsylvanians, children, and individuals who live with a disability,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “We encourage anyone who needs help with their heating bills to apply before the worst of the winter weather arrives and be prepared.”
Online applications can be completed by visiting COMPASS. Paper applications are still available through local county assistance offices, or interested applicants can download and print an application from the department’s website.
“Every year, as part of the PUC’s effort to help consumers prepare for winter weather and higher heating bills, we focus on LIHEAP,” said PUC Chair Gladys Brown. “This program is one of a number available for those struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes warm.”
In preparation for the LIHEAP season, DHS in collaboration with the regulated utilities that operate in Pennsylvania implemented a program to help households with their past-due utility bills. The program was funded with $2.2 million from the 14-15 LIHEAP year. To date, DHS has issued 9,105 supplemental crisis grants totaling over $1.8 million to resolve the then-pending crisis.
“The department is committed to making sure every Pennsylvania family has a safe and healthy winter,” continued Secretary Dallas.
At the event, Chairman Brown also encouraged consumers to “Prepare Now” for winter heating bills by:
- Learning more about conservation;
- Checking electric and natural gas bills and supplier contracts;
- Using PA Power Switch and PA Gas Switch to shop for services;
- Looking into programs that help low-income customers maintain service; and
- Exploring other steps to reduce long-term heating and energy consumption.
Consumers interested in more information about these important programs can visit the PUC website and click on the “Prepare Now” link; follow social media messages that contain the #PrepareNow tag; or call the PUC at 1-800-692-7380.
For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, visit EnergySavers.gov.
For more information on the LIHEAP program, or to download an application, visit the Department of Human Services website.
Eligibility for the 2015-16 LIHEAP season is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. The chart below shows the maximum income allowed for eligibility based on household size.
Each additional person in the household adds $6,240 to the maximum income allowed for eligibility.