Helping you stay warm and save money this winter

Winter is just around the corner, and as the temperature drops, energy bills tend to go up and can get expensive. In my ongoing effort to help you stay warm and save money, I want to let you know there is assistance available to make heating your home more affordable for you and your family. 

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – which helps eligible renters and homeowners pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant – is once again accepting applications. 

The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to your utility company or fuel provider to be credited on your bill. These grants range from $500 to $1,500 based on household size, income and fuel type. Since this is a grant, it does not have to be repaid. 

You can apply for LIHEAP online by going to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ website or by picking up a paper application at my office. 

Eligible applicants do not have to be on public assistance or have unpaid heating bills, but must meet income limit requirements based on their household size: 

  • 1 person: $19,320
  • 2 people: $26,130
  • 3 people: $32,940
  • 4 people: $39,750
  • 5 people: $46,560
  • 6 people: $53,370
  • 7 people: $60,180
  • 8 people: $66,990
  • 9 people: $73,800
  • 10 people: $80,610  

You may also be eligible for additional benefits through the LIHEAP crisis program if you are experiencing an emergency, such as broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced; lack of fuel; main heating source not working; or a utility service shutoff. 

LIHEAP isn’t the only option. Utility companies – like PECO and Philadelphia Gas Works – have payment assistance as well that you may qualify for but might not know about – including: 

Budget billing: spreads costs out evenly month to month by charging a pre-arranged amount with each bill. A customer’s monthly bill payment is based on your average usage during the last 12 months. 

Customer Assistance Referral Evaluation Services, or CARES: provides referral service for customers experiencing temporary hardships – such as family emergencies, divorce, unemployment or medical emergencies. CARES may provide support, direction and resources to help customers address their hardship and make it easier to pay their utility bills. 

Customer Assistance Programs, or CAP: are designed to help low-income residential customers maintain utility service. CAPs can help lower your monthly utility bill and may also reduce or remove the amount you already owe. The company works with you to determine what you can pay based on your household income. 

Philadelphia Gas Works also offers a Customer Responsibility Program to provide discounted bills for eligible customers, while the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging provides aid to eligible low-income residents 60 or older who have a utility shutoff or whose utilities will be shut off in five working days or fewer. 

My office and I are here to connect you with these resources, find out if you qualify and help you apply for the services mentioned in this article as well as other state and local programs that are available. 

Don’t hesitate to give my office a call at 215-748-6712 or stop by at 52 South 60th St., Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.