The US government can give energy assistance and utility assistance with energy and utility bills through a program called LIHEAP. LIHEAP stands for “Low Income Energy Assistance Program” and aims to help lessen the costs of running your home. Eligible people with lower incomes can apply for financial assistance with their heating and cooling bills.
LIHEAP also helps reduce costs during energy crises, weatherization, and even some minor home repairs. It’s a great way to save money on your bills in many ways, mainly when it’s too hot or cold.
Who Qualifies for Energy Assistance and Utility Assistance from LIHEAP?
Individuals and households under 150% of their state’s poverty threshold qualify for LIHEAP energy assistance and utility assistance. The current poverty guidelines can be found here, and each state’s average income can be found in this link. This is a bit confusing to determine on your own, so we recommend getting in touch with a LIHEAP agent to check if you qualify via income guidelines. Essentially, if your family of four makes less than $40,000, you qualify.
The easier way to know if you are qualified for LIHEAP is if you already have other government benefits under your name. You are also qualified if a family member uses any of the services below and those like it. You might need a certificate or letter from the agencies that provide these services, so try to get them in advance.
- SNAP (Food Stamps)
- Supplemental Security Income
- Tribal Programs (TTANF, FDPIR, etc.)
- Veteran Benefits
Applying will be as simple as getting a free government phone, but you need to provide credentials that you are qualified. You can call or apply online; this guide will show you how.
How to Get Energy Assistance and Utility Assistance from LIHEAP
We have three options showing you the easiest way to get energy and utility assistance. You only need a phone or internet connection:
Call National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR)
NEAR is a free service for people who need information on where and how to apply for LIHEAP. They can provide you with the contact details of the agency responsible for your state and region so you can talk to them and get your benefit started.
You can call the NEAR office toll-free at 1-866—674-6327 or email them at email@example.com. You must provide your city, county, and state in your email message if you choose to write them.
Find Your State Online to Get LIHEAP Contact Information
Click this link which will lead you to a page with a map that divides the United States into territories or regions. Each region covers a few states and is color-coded, so you have to know where you are on the map.
You can click on your form once you’ve found it to see your area’s complete LIHEAP contact details. Clicking the Display All button at the upper right will list all the contact details of each state.
We also gathered the contact details below in case you can’t find your state or if the website doesn’t work:
|Delaware||1-800-464-HELP (4357)||Haly.Laasme-McQuilkin@state.de.us||Click Here|
|District of Columbiafirstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
|Idaho||2-1-1 or (208) email@example.com||Click Here|
|Ilinois||1-877-411-WARM (9276)||LeslieAnn.Lesko@illinois.gov||Click Here|
|Maryland||(410) firstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
|Missouri||(573) 526-0677||Ken.Chapman@dss.mo.gov||Click Here|
|Nebraska||(402) email@example.com||Click Here|
|New Hampshire||(603) 271-8317||Eileen.firstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
|New Jersey||1-800-510-3102||Fidel.email@example.com||Click Here|
|New Mexicofirstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
|New York||1-800-342-3009||ANDREW.BRYK@OTDA.NY.Gov||Click Here|
|North Carolina||(919) 527-7253||https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/dss/social-services-contact-form||Click Here|
|North Dakotaemail@example.com||Click Here|
|Rhode Island||(401) firstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
|South Carolina||(803) email@example.com||Click Here|
|South Dakotafirstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
|Tennessee||(615) 815-2197||SPearson@thda.org||Click Here|
|Washington||(360) email@example.com||Click Here|
|West Virginiafirstname.lastname@example.org||Click Here|
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for LIHEAP Energy Assistance and Utility Assistance?
The shortest answer is that it takes up to 30 days before you get a reply and become qualified for LIHEAP energy and utility assistance. However, processing times can differ depending on your area and its demand. Government agencies are also short on manpower now, so it may take longer before you get approved.
Once your application is reviewed, you will receive a written notice containing your eligibility and the amount you will receive. Patience is key here since there are some internal processes the government must make before awarding the benefit to you.
So, Will the Government Pay My Heating or Air Conditioning Bill?
No, the government will not cover all your bills for gas or electricity in total, and you still must pay off your provider to avoid getting cut off. The government and LIHEAP aim to reduce your bill to ease the financial burdens in winter or summer. Cold weather usually increases our gas bills, while the summer heat makes A/C use more frequent.
How Much Money Will I Get from LIHEAP Energy Assistance and Utility Assistance?
The amount provided by the government for LIHEAP beneficiaries varies by state and everyone’s qualifications for it. Each state has a range for both heating and cooling assistance so there is no guarantee that you will get a fixed rate. Those who are under an energy crisis will also receive a different amount.
However, it’s important to note that you can only avail yourself of the LIHEAP cash benefit ONCE A YEAR PER HOUSEHOLD. You can only apply for a heating allowance during winter or a cooling allowance in summer, but you can’t get both within the same year. We recommend using it for the season that costs more for you so you can maximize the aid provided.
The energy crisis allowance, however, is different since the government decides when it’s needed the most. But remember that each state has a maximum budget, so it’s still impossible to pay your bills every month.
We prepared a table below that includes the amounts provided by LIHEAP for heating, and cooling and the maximum amounts for energy crises. Find your state if you want to know what the grant amounts are for your area. Note that you do not have to pay this back through deductions or additional taxes.
|State||Heating Payout Range||Cooling Payout Range||Crisis Payout Limit|
|Alabama||$580 - $880 ||$620 - $820 ||$1,110 ($870 Cooling Crisis Max)
|Alaska||$330 - $5775||NA||$5775|
|Arizona||$75 - $1200||$100 - $574||$1000|
|Arkansas||$100 - $950||$48 - $475||$2000|
|California||$274 - $726||$247 - $726||$3000|
|Colorado||$250 - $1000||NA||$4000|
|Connecticut||$410 - $1015||NA||$1010|
|Delaware||$100 - $1627||$1 - $1000||$5000|
|District of Columbia||$250 - $1000||NA||$750|
|Florida||$400 - $1350||$200 - $400||$5000|
|Georgia||$350 - $450||$350 - $450||$450|
|Hawaii||$350 - $1410||$350 - $1410||$1000|
|Idaho||$75 - $998||NA||$3500|
|Illinois||$175 - $2000||NA||$1200|
|Indiana||$225 - $1250||TBD||$500|
|Iowa||$40 - $720||NA||$11500|
|Kansas||$84 - $3522||NA||$3522|
|Kentucky||$50 - $200||$100 - $400||$600|
|Louisiana||$200 - $800||$200 - $800||$600|
|Maine||$124 - $1932||NA||$600|
|Maryland||$500 $2213||$150 - $2213||$2213|
|Massachusetts||$250 - $600 ||NA||$600
|Michigan||$1 - $1708||NA||$1200|
|Minnesota||$300 - $2000||NA||$1200|
|Mississippi||$1 - $1500||$1 - $1500||$1500|
|Missouri||$47 - $495||NA||$800 ($300 Max for Summer Crisis)|
|Nebraska||$154 - $1050||$273 - $700||$500|
|Nevada||$240 - $3136||NA||$3136|
|New Hampshire||$158 - $1575||NA||$1,575
|New Jersey||$118 - $1,278 ||$118 - $1,278 ||$1,278
|New Mexico||$70 - $490||$70 - $490||$490
|New York||$21 -$751||$10 - $800||$675
|North Carolina||$300 - $500||NA||$600
|North Dakota||$3 - $6765||$1 - $1,000 ||$1,000
|Ohio||$45 - $785||NA||$900
|Oklahoma||$40 - $500||$150 - $650||$750
|Oregon||$200 - $1350||$200 - $1350||$750|
|Pennsylvania||$500 - $1500||NA||$1200|
|Rhode Island||$75 - $1201||NA||$1500|
|South Carolina||$200 - $850||$200 - $775||$1000|
|South Dakota||$668 - $2291||NA||$2400|
|Tennessee||$300 - $1500||$300 - $1500||$1500|
|Texas||$1 - $12300||$1 - $12300||$2400
|Utah||$270 - $850||NA||$2000|
|Vermont||$21 - $2048||NA||$619|
|Virginia||$205 - $668||$50 - $550||$2500|
|Washington||$100 - $1000||$100 - $1000||$2500|
|West Virginia||$131 - $497||$140 - $355||$2000|
|Wisconsin||$30 - $1518||NA||$1200|
|Wyoming||$49 - $1859||NA||$575|
|Puerto Rico||$50 -$275||$50 -$275||$900|
|Mariana Island||NA||$78 - $283||$1000|
|American Samoa||$330||$25 - $65||$800|
Note: Amounts can change without prior notice. The exact grant or money you will receive will also vary depending on the information you submit when you apply.
Editor’s Note: We hope the information gathered here helps you with your bills and weatherization needs. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions. Good luck!