Iowans may start filing applications for limited financial heating assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP’s annual application period runs from November 1st through April 30th, and is based on household size and income. The LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income families meet the partial cost of home heating through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. Iowa law also protects qualified applicants who are head of a household under LIHEAP from being disconnected from natural gas or electric service during the annual winter moratorium. Iowans should know, even if they do not ultimately qualify for LIHEAP, utility companies cannot disconnect natural gas or heating while a LIHEAP application is pending.
The Iowa Utilities Board urges all LIHEAP-certified customers and applicants to continue paying towards their energy bills through the winter to avoid accumulating high debt or face potential utility service disconnection in the spring. Homeowners and renters are eligible, within the federal poverty guidelines. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis November 1 – April 30 of each year. Household members 60 years of age and older and those who are disabled can begin applying October 1st. Visit your local community action outreach office to apply for this and other programs.