Federally funded LIHEAP helps low-income households with heating bills

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
J. Daniel Enterprises employee Nicholas Wilson clears the sidewalk on West Market Street in York City Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. Forecasters say a mix of sleet, snow and rain is on tap for the area into Tuesday. Bill Kalina photo

A program promoted by Columbia Gas aims to help income-eligible households with winter heating bills.

Through a grant application, households who qualify to receive financial support will be provided one-time grants ranging from $200 to $1,000 through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

"(It's) is an important resource to keep our at-risk customers safe and warm this winter,” Deb Davis, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania manager, said in a news release. “Customers are not automatically enrolled in the program, and many who qualify for assistance don’t even know it’s available to them.”

Federally funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, LIHEAP encourages customers to apply online via the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Service website.

The income eligibility limit for the 2019-20 program is 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines, meaning individuals with an income of up to $18,735 are eligible, according to a news release.

A family of four can earn an annual income of up to $38,625, the release states.

Households can apply for grants until April 10, 2020.

Last season, more than 21,000 Columbia Gas customers received grants to help with energy costs.

“Anyone who needs assistance with a heating bill and meets the income guidelines should apply as soon as possible,” Davis said. “You don’t have to be behind on your bill to receive assistance. It’s a one-time grant, so you don’t have to repay it.”

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.