The Montana State Department of Public Health and Human Services wants the public to know that there is help for those struggling to pay record-breaking energy and even water bills.
Governor Greg Gianforte announced last week that federal funding of $ 27 million was available to help Montanais pay their heating bills this winter and insulate more homes.
Sara Loewen, Head of Energy and Community Services at DPHHS, described the program known by the acronym LIHEAP, the Low Income Energy Use Assistance Program.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, may help pay a portion of winter energy bills and may be able to help with furnace emergencies for eligible households, âLoewen said. âEligibility for assistance is based on your income and resource limits. So, for example, for a family of three, the income limit is $ 44,000 per year. Homeowners and renters can apply to benefit from these programs.
Loewen said DPHHS was allowed to tap into American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds
“We are also fortunate to have additional funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, which will allow more households to get the help they need,” she said. “This extra help couldn’t have come at a greater time with fuel bills set to rise dramatically this winter, potentially forcing many low-income families to choose between heating their homes this winter or paying for food.” , medicines and other basic necessities. “
Loewen said the LIHEAP program also helps low-income families with other costs.
âWe also have a bad weather assistance program which also benefited from an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act,â she said. âThe weatherization program is able to do a survey of each individual home and identify low-cost energy efficiency measures to install, which could include additional insulation, airtightness and ductwork, which which allows the owner or tenant to save on their energy bills. year after year.”
Loewen provided the website to access the LIHEAP program and ask for help, which also helps families pay their water bills.
“So you can find more information on liheap.mt.gov This is LIHEAP dot m t.gov or you can contact your local HRDC which can also be found on LIHEAP dot mt.gov,” she said. . âYou can submit a combined LIHEAP water and weatherization request to your HRDC (Human Resources Development Council). “
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that already provides Montana $ 21 million per year to reduce the household energy burden on low-income households. The DPHHS ensures that households with the lowest incomes and the highest energy costs receive the greatest level of assistance. Payments are made directly to energy suppliers.
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