Are You Right for a Part of the $4.5 Billion Energy Assistance Program? | Rare Techy
This story is partial Home AdviceCNET’s collection of practical tips for making the most of your home, inside and out.
The northern hemisphere faces away winter, people are turning off their air conditioners and blowing up their heaters. But electricity prices have risen nearly 15% since last year, and natural gas prices have risen about 25% over the same period, making it more expensive to heat your home. Inflation is especially difficult for low-income people. About 40% of low-income households pay more than 10% of their bills for their electricity needs. Although you can reduce your energy use inside there are many waysyou may not be able to save enough energy to pay the price increase.
The good news is if you need help keeping your home warm this winter, you have options. Every state in the US allocates money from the federal government to help people pay for winter heat. The latest round of funding — $4.5 billion — was announced in early November. That money goes to states, tribes and localities to distribute to those who need help. We will explain the details and where to look if you have a chance. We also offer options that are not tied to income.
You can lower your energy bill now by taking some energy-savvy steps. Find out how lower your water heater temperaturelook into the energy saving smart device a heat and cool your home more efficiently. You can too set your smartphone to a convenient schedule for living comfortably and saving money. Check it out CNET’s Home Tips collection for other ideas.
Home Energy Assistance Scheme: How to apply
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, is a program administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 2021, approximately $4 billion from LIHEAP was distributed among states and, from there, distributed to low-income residents. That year nearly 4.9 million households received LIHEAP loans.
States set income limits for each program, but they cannot be set above 160% or below 110% of the state poverty level. The poverty level in 2022 is $13,590 of annual income for a single person; $18,310 for two people; $23,030 for three people and up there.
To qualify for LIHEAP funding, you must apply through your state. You can find state and territory contacts and community contacts on the LIHEAP website.
Some government websites have links to third parties (many charities, non-profit organizations) that will help you speed up the application process to receive funding.
States can also provide assistance through LIHEAP to low-income households for climate protection projects. Weatherization is all about plugging leaks and insulating your home from the heat and cold outside. Insulation, insulation and new windows and doors may be covered by your state’s LIHEAP program. Many other incentives outside of LIHEAP, in the form of rebates and tax credits, are coming or already in place. thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. Weatherproofing programs can help lower energy bills each year in the summer and winter.
How to find utility companies and other incentives
As utilities need to change their manufacturing processes, some have started offering free or affordable smart electronics with cost-effective methods that can save you money in the long run. Before you buy a new one energy efficient lamps or good water headcheck with your utility to see if they offer a discount.
A utility in New Jersey offers free home tours based on income that includes basic upgrades, such as light bulbs and water heaters, and other, later upgrades that can be installed. better insulation, sealing of air ducts and ventilation for heaters and fans. Depending on your income, you can get these upgrades for free.
This type of support is different from LIHEAP benefits, which provide financial assistance for your regular bills. Energy efficient upgrades like this one smart description and insulation can help lower utility bills for everyone and in the future.
Utilities also offer payment plans for people who struggle to pay their bills. Plans vary in terms of content and availability, so be sure to check with your device.
There are charities and non-profit organizations that offer help. These programs vary by location but some national organizations such as the Salvation Army offer assistance. While it’s hard to predict what’s available from one state or city to another, be on the lookout for similar programs in your area.
There are many ways to keep your electricity bill lower. From cheap but amazing fixes, like this turning off the lights or adjusting your definitionto more expensive ones like this installing solar panels.