HACAP reports increase in heating bill assistance as moratorium ends

HACAP officials say they are seeing an increase in need for assistance when it comes to paying their heating bills.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 8:10 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - A program to help low-income Iowans pay for their heating bills through the winter ended at the start of this month. That means people behind on energy bills have started receiving disconnection notices.

As Iowa experiences colder temperatures even into the spring, local leaders with the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP) say they are concerned of what will happen to families who get their heat shut down.

HACAP is an action agency that helps people in nine Iowa counties with their Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) applications, a federally funded program that helps reduce the cost of utility bills by paying a portion of it for low-income families.

Staff say they have seen a 20 percent increase in LIHEAP applications this year.

“We will schedule an appointment and work with them to help reduce those costs for energy, because we want families to be able to provide in other areas, whether it would be childcare, or food cost, or just transportation,” Whitney Sanger, creative communications and development director for HACAP, said. “So really help reduce those costs and get it to zero if possible.”

Applications for the LIHEAP program are open through the end of the month. Those interested in applying are encouraged to click here.

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