The winter season is in full swing, and there has already been some unforgiving weather in our community. The considerable drop in temperatures means an increase in household heating and energy bills. Indiana offers low-income households financial assistance to keep their utilities connected during the winter months through the Energy Assistance Program.
The EAP is implemented by Indiana’s Community Action Agency and has community outreach offices in every county throughout the state. For the location of these offices, visit www.in.gov/ihcda, follow the “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)” and click on “Who is my Local Service Provider?” Hoosiers can also call 2-1-1 for free and confidential heating assistance.
Families may qualify if their cumulative income does not exceed the predetermined income limits. For example, a household of four would need to make $45,638 or less a year to be eligible. The household must have an active utility account and all residents age 18 and over must provide proof of income for three months. Electric and natural gas cannot be shut off between Dec. 1 and March 15 if a customer is receiving EAP help.
This winter, Vectren is partnering with the EAP to help Hoosiers through the cold months. Customers can visit www.vectren.com and click on “Assistance” under the “Explore Vectren” tab for help. That page includes information on energy bill assistance through the EAP, home weatherization help and two donation programs called Share the Warmth, Inc. and Gift of Energy. Share the Warmth assists income-eligible households with weatherization tips to help reduce energy bills, and with the Gift of Energy program donations can be made to assist friends, loved ones and low-income families in our community.
Duke Energy customers may also be eligible for free energy-saving home improvements like weatherization or an upgraded electric heating system. For more information on these services, visit www.duke-energy.com, select Indiana as the state and follow the “Product Services” section.
Indiana’s Housing and Community Development Authority also offers a Weatherization Assistance Program to low-income Hoosiers in an effort to provide people permanent solutions to reducing their energy bills by making homes more efficient. Find out more information on the Weatherization Assistance Program by visiting www.in.gov/ihcda and following the “Weatherization/Energy Conservation” link.
For more information, contact your local energy provider and ask about energy assistance or conservation programs offered. Stay warm and safe this winter season, and happy holidays.
State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,
Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.
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