Cold weather has officially set in, and the temperatures will only continue to drop through January and February. As a result, Hoosiers are seeing their gas and electric bills rising. Some may be concerned about paying their utilities, especially as many families are still financially struggling due to the pandemic.
For those needing help, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available to eligible Hoosiers through May 14, 2021. Completely funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this program provides one-time, annual benefits to those struggling making utility payments. Individuals must apply to receive benefits, and the applications are available online at in.gov/ihcda through May 14, 2021.
Please note, these funds will not cover all winter energy costs. The amount of assistance available varies based on household size, housing type, primary heating source and other factors. It is also against Indiana law for utility companies to disconnect residential service from Dec. 1 to March 15 for those eligible for assistance and who have applied.
Local programs are also available for Hoosiers needing help in addition to one-time payments. Indiana 2-1-1 is an outstanding resource anyone can use to find assistance in their own community. Dial 2-1-1 at any time to speak with someone who can find an appropriate resource, or go online at in211.communityos.org. Local resources are also available by texting your ZIP Code to 898-211. Indiana 2-1-1 helps with more than utility assistance. Hoosiers can be connected with services such as food, clothing and mental health. Learn more by going online to in211.communityos.org.
The winter months can stretch some budgets thin as utility bills rise. Please don't wait to seek help to keep your heat and electricity on. Use one of these resources or contact my office by emailing H75@iga.in.gov or calling 317-232-9769 to see what other assistance is available.
State Rep. Cindy Ledbetter (R-Newburgh) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Pike, Spencer and Warrick counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.