Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) are federally funded and administered by the Iowa Department of Human Rights Division of Community Action Agencies (DCAA) in Iowa. Eligibility for both programs is based on household size and income.
Each year, LIHEAP-qualified households may receive a one-time payment to assist with their household heating costs, regardless of heating fuel type. The Weatherization program provides long-term financial relief by improving energy efficiency in homes and educating utility customers about their energy use and methods to reduce consumption. Applications for both programs should be made with the local community action agency (CAA) serving the community of residence of the applicant. The annual application period runs from November 1 through April 30, with early applications accepted during October for households with a member that is either disabled or at least 60 years old.
Once an applicant has qualified for either program, the utility is notified and the applicant is eligible for protection from disconnection of energy utility service during Iowa’s annual winter disconnection moratorium between November 1 and April 1. The LIHEAP payment is made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor.
As part of the Weatherization program, experts may install permanent, cost-effective measures to weatherize the building shell and improve heating and cooling systems. A computerized energy audit helps determine the cost-effectiveness of various energy efficiency upgrades like the installation of additional or new insulation. Potential indoor air quality and other client health and safety issues are also addressed, including checks of all combustion appliances.
Applications for the LIHEAP and Weatherization programs are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
The LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income families meet the partial cost of home heating through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. Iowa law also protects qualified applicants who are the head of a household from being disconnected from natural gas or electric service during the annual winter moratorium, normally November 1 through April 1.
Iowa customers seeking LIHEAP financial assistance for utility bills should contact their local community action agency to discuss eligibility guidelines. Although qualified applicants cannot be disconnected during the moratorium, the IUB urges all LIHEAP-certified customers to continue paying toward their energy bills to avoid accumulating high debt and facing potential utility service disconnection once the moratorium period ends.