Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris helped four utility members of the American Gas Association located in Western Pennsylvania kick off the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the 2013-2014 winter heating season.
The “Partners for Warmth” — comprised of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Equitable Gas Company, Peoples Natural Gas, and Peoples TWP — have been helping low-income customers in the Pittsburgh area afford their winter heating bills for more than two decades. Nearly 510,000 residents, half of which were households with children, kept their heat on last winter thanks to this unique partnership. Approximately $141 million in LIHEAP funds are available again this year, but Partners for Warmth officials are urging area customers to apply as soon as possible.
“We all know a friend, neighbor or family member who may have fallen on tough times. Anyone who is having trouble paying their heating bills should find out if they are eligible for LIHEAP assistance and apply as soon as possible,” said Harris, honorary chairman of the partnership.
LIHEAP is a block grant program under which the federal government gives states annual funds to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households that struggle to heat their homes in the winter and cool them during the hot summer months. To date, approximately $2.9 billion of FY 2014 block grant funding has been released to LIHEAP grantees, representing about 90 percent of the FY 2013 funding. AGA continues to advocate for responsible funding levels and greater certainty surrounding funding release and distribution.
Eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP change, and customers who may not have been eligible in the past are encouraged to reapply. For the 2013-2014 winter heating season, the income eligibility limit is 150 percent of federal poverty income guidelines. For more information about eligibility, click here. To learn about Partners for Warmth, visit www.partnersforwarmth.org, and for additional details about LIHEAP funding and how to apply, visit www.liheap.org.