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Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in California: what is and who can apply?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program offers utility and weatherization support all over the country.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program offers utility and weatherization support all over the country.

Many residents of the Golden State are looking for relief, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant may be a good place to start. This program, administered by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, provides eligible low-income households with “financial assistance to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling dwellings, and/or have their dwellings weatherized to make them more energy efficient.

There are two main components of the program that achieve these goals.

The first is the Weatherization Program which makes services ranging from attic insulation and weather stripping to minor housing repairs accessible to more families.

The second is the Energy Crisis Intervention Program which helps households cover the costs of “weather-related or energy-related emergencies.” An example of an emergency in California includes “a household receiving a 24-48 hour disconnect notice or service termination by their utility company.”

Specific to the Golden State, eligible persons can also receive one-time financial assistance payment to cover a household’s utility bill. Additionally, the state offers educational resources “on basic energy efficiency practices” and energy budget counseling.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility is based on household income.

Persons in HouseholdMonthly Income
8$6,806.39 ​

Source: State of California

The California Department of Community Services and Development advises that those interested contact their local energy agency to ensure there are no other eligibility requirements. One can use the Am I eligible? tool on the department’s website to see if they qualify.

How does one apply?

If you believe you qualify, the next step is to identify the local office managing the program in your area. At that point, you can give the office a call to find out how to apply. The state also offers an assistance hotline that can be reached toll-free at (866) 675-6623.