LIHEAP / ECAP: Winter Heating / Summer Cooling

The LIHEAP funding is contingent on the receipt of federal funds and authorized amounts vary from year-to-year. The allocated funding is estimated and reserved for winter heating, summer cooling, and ECAP on a yearly basis. Refer to article LIHEAP/ECAP: Energy Crisis Assistance Program for more information.

Some of the LIHEAP households can be preauthorized for winter heating or summer cooling. Households are not pre-authorized for winter heating and summer cooling in the same federal fiscal year; October 1 through September 30. When households were pre-authorized for summer cooling for the same federal fiscal year, they must complete an application for winter heating or vice versa. Refer to article LIHEAP/ECAP: LIHEAP Pre-Authorization for more information.

The main energy source used to heat the home is approved during the winter heating application period. The main energy source used to cool the home is approved during the summer cooling application period.

The winter heating/summer cooling programs are not an emergency assistance program. Applications are processed in the order they are received. The winter heating/summer cooling programs do not give priority to households that have a cut off notice.

If approved, the LIHEAP payment may take a full billing cycle for the credit to show up on the households account. All households should continue paying the utility or to work with the utility provider to avoid any service interruption. If the household receives a cut-off notice from the utility provider, they must contact the provider’s customer service to make other necessary arrangements.

DHS Appendix C-7-A provides estimated benefit amounts for each program. Adjustments may be made to the estimated benefit during the fiscal year due to changes in available funding or anticipated need.

Summer Cooling payments may be made to the household to reimburse it for purchasing cooling equipment, such as fans and window air conditioning units, or to repair existing cooling equipment up to the maximum payment allowed., per Appendix C-7-A., Estimated Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Benefit level for all Households, when the household provides proof that the purchase or repair was made within 30-calendar days of the start of the cooling application period. When the household chooses this option, it is not eligible to receive help paying its energy bill.

To receive reimbursement of a window unit the household must complete an application during summer cooling open enrollment. The household must choose electricity as a main cooling source. Then put the explanation as window unit in the field ‘why the account is not in his/her name”. The household must submit a copy of the receipt that included the amount, item, and the date of purchase.

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