CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois families may be eligible for more than $300 million in funding for energy bill assistance, Gov. JB Pritzker's office announced in a press release Wednesday.
All families who meet the criteria and provide required documentation are eligible to receive bill assistance for natural gas, propane and electricity through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Families can also call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages.
LIHEAP provides one-time payments directly to energy service providers on behalf of recipients. While the amount of support varies based on the needs of individual families, last year's LIHEAP recipients received an average of $1,330 per household, according to the release.
Last year's LIHEAP funding - which was available from September 2021 through May 2022 - provided a record level of assistance to 302,000 households, Pritzker's office said.
The State of Illinois offers various programs to support eligible low-income families with utility assistance. These programs are open to ALL eligible low-income Illinois families who meet the criteria, including undocumented families. Through LIHEAP, support for eligible families includes:
One-time Direct Vendor Payment: All LIHEAP recipients receive a one-time payment.
Crisis/Reconnection Assistance: Funding is available for families in heating-related emergency situations.
Furnace Assistance: Based on funding availability, Furnace Assistance may be provided to households that do not have an operating furnace for their residence.
Home Weatherization Program: The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) helps low income residents and households conserve fuel and reduce energy costs by making their homes and apartments more energy efficient.
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program: The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides eligible households with a benefit of up to $400 for water and wastewater services based on poverty level. Households facing the threat of imminent disconnection, or those that have already been disconnected, may be eligible for a benefit of up to $1,500. The application for LIHWAP is open through September 30, 2023, pending funding availability.