Pennsylvania’s low-income assistance program announced for winter

 Pennsylvania’s low-income assistance program announced for winter.
Pennsylvania’s low-income assistance program announced for winter.
DHS Secretary Ted Dallas and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Gladys Brown joined area officials to kick off the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program application process for the 2015-16 winter season Monday in Harrisburg.

On hand to assist commonwealth citizens with enrollment at the event, held at Harrisburg’s Hamilton Health Center, were Dauphin County Assistance Office employees and representatives from PPL Electric Utilities and UGI Utilities, Inc.

“LIHEAP helped approximately 400,000 Pennsylvania households stay warm during last winter, including hundreds of thousands homes with older Pennsylvanians, children and individuals who live with a disability,” Dallas said. “We encourage anyone who needs help with their heating bills to apply before the worst of the winter weather arrives and be prepared.”

Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, supports low-income families during the winter months by providing assistance with home heating bills. Both renters and homeowners are eligible for the program and can either fill out hard copy applications, available at county assistance offices, or download and print an application via the department’s website.

“Every year, as part of the PUC’s effort to help consumers prepare for winter weather and higher heating bills, we focus on LIHEAP,” Brown said. “This program is one of a number available for those struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes warm.”

Brown urged citizens to increase their knowledge of energy conservation, check their utility bills and contracts, investigate programs for low-income customers and take related steps to decrease their long-term heating consumption. Consumers can visit PUC’s website, www.puc.pa.gov, and the Department of Human Services website, www.dhs.pa.gov, for application links and more LIHEAP facts.

“The department is committed to making sure every Pennsylvania family has a safe and healthy winter,” Dallas said.

The grant period for both “crisis” and regular grants, which began Nov. 2 and will last until April 1, 2016, is funded with $2.2 million from the 2014-15 LIHEAP season. DHS has issued 9,105 supplemental crisis grants totaling over $1.8 million to date.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

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