DES MOINES, Iowa – (Oct. 16, 2017) – As winter approaches, MidAmerican Energy Company is reminding customers that applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are being accepted now in Iowa for the elderly and disabled. All other qualified individuals can begin applying Nov. 1.
LIHEAP is a federally funded energy assistance program designed to help low-income families who are having trouble paying their heating bills. Last year, approximately 36,000 households in Iowa received benefits from LIHEAP. The average payment was $440 per household.
“Winters in the Midwest are always unpredictable, and wondering if you can keep up with your energy bills doesn’t help,” said Kathryn Kunert, vice president of economic connections and integration for MidAmerican Energy. “If any customers worry about challenges paying their bills this winter, we encourage them to apply for LIHEAP or get in touch with us to learn about our payment options. We want to make sure every customer who has questions about their energy bills and costs going into winter contacts us to get the answers and help they need.”
LIHEAP funds are received in the form of a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Community action agencies in Iowa review applications and administer the funds. Grants are determined based on household income, household size, type of primary heating fuel, type of housing and other factors to ensure households with the greatest need receive the highest level of assistance. To be eligible, the total household income for an applicant in Iowa must be at or below 175% of the 2017 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household can qualify with an annual gross income of $21,105 and a family of four can qualify with an annual gross income of $43,050.
Customers are encouraged to sign up early for LIHEAP to ensure they receive the assistance they need. LIHEAP application forms are available at any community action agency. For more information visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/liheap.
<strong>What if you don’t qualify for LIHEAP?</strong>
MidAmerican Energy customers who are not eligible for LIHEAP but are having difficulties managing their energy bills should call MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 to discuss the company’s many payment and billing options, including Budget Billing. Budget Billing spreads your annual energy costs out evenly throughout the year, so you pay the same amount each month. While Budget Billing is not a discount program and does not lower rates, it does offer the convenience of a consistent, predictable bill.
<strong>Want to help someone stay warm this winter?</strong>
Customers who want to help those in need stay warm this winter can donate to MidAmerican Energy’s I CARE program.
I CARE raises funds for local community action agencies to assist customers who qualify for LIHEAP. I CARE funds come from customer donations, with a 25% match from MidAmerican Energy. Every dollar given goes directly toward providing assistance to those in need; none of the funds are used by the company. Donations are tax-deductible and stay within the benefactor’s community.
Giving to I CARE is as simple as adding a dollar amount to your monthly MidAmerican Energy bill and noting on the bill stub or online the overpayment should be applied to I CARE. Customers can also contribute by filling out an online pledge form to make a one-time or recurring donation.
In addition to I CARE, individuals wanting to support a family member, friend or neighbor in need can make a payment directly to that customer’s account by calling MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632. Payments can be made anonymously or MidAmerican Energy can send the recipient a gift receipt. There is no charge to either the giver or receiver for this service.
<strong>About MidAmerican Energy Company</strong>
MidAmerican Energy Company is an energy provider serving 760,000 electric customers and 742,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via MidAmerican Energy Company's website.