Latest on 4-States water, heating bill resources
Several programs have opened their application process or will be accepting applications soon for utility bill help. Families or individuals can find help to pay for water and energy bills. Below, you can find updates as well as links to programs and applications in the 4-States.
Water Bill Assistance
In Missouri, low-income residents can start applying for help through the state’s water assistance program in February.
Due to some “unforeseen circumstances,” the start of the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) was delayed. The department announced that it will now begin accepting applications in February 2022.
LIHWAP provides funds to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP grants are available country-wide.
Some federal reporting requirements in the LIHWAP have been made this year. These requirements now include:
- Allow for the payment of other items included on the water and/or wastewater bill if this is required for continued or restoration of services. For example, if trash is also included, it is allowable to pay this cost. This also must be reported separately.
- Federal reporting previously included only the amount of payments for water and wastewater, but now requires reporting for disconnection, current bill, or arrearage for water, wastewater, and multiple services.
You can read more here.
4-States LIHWAP Links
RESOURCES TO LOWER HEATING BILLS
Many states begin taking applications to help low-income families pay their utility bills. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is another federal program available in all states.
The Kansas Corporation Commission launched an online resource to explain the reasons prices are escalating. Kansas residents can also find tips to help minimize the impact and find financial and weatherization assistance.
The Kansas Corporation Commission wants to provide Kansas ratepayers with helpful information and resources as we head into winter. Click on the links below to learn more related to this important topic. We will update this page frequently, so check back often for the latest news.
- Why are energy costs going up?
- What can I do to reduce energy usage?
- The Cold Weather Rule
- What to do if you get a disconnection notice
- Utility and Weatherization Assistance Programs (you can find your local agencies here)
- Consumer Contacts
The KCC regulates investor-owned utilities in the state; however, the agency does not set fuel prices. In the mid-1980’s, the U.S. Congress deregulated the price for natural gas. As a result, the market drove the cost of natural gas. The cost utilities pay for natural gas is a direct pass-through to its customers.
Typical weatherization measures include air sealing to reduce infiltration, insulation of attics, sidewalls, floors, pipes, heating and cooling system repair, etc. You can find resources in Missouri here.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps residents pay for heating and cooling bills. You can also apply for help on your water and/or wastewater bills through the Missouri Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). You can apply here.
Oklahoma also has a statewide weatherization assistance program. You can find out if you qualify here. You can also contact your local Community Action Agency to apply for weatherization assistance. Call 405-949-1495 to find your local agency, or click here.
The Oklahoma Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) program provides financial assistance. The federally funded program has a tool to help you see if you qualify.
Federal programs are also helping folks in Arkansas through the Weatherization Assistance Program
The Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households with home energy costs by administering Regular Assistance and Crisis Intervention Programs.
MORE IDEAS TO SAVE ON YOUR HEATING BILL
No matter how cold your part of the country gets, there are plenty of easy, inexpensive ways to keep warm while lowering your bills. You can read that article here: Your Heating Bill Will Skyrocket This Winter. Here’s What to Do About It
You can find more resources for help in the 4-state area in the following articles.
- More low-income families can get help with heating bills
- White House offering more aid for winter heat, utility bills
- Cold Weather Rule helps keep the heat on in extreme weather
- Energy costs are up. What this means for your heating bills
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