Iowa Utilities Board reminds consumers about heating assistance before winter moratorium

Written by Theresa Rose on October 22, 2015

Interested utility customers should contact their local Community Action Agency

(Des Moines) – As winter heating season approaches, the Iowa Utilities Board reminds utility customers about the application period for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Weatherization Assistance Program and Iowa’s winter heating disconnection moratorium, which is November 1, 2015, through April 1, 2016.

Iowa law and Board rules require that households qualifying for LIHEAP and Weatherization assistance are protected from natural gas or electric service disconnection during the moratorium. Eligibility for both programs is based on household size and income.

Heating assistance funds are limited and LIHEAP applications will be accepted from households on a first come/first served basis at their local Community Action Agency (CAA) from November 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016. Households with disabled or elderly persons, age 60-plus, were allowed to apply for pre-certification starting on October 1. Consumers may also contact their local utility or Iowa Utilities Board Customer Service toll-free at 1-877-565-4450 for assistance.

While qualified customers cannot be disconnected during the moratorium, the Board urges all LIHEAP and Weatherization certified customers to continue paying toward their energy bills through the winter to avoid accumulating high debt and facing potential utility service disconnection when the moratorium ends in the spring.

Customers who are not certified for heating assistance may receive a 30-day stay from natural gas or electric service disconnection during the moratorium by notifying their utility that they will be applying for either program. However, those customers must then apply and be certified or be subject to disconnection. Other customers not qualified for LIHEAP or Weatherization assistance may be disconnected for failure to pay utility bills during the winter moratorium.

For more information, visit the Board’s LIHEAP web page, https://iub.iowa.gov/liheap and the Iowa Department of Human Rights, https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa, or call (515) 281-0859.