Capital Clicks

Iowa received $128 million in home energy assistance

By: - January 7, 2022 2:12 pm

A central Iowa man has been permanently barred from working as a heating contractor in Iowa. (Photo by Clark Kauffman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa received more than double its usual federal allocation for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the White House announced Friday.

“These resources are already allowing states across the country to provide more home energy relief to low-income Americans than ever before,” a White House news release read.

The federal program, known as LIHEAP, pays utility companies on behalf of low-income families. In past years, Iowa received about $50 million for the program.

This winter, Iowa received a total of $128.4 million for LIHEAP payments.

The additional aid came as utilities announced higher prices for Iowans: MidAmerican Energy, which provides natural gas services in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota, announced in October that customers could expect heating bills to increase between 46% and 96%

“We’re not seeing signs of supply challenges this winter, but we do expect to see higher customer bills because of higher commodity prices,” said Peggi Allenback, MidAmerican vice president of market operations and supply.

Homeowners and renters at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible to apply for LIHEAP. Applications opened in November and are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Iowans can contact their community action agency to apply for home energy assistance.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.