For Illinois residents, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income households pay for utilities such as heat, gas, and electric. You may call (877) 411-9276 to learn where you can apply in your county.
When you qualify for LIHEAP, the program:
- Limits when you may be charged a deposit;
- Lowers the maximum deposit down payment and gives you more time to pay if you do have to pay a deposit;
- Reduces the maximum required down payment amount for payment arrangements; and
- Increases the minimum number of months for payment arrangements.
The local LIHEAP administrator will let your gas or electric company know that you qualify as a low-income customer. You will need to notify your public utility water and sewer company of your low-income customer qualification.
Learn more about Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at the Office of Community Services.
Types of LIHEAP assistance
One time payments (per program year of October 1 to May 31, or when funds run out) are given to households who qualify. Funds are limited and payments are given on a first-come, first-served basis. The LIHEAP program offers 3 kinds of assistance to income-eligible households:
- Direct Vendor Payment (DVP): If you pay your own utilities such as gas, electricity, liquid propane, and oil can get assistance in the form of a one-time payment to the utility company. If utilities are included in your rent, the amount must be more than 30% of the total household income.
- Emergency Services (ES): In the event of a weather-related natural disaster or when there is an extreme weather condition, Emergency Service payments are given. This money is only provided to the extent that funds are available. The amount of the ES payment usually will be the minimum requirement to reconnect the household to utilities. You may only receive an ES grant once during a program year for a particular utility.
- Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP): Clients of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas can pay a percentage of their income, receive a monthly benefit toward their utility bill, and receive a reduction in overdue payments of every on-time payment they make by the due date. You can find out more about this program here
- Reconnection Assistance (RA): If your household is disconnected or has a disconnect notice from an energy source needed for heating, or has a delivered fuel supplier that has refused to deliver to you, Reconnection Assistance is available. However, it is only provided if you have made an effort to maintain energy service or paid a portion of the reconnection assistance.
- Furnace Assistance (FA): If you qualify for reconnection assistance, but do not have an operating furnace or heating supply you may qualify. Furnace benefits, which include tune-up, repair, or replacement will be utilized to restore a vital heat supply to the home is operated by Local Administering Agencies.
- For additional information, please visit Illinois.gov here
Updated: June 2018