The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services (primarily heating during winter months). Energy costs can place severe and continuing stress on a family’s budget. In some instances, households are forced to make painful decisions regarding which bills to pay and which necessities to survive without. Illinois residents with a household income that does not exceed an amount determined annually by the Department of Commerce are eligible. Annual eligibility levels are determined based on available funding and may not exceed 200% of the federal nonfarm poverty level.
The Purpose of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP):
The primary purpose of the Energy Assistance Program is to assist low-income citizens by offsetting the rising cost of home energy through direct financial assistance, energy counseling, outreach and education. The program allows the State of Illinois to reach not only the increasingly vulnerable low-income population, but also to serve as an important entry point for a variety of other needed social services for the low-income population.
While the energy bills a low income family incurs may not be higher than that of the average family, their relative poverty means it takes a larger percentage of their income to pay them. Thus, while the average family pays approximately 5% of their income toward their energy bills, a low-income family may pay 33% or more of their income toward their energy bills in the absence of any energy assistance.
The Purpose of the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP):
The main objective of the PIPP is to make energy bills more affordable and to help maintain home energy service throughout the year. The PIPP will help reduce bills only if participants make the required full, on-time monthly payments. By enrolling in the PIPP, the household has agreed to enter into a monthly budget payment plan with the participating utility. The utility will reduce the account’s pre-program arrearage, for each full monthly payment made by the bill due date, up to a total of $1,000 for the program year.
The Purpose of the Low-Income Home Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP):
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides funds to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP grants are available to States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and Federally and state-recognized Indian Tribes and tribal organizations that received fiscal year 2021 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) launched the new Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) established under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program that will help low-income households and families afford water and wastewater services during the Coronavirus pandemic. Along with funding provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, LIWHAP will help residents pay their water bills, avoid shutoffs and support household water system reconnections related to non-payment.
LIHWAP provides grants to states, territories and tribes to work with private owners and operators of public water systems and treatment. Although Congress established LIHWAP as an emergency program to help states respond to the coronavirus pandemic, ACF is directing states to model LIHWAP after the existing Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), meaning county governments functioning as local LIHEAP agencies might also be responsible for administering this new program. In 13 states, county governments either fully administer the LIHEAP program or share that responsibility with local community-based agencies.
2023 Income Guidelines for all of the above programs:
Household Size 30 Day Income Annual Income
1 $ 2,265 $ 27,180
2 $ 3,052 $ 36,620
3 $ 3,838 $ 46,060
4 $ 4,625 $ 55,500
5 $ 5,412 $ 64,940
6 $ 6,198 $ 74,380
7 $ 6,985 $ 83,820
8 $ 7,324 $ 87,892
9 $ 7,484 $ 89,803
10 $ 7,643 $ 91,714
11 $ 7,802 $ 93,624
12 $ 8,189 $ 98,265
13 $ 8,779 $ 105,345
14 $ 9,369 $ 112,425
15 $ 9,959 $ 119,505
16 $ 10,549 $ 126,585
17 $ 11,139 $ 133,665
18 $ 11,729 $ 140,745
For families with more than 18 persons, add $590 for each additional person.
Please contact us at (217) 428-2193 for more information and/or to book an appointment for Energy Services or click below to sign-up online for an appointment.
Hours for Energy Services are Monday – Friday, 8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m. (lunch breaks from 12:00pm – 1:00pm)
Here are the items clients must have on the day of their appointments
- Social Security Cards for the entire household
- Current Power Bill
- Income for the household for the past 30 days (all SSI, SSA, Wages, TANF, Pensions, etc)
- Medical Cards/Medicare Cards (if applicable)
- Link Card (if applicable)
- Current rent receipt or proof of homeownership
All items must be printed and ready at your appointment. We need those items physically. We cannot accept an image on your cell phone, or email. In the event that you need to print something out, come before your scheduled appointment and you can use our computer lab. Thank you and have a great day!