Changes to LIHEAP, ECIP Increase Available Benefits
In November, Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation’s energy assistance programs changed to allow them to provide more help to those in our community who are struggling with their winter utility bills.
Missouri’s LIHEAP Program
The mission of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is to assist eligible low income households.
For those applying for LIHEAP assistance with their winter utility bill, the maximum benefit is now double. Any household that has already received energy assistance this year will receive a supplemental payment to pay the difference between the amount received and the new, increased benefit amount. Additionally, the energy assistance is now available through September 2022, instead of March 2022.
Energy Crisis Intervention Program
The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) provides utility assistance and relief for those who have an energy crisis. These benefit amounts are also double than the previous year.
With winter (and summer) utility bills typically higher, Level Pay is a great budgeting tool that can help you spread those costs out over the year and plan ahead. When you sign up for Level Pay, your new payment amount will be an average of your bills from the last year. We continue to gather data from your meter each month to provide you with your exactly usage data.
Our goal for you on Level Pay is to pay 12 months’ worth of usage spread out over 12 months – no more, no less. If you use a little more or a little less than you did the previous year, it’s all good! When we review your account at the end of the year, we will adjust if it’s needed. If you used a little more and have an outstanding balance on your account, we’ll spread that out over the next year along with your updated usage. If you used a little less and have a credit on your account, (woohoo!) you’ll see your Level Pay amount go down!