There are government programs that can help you save money on heating bills, like LIHEAP and weatherization. These resources are funded by congress, and can assist people of all backgrounds with limited incomes pay for winter and summer heating and cooling costs. There are grant programs available in Nebraska that can help pay for the cost of using natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, coal, wood, propane, kerosene, or other energy sources.
The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services provides applications and staff can help people through the process. The amount of money a household has available to them is called a resource. To be eligible for certain resources, like financial aid, a household’s total income and other assets/resources are considered.
Details on low income energy assistance in Nebraska
The LIHEAP program provides direct cash grants to help people pay their utility bills. The amount of money you will receive from the government will depend on how much money you make, what kind of fuel you use, how old your home is, and where in the state you live. Nebraska will set a minimum funding level every year, but it may vary. In the past, these have been around $100 for electricity, $200 for heating oil/kerosene, and about $180 for propane. These factors include the purpose of the grant, the type of organization, the size of the organization, the financial needs of the organization and the availability of other funding. There are several elements that go into deciding how much money a grant will provide. These include the reason for the grant, what type of organization is requesting it, the organization’s size, the organization’s financial needs, and if other sources of funding are available. The majority of the time, the LIHEAP payment will go to the utility company and the customer will see it as a credit on their account.
If you are in a crisis situation and are at risk of having your utilities shut off, you may be eligible to receive up to $500 from Nebraska’s LIHEAP program. In order to qualify for the crisis assistance component, you must meet certain income requirements and other conditions. The applicant must also have had a good payment history on their account.
There is sometimes assistance available to help pay for cooling bills. The LIHEAP cooling program helps people who may have trouble staying cool during hot summer months, especially those who are elderly or have a medical condition. The applicants either need to be 70 years old or have a medical condition that would make them susceptible to extreme heat. If you need help, call Health & Human Services at (402) 471-3121, or go to your local office.
Free Weatherization services
There are programs in Nebraska that can help you save energy and money. Low income families who meet qualifications will have their home checked to see if it meets current standards and if not, it will be updated. The most effective energy and dollar saving improvements will be received by individuals. Some homes can receive a few thousand dollars’ worth of modernization and energy-conserving materials.
The US government gives Nebraska money to help with weatherization. The amount of money available for this program will change from year to year, and there is often a waiting list of people who want to participate. Please have patience. We will weatherize your home as soon as possible Services are available to renters and homeowners, for single-family homes, multi-family housing complexes, and even mobile homes.
There are many ways to improve the energy efficiency of a home, including adding insulation to the walls, attic, and/or floors. If insulation is added to your home, other updates may include adding vents to the roof and drilling holes in the siding. The free improvements will significantly reduce the amount of air that flows out and the amount of heat that is lost during the cold Nebraska winter.
If you have a fuel oil, natural gas, or propane furnace, you can get a free efficiency inspection from your local community action agency. They will also check boilers and water heaters. Weatherization can also replace broken glass in primary windows, as well as improve the door weather-stripping, thresholds, and/or door sweeps. To apply for the free weatherization program, call (402) 471-3121 for information or applications.
Weatherization will focus on making improvements to heating efficiency. If a furnace is severely malfunctioning or has a cracked heat exchanger, it may need to be replaced. Contractors will test for carbon monoxide in the air in the living space and in the combustion appliance zone, and check all heating systems for potential fuel leaks.
The end result of all these conservation efforts will be that the Nebraska family will be more comfortable, their heating and cooling bills will go down by hundreds of dollars per year, and their carbon footprint will be reduced. This means that after a home has been weatherized, the amount of energy used for heating is often reduced by a quarter, and the changes will last for many years.