Governor Wolf Reminds Consumers of Availability of Federal Funding for the Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians that there is federal funding available for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Crisis and regular LIHEAP applications began November 1, 2017 and end April 6, 2018.

“Making sure all Pennsylvanians are safe and healthy is my top priority,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “It is essential that we ensure that every Pennsylvanian has a warm home and I encourage anyone who needs this assistance to apply for the program that provides hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania’s families with a warm place to live throughout the winter.”

LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months. The program is available to both renters and homeowners. The support comes in the form of a grant, so the individual does not have to repay assistance, and funds go directly to their utility company or home heating fuel provider.

During the 2016-17 LIHEAP season, 348,672 households statewide received $116,494,464 million in LIHEAP cash benefits. These households received an average benefit of $334.

“LIHEAP is a federal program that was at risk for cuts earlier this year,” Governor Wolf said. “A cold home in the winter can have devastating consequences for infants, elderly and those with compromised immune systems. This is vital funding that cannot be reduced or eliminated, and I will fight to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

For more information on the LIHEAP program, or to download an application, visit DHS’s LIHEAP webpage.

Having a warm home is one way to stay healthy and safe over the winter. The Pennsylvania Department of Health also offers helpful tips to be prepared for winter weather.

Some of the tips included are:

Infants and older Pennsylvanians are at greater risk of serious cold-related health issues and should be checked frequently to ensure they are warm enough during cold weather.

  • Provide warm clothing for infants, and ensure that those less than one year old never sleep in a cold room because they lose body heat more easily than adults and are unable to make enough body heat by shivering.
  • Older adults often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity. If you are over 65 years of age, check the temperature in your home often during extremely cold weather.

When power outages occur during winter storms, the use of other sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling or cooking can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in a home, garage or camper and poison the people and animals inside.

CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those made by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood.

How to recognize CO poisoning:

  • Exposure to CO can cause loss of consciousness and death; the most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting; chest pain; and confusion.
  • People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.