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OPINION

Health and Wellness: Heating help is here

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department

Cold weather has arrived, and your furnace has probably been running. If you’re concerned that you will struggle to pay for heating costs this winter, please consider applying for the LIHEAP program.

LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is intended to help both renters and homeowners who are within certain income guidelines.

LIHEAP pays a portion of your residential heating bill for the winter season (electric, natural gas or propane.) The program is not meant to pay your entire energy bill, but can help considerably. The program does not pay for heating businesses or non-residential structures, such as garages, shops or barns.

To apply in Dallas County, phone New Opportunities at 515-465-5185, or download their application form at https://www.newopp.org/services/outreach/dallas-county. You must provide proof of household income, your most recent heat and electric bills (this might be the same bill) and a copy of each household member’s Social Security card.

Because of the COVID pandemic, appointments are being held over the phone this year.

After applying, continue to pay your energy bill until your assistance is approved. The assistance from LIHEAP will appear as a credit on your utility bill.

For more information call Laura Baltazar at New Opportunities, 515-465-5185.