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Texas launches LIHEAP to assist with summer cooling expenses for low-income Texans

Texas – Many Texans find the expense of cooling their houses to be a growing burden as summer temperatures rise. Fortunately, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) lets qualified citizens control their summer cooling costs by providing financial relief. Until money runs out, this government sponsored program is offered first come, first served.

Texans whose household income falls at or under 150% of the federal poverty threshold can be eligible for help. Part of LIHEAP, the Comprehensive Home Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is intended mainly to help low-income households—especially those with the highest energy expenses relative to their income. To help renters and homeowners equally pay for energy, CEAP pays directly to energy providers on their behalf.

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Residents should visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website to find an administrative agency close-by or call 211 for further information in order to apply. SWEPCO clients in counties including Rusk, Cherokee, Gregg, Smith, and Wood can call the Greater East Texas Community Action Program to get specific regional help. Those in Harrison, Panola, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, and Upshur counties should reach out to Tri-County Community Action.

Brenda Allen, the Program Director for Tri-County Community Action, emphasizes the program’s significant impact.

“This program is very impactful and is highly recommended and needed for our clients,” said Allen. “Partnering with SWEPCO has been a tremendous benefit and success to the community that we serve.”

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) lets qualified citizens control their summer cooling costs by providing financial relief
Credit: Unsplash

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Applicants are recommended to have all required paperwork available to speed up the eligibility decision process. The Tri-County Community Action website under the aid page at https://www.tccainc.org/ provides information on necessary papers. Use the updated annual application form for the current year.

Home energy programs helped almost 200,000 Texans in 2020 not only with heating and cooling costs but also with emergency aid and support for weatherizing projects. President of SWEPCO Brett Mattison advised people qualified to look into LIHEAP and other accessible programs.

“LIHEAP is a great help to our customers,” said Brett Mattison, SWEPCO president. “We encourage those who might be eligible to learn more about this and our other programs to help manage seasonal bill spikes.”

To ease locating help with bills, SWEPCO has also developed a new web tool. Customers can find unique solutions ranging from payment plans to average monthly billing by answering a few questions at this link, all meant to help families cope with the financial demands of remaining cool throughout the hot Texas summer.

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