Local/Regional News
1:03 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Heat Assistance Program Gets Underway This Week

LIHEAP, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Crisis Program, begins Monday in Lexington.

Credit Greg Stotelmyer

The program offers up to $400 for households that are in danger of losing their heat during the winter.

Last year, the Community Action Council provided financial assistance to more than 5,500 households. This year, council executive director Malcolm Ratchford says demand will likely depend on whether or not Lexington sees single digit temperatures again in the next couple months.

"It always varies, but whenever there are harsh temperatures like we've had what we find is that low-income families spend twice as much on their energy bills due to their homes not being weatherized, no insulation, some of it is behavior. But you'll see that the homes of low-income folks don't have the energy efficient appliances. All those things lead to more costly energy bills," Ratchford says.

The program, which is federally funded, received roughly $1.2M this year, about in line with 2013 funding levels.

Eligibility is determined by income, the number of residents, and whether a past due or disconnect notice has been sent to the household.