With fall in full swing, some residents may already be noticing an increase in their home heating and energy bills. Fortunately, the Home Energy Assistance Target (H.E.A.T.) program may be able to help.

H.E.A.T. helps eligible households pay for home heating, cooling and other energy costs. It can also help weatherize eligible homes, improving energy efficiency and reducing costs.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services said in a press release on Nov. 1 that is has begun to accept applications for assistance and will continue to accept applications through April 30, 2019, or until funds are exhausted.

“Even as Utah’s unemployment remains low, there are still many families struggling to make ends meet,” said Sue Kolthoff, the Utah Housing and Community Development Division H.E.A.T. program manager.

“The energy subsidies we are releasing this season will help more families afford heat and avert difficult choices many Utahns face between paying for heat and paying for other essentials like food and medicine,” Kolthoff said.

The H.E.A.T. program is Utah’s version of the federal LIHEAP program (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program LIHEAP). It is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To qualify, a family must earn below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $37,656 for a family of four. Priority for H.E.A.T. assistance is given to households with the highest energy burden in relationship to household income, while taking into consideration vulnerable individuals such as young children, individuals with disabilities and elderly family members.

Energy subsidies assist low-income families

To learn more about eligibility and how to apply, visit jobs.utah.gov/heat or by calling 2-1-1.

The H.E.A.T. program is administered by the State Energy Assistance and Lifeline office through a statewide network of local community-based organizations. Last year, the funding enabled H.E.A.T. to assist more than 29,000 low-income Utah households with their utility bills.