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Relief is Available for Residents in Need of Utility Assistance

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a safety-net service provided in the form of PG&E utility payment assistance to qualifying low-income residents designed to provide stability and prevent utility shut-offs.

As the unemployment rate continues to hover at 6.1% in San Benito County, many residents are facing hardships to meet their daily needs. Some may not be aware that the Community Services & Workforce Development (CSWD) has funds available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Eligibility is ranked by family size and income to determine a client’s eligibility amount. If your income does not exceed the income ratio listed below you may be eligible for an annual credit ranging in the amount of $191 to $318.

What is the LIHEAP Program?

LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is a federally funded program that provides support to needy low-income households for utility bill payments. Federal funds are distributed to each state and the individual states then administer the program and funds distribution. CSWD is the department in San Benito County responsible for the administration of this program. LIHEAP pays partial energy bills for eligible families. The program makes payments directly to the local utility company. Because the LIHEAP program provides support on a first come-first serve basis, it is important to apply as early as possible as there may be no further support once their federal funding has run out.

In addition to the LIHEAP program, enrolled clients may receive WAP services?

WAP, or the Weatherization Assistance Program was created in 1978 to help low income families reduce their energy costs. The WAP program provides for home improvement in the form of insulating walls and ceilings, repairing broken windows, caulking and weatherproofing and by replacing inefficient heating and cooling appliances.

How do I Apply for the LIHEAP or WAP?

In order to apply for the LIHEAP or WAP programs you will need to contact your local Community Services & Workforce Development (CSWD) office located at 1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 107, Hollister, CA 95023.

This program assists residents who are most in need, prevents utility shut-off and provides a sense of relief. “I feel gratitude toward the PG&E services I received at CSWD. Without it, it would be impossible to meet my living requirements. Thank you so much for your help,” stated a recent client. CSWD has been providing this service for over 20 years. On an annual basis, the program serves up to 900 families.

For more information, please contact Grace Orta at (831) 637-9293.

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