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DES MOINES, Iowa – (Nov. 1, 2019) – MidAmerican Energy Company encourages customers struggling to pay their energy bills to seek assistance through state low-income home energy assistance programs.
 
LIHEAP is a federally funded energy assistance program designed to help low-income families who need assistance paying their heating bills. The program provides winter heating assistance to qualifying customers. Each state receives and administers LIHEAP funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services block grants, so programs vary by state.
 
“LIHEAP funds help our low-income customers manage their winter heating bills,” Mike Gehringer, vice president of customer operations for MidAmerican Energy, said. “We encourage customers to take advantage of LIHEAP assistance. Any customer who is having financial challenges should contact us to discuss our budget billing program and other payment options.”
 
Customers can call MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632.
 
Illinois LIHEAP
To be eligible for LIHEAP in Illinois, the total household income for an applicant must be at or below 150% of 2019 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $18,735, and a family of four is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $38,625.
 
Customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for LIHEAP to ensure they receive the assistance they need. The program will accept applications through May 31, 2020, or until funding is exhausted. To apply, Illinois residents must contact their local community action agency to schedule an appointment. For more information, call the state’s LIHEAP hotline at 877-411-WARM (9276).
 
Iowa LIHEAP
Community action agencies in Iowa review applications and administer grant funds. Household income and size, type of primary heating fuel, housing type and other factors are considered. 
 
To be eligible for LIHEAP in Iowa, the total household income for an applicant must be at or below 175% of 2019 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $21,858. A family of four is eligible with an annual gross income at or below $45,063.
 
Eligible customers who need help with energy bills should apply for LIHEAP at a local community action agency. The Iowa Department of Human Rights has additional information about the program and eligibility requirements. 
 
Nebraska LIHEAP
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administers the state’s LIHEAP assistance.
 
To be eligible for LIHEAP in Nebraska, the total household income for an applicant must be at or below 130% of 2019 federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single-person household can qualify with an annual gross income at or below $16,237, and a family of four can qualify with an annual gross income at or below $33,475.
 
Nebraskans who meet the following criteria do not need to file new applications and are automatically enrolled and notified:
  • They received LIHEAP last year
  • Their current address and utility information have not changed
  • They have an active Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) case that includes all members living in the same household
  • No household members have an active sanction
Nebraskans who don’t meet the criteria must apply for assistance through March 31, 2020 for the 2019-2020 heating season. LIHEAP application forms are available through the ACCESSNebraska website, by phone at 800-383-4278, or at a local Nebraska DHHS office.
 
South Dakota LIEAP
South Dakota’s Department of Social Services distributes Low-Income Energy Assistance Program funds on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eligibility for South Dakota’s LIEAP is based on household income, type of heating for the home and location. The state measures income qualification over three-month periods. A single-person household can qualify with an income of $5,464 or less over three months, and a four-person household can qualify with an income of $11,266 or less over that same period.
 
South Dakota LIEAP application forms are available at the South Dakota Department of Social Services website, by phone at 800-233-8503 or at local DSS offices.
 
Budget billing provides predictable monthly bill
MidAmerican Energy customers who want a more consistent monthly energy bill can opt for budget billing, which allows customers to pay the same amount each month for a set period of time. Budget billing does not lower rates but does offer a more predictable bill.
 
How you can help low-income customers this winter
To help those in need, customers can donate to MidAmerican Energy’s I CARE program. I CARE funds local assistance for heating bills and home weatherization for low-income residents and is administered through local community action agencies.
 
Customer donations fund I CARE, together with a 25% match from MidAmerican Energy. Tax-deductible donations to the I CARE program stay within the local community and go directly to help those in need. MidAmerican Energy customers can donate to the I CARE program via a checkbox on their monthly bill or can pledge online.
 
About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves more than 783,000 electric customers in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota, and 765,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available at MidAmericanEnergy.com and company social media channels.
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