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West Virginia LIEAP Low Income Energy Assistance Program and weatherization.

The West Virginia Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LIEAP, can help pay electric and heating bills. The Department of Health and Human Resources administers this resource, along with weatherization, for low income residents of West Virginia. Cash grants, free advice, conservation measures, and other assistance is provided to eligible individuals.

Applications for both of these programs may be obtained at a Community Action agency, your local DHHR office, or Area Agency on Aging senior centers. Weatherization and LIEAP are often offered at the same time to West Virginia families, and the programs are funded entirely by a federal government block grant.

Heating and utility bill assistance is offered from the LIEAP Low Income Energy Assistance Program. A onetime cash grant for paying your ongoing bills may be provided, and there is also a crisis component for people who are faced with a heating emergency, such as disconnection or lack of fuel.

The program assists qualified households with the cost of paying for their heat during the winter. LIEAP can provide low income families with direct cash payments or more than likely the grant payment will be made to your utility or natural gas company on your behalf. Applicants for the program may also be referred to Weatherization for additional assistance, including free energy conservation measures.

As mentioned, a crisis component is also available in West Virginia for households facing an interruption in their heating service. Support is offered for those individuals without any other options or resources available to them. Eligibility for both the standard and crisis LIEAP program components is based on a combination of factors that are set by the state, including the consumers total heating costs, household income, and type of heating source and payment.

The amount of the payment made to beneficiaries for their heating bills, as well as the duration of the program, is dependent on the amount of the grant that is sent to West Virginia from the federal government. However the program doe provide a onetime per year payment for electric and heating bills (primary utility) every year.




Reconnection assistance payments and emergency furnace repair or replacements can also be made by the LIEAP Program for applicants whose utility has been disconnected, for those facing disconnection and families with a broken furnace or heating system.

To get more information, the Division of Family Assistance oversees LIEAP in each of the DHHR field offices. In addition, the government agency also partners with Agency on Aging offices as well as Community Action Agencies to accept and process LIEAP applications at their local offices. 1-800-352-6513.

The Office of Economic and local community action agencies also run the West Virginia weatherization program. This is another government program can help reduce heating bills and energy costs for low-income and working poor families, with a focus on senior citizens, the elderly, children, and people with disabilities. It works by improving the energy efficiency and conservation of their homes while ensuring occupants overall health and safety, and will help to reduce the heating bills and also cooling costs for low-income families.

The federal government and the US Department of Energy pay for both the Low Income Energy & Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and weatherization in the state. The community action agencies and DHHR field offices oversee the resources.

They accept applications for both services and also employ trained weatherization crews to install energy efficiency and conservation measures in the homes of low income families. All of this is offered at no cost to those who qualify. The agencies offer energy audits and diagnostic testing too.





Weatherization in West Virginia starts with a computerized assessment to ascertain the energy efficiency of the heating system in a given home. This audit of the home is an assessment of the insulation, type of walls and windows, and an analysis of the proper size and capacity of a heating system, duct size, and its placement for the best comfort and energy savings. Services include, but are not limited to, performing heating and cooling tune-ups and modifications, installing insulation, and reducing air-infiltration. Workshops and specialists also provide client education and tips on the use and maintenance of the weatherization measures.

If needed, Trained Service Specialists replace or repair heating systems with the highest efficiency equipment available. Weatherization also assesses and replaces refrigerators based on their overall efficiency.


By Jon McNamara

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