The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

“I’ve got to pay my rent.  I’ve got to pay gas and electric.  I’ve got to take care of the kids.  I’ve got to make sure there’s food in the house, you know, make sure they got clothes, make sure they got shoes, and make sure I got bus fare to even get to work.  Trying to struggle and juggle all of that on one income that’s coming in the house is extremely hard. It’s extremely hard because I would like to do more for my girls give them everything, of course every parent would.  Every parent would want to do more. It hurts when I can’t get them the things that they would want. So hopefully eventually things will get better; I’ll get a better job or something.  Something has to give, right?  It can’t be this way forever.” 

Energy Assistance

The high cost of heating one’s home in the winter is a tremendous burden on Philadelphia’s low-income families.  Being without heat in the middle of winter is a crisis, and families will do whatever they can to keep warm, including running a cooking stove to heat the house.

Low-income residents access emergency utility assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Income eligibility levels are higher for LIHEAP than for TANF, so many families do not realize that they may qualify for the program.  For families facing a heating utility shut off who have already accessed LIHEAP can apply for additional help from the Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF).

In addition to taking advantage of LIHEAP grants to provide one-time relief from high energy bills, low-income families can also lower their bills throughout the year by enrolling utility budget programs.  

  • Philadelphia Energy Company (PECO)
  • Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) 
  • Philadelphia Water Department (PWD)

Current Issue

Pennsylvania will begin accepting LIHEAP applications on November 1, 2011.  Funding for LIHEAP and other energy assistance programs is at risk during deficit reduction negotiations. 

 

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