The deadline to apply for federally funded energy credit assistance for low-income residents who are not in crisis but require help to pay their heating and cooling bills is 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30.
Maui Economic Opportunity administers the popular once-a-year Hawaii Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Maui County.
LIHEAP provides a credit on utility accounts of income-eligible households. Credit amounts are based on income and number of people in the household, as well as the number of applicants, with the amount determined by the state.
Approved applications are sent to the state, which then distributes a credit line to applicants through Hawaiian Electric or Hawaii Gas. Some clients can make their credit last for longer than six months.
The energy credit is one of two LIHEAP programs. The other program, Energy Crisis Intervention, continues to operate, generally giving out 15 allotments a month – though for June all households that have received a disconnection or past-due notice can receive assistance.
Utility payments take up to six weeks to process through the state, but utility companies are informed on the day of approval.
A household can only get assistance once a year from either program. Applicants must submit their most recent electric bill, identification for all adult household members and Social Security numbers for all household members older than 1 year old and proof of citizenship, gross annual income and residence.
Applications for the program are available online at meoinc.org or may be picked up at the MEO office at 99 Mahalani St. in Wailuku. Applicants can drive in to designated stalls at MEO to file their applications in-person.
Funding for LIHEAP is provided by the federal Office of Community Services, Division of Energy Assistance, and managed by the State of Hawaii Office of Community Services.
For more information, call 249-2970.
Beverly Victorine-Dyment signs up for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Hana earlier this month. The deadline for applying for the LIHEAP energy credit is Thursday, June 30.