June 30 application deadline nears for energy credit help

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June 22, 2021

The deadline to apply for federally funded energy credit assistance aimed
at low-income residents who are not in crisis but require help to pay their
heating and cooling bills is 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 30.

Maui Economic Opportunity administers the 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, giving out 15 allotments a
month. It assists households that have received a utility payment reminder
for nonpayment or a disconnection notice.

Funding of up to $650 for regular assistance and up to $1,000 for
pandemic-related assistance is available through the ECI program. 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. Those picking up
applications should call ahead at 249-2970 because the office is closed to
the public.

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