The state of South Caroline participates in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which provides home energy assistance to help eligible low-income households meet their home heating and/or cooling needs. LIHEAP is a block grant funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Through this program you can get cheap or free appliances if you are a low income family.
In South Carolina, LIHEAP is administered through the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). LIHEAP programs are administered through a network of fourteen community action agencies that provide LIHEAP Energy Assistance to eligible low-income households for each of South Carolina’s 46 counties. The South Carolina LIHEAP Program Year operates from January 1 through December 31. Income eligibility for all LIHEAP assistance under this plan will be limited to households whose total monthly gross income does not exceed 150% of the Poverty Income Guidelines published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Allocation of funds is based upon the low-income households in each county as compared to the state’s total poverty population; 2000 U.S. Census data.
The goals of LIHEAP for the 2011 Program Year are to expand outreach to previously unserved households, target energy assistance to eligible households with the highest energy needs and lowest incomes, increase efficiency of energy usage by applicant households, identify resources to broaden the reach of LIHEAP funds, and address inefficient home heating/cooling systems through repair and/or replacement.
Each household may receive two services during the program year in any combination: 1 DA and 1 ECIP, or 2 DA’s, or 2 ECIP’s, or DA and Project Share, or ECIP and Project Share.
- Direct Assistance (DA)
* Maximum benefit $500
- Emergency Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP)
* Maximum benefit $1,000
* As funds are available, where need is determined, to sustain the winter cold or summer heat, home heating/cooling systems may be repaired or replaced up to a maximum of $6,500
* Assistance cannot exceed total amount of energy bill
* Utility payments under ECIP are not to be rounded. Payments will reflect the actual amount of the bill.
There are two components of Energy Assistance: Direct Assistance Heating or Direct Assistance Cooling and Emergency Crisis Intervention (ECIP). A crisis exists when extreme weather conditions, fuel supply shortages or increases in home energy costs have depleted or threatened to deplete household financial resources creating an energy burden that poses a health and/or safety threat to the well-being of the household; particularly households with elderly, disabled and those with children age 5 or younger. A utility termination alone does not necessarily constitute a crisis. The State of South Carolina allocates 15% of LIHEAP funds for Weatherization to supplement the PY 2012 Weatherization Assistance Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The South Carolina Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity administers the state’s Weatherization Program. Services are provided by a network of nine Community Action Agencies in all 46 counties. Typical weatherization services include: air sealing, attic and wall insulation, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, installing storm windows, refrigerator replacement, and insulating ducts.
Ms. Bertie McKie
Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 358
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
TEL: (803) 734-0673
FAX: (803) 734-0356
WEB SITE: www.oepp.sc.gov/oeo/programs.htm