Low-Income Energy Assistance
The State of Montana, through the Department of Public Health and Human Services, offers two programs aimed at helping low-income individuals reduce their heating costs.
The Weatherization Program helps participants to improve the heating efficiency of their homes and thus reduce their energy consumption. The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) pays part of winter energy bills for eligible people. Most utilities offer LIEAP recipients discounts on their bills.
Who Is Eligible
Eligibility for weatherization and fuel (energy) assistance is based on your income and assets. To be eligible for LIEAP, you must make no more than 60 percent of estimated state median income for 2014 if your household consists of seven or fewer, or 150 percent of the 2013 federal poverty level for households with more than seven members. Resource limits also apply. To be eligible for weatherization, you must make no more than 200 percent of the 2013 federal poverty level. Both homeowners and renters may apply for these programs.
LIEAP and Weatherization Programs
2013 - 2014 Program Year
Number in Household
LIEAP Upper Income Limits
Wx Upper Limits (Including LIEAP Wx)
The upper limit amounts are 60% of the state median income for household sizes one (1) through seven (7). The upper limit amounts for household sizes eight (8) and greater are 150% of the poverty threshold for the household size.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) & Weatherization Program
2013-2014 Program Year
Number in Household
If your household receives benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, you may qualify automatically for weatherization or fuel assistance.
When to Apply
The Low-Income Energy Assistance (LIEAP) and Weatherization Program application is available on this website during the heating season, which is October 1 through April 30 of each year.
You may apply for weatherization assistance or an emergency situation with a furnace or water heater at any time during the year by contacting the energy assistance eligibility office serving your community.
Weatherization Assistance: All approved applications are ranked according to degree of need and placed in "priority groups." Special priority is given to older adults and disabled individuals. If your application is approved but you're not in a priority group-and if you don't receive assistance within a year of your application date - please reapply.
An energy auditor will set up a time to visit with you about your home's needs for weatherization materials. The auditor is trained to determine the most cost-effective weatherization measures for your home. These measures may include a furnace tune-up, caulking, client education, insulation, weather-stripping, storm windows, replacement of broken glass, or repair of exterior doors.
Weatherization workers may not be able to install all the materials you need, but they will do the most important weatherization within the dollar limits allowed. In some cases it may not be cost effective to install any weatherization measures.
When your home is scheduled for weatherization work, a crew or an independent contractor will come to install the necessary materials in your home. After the work is completed, you will be asked to sign a statement indicating that you believe the work was done properly and to your satisfaction.
Fuel Bill Assistance: If you are eligible for fuel assistance, the payment amount is figured according to your household income, the size and type of your home, and the kind and cost of fuel. Most often, payments are made directly to your utility company or fuel supplier.
More Energy Assistance Ideas
For more ideas about how you can 1) lower your living expenses by conserving energy, 2) get help paying your energy bills, 3) qualify for an energy tax credit, or 4) volunteer to help your more vulnerable neighbors with their energy needs, visit the Governor's Warm Homes, Warm Hearts Web site.
To help you with weatherization strategies-many of which you can do yourself-the HRDCs and the Montana State University Extension Service offer many resources. Contact your HRDC or MSU Extension Office for brochures on these topics:
- Top Ten Home Energy Saving Tips
- Air Sealing - Keep Heat Where it Belongs
- Cool Your Home Naturally
- Energy-Efficient Lighting
- Water Heater Maintenance
- Storm Windows
- Home Insulation Choices
- Attic Insulation
- Insulating Side Walls of Existing Homes
- Floor and Foundation Insulation
- How to Save Energy
- Gas Appliances and Your Health
- Indoor Air Quality
- How You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Controlling Condensation
- Energy Tips for Mobile Homes
- Power Bill's Home Energy Activities