Utah’s HEAT program offers relief from high energy bills for qualifying households

Photo by JackF/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE  — Amid another week of blazing hot temperatures, some Utahns are wondering how to keep the air conditioner running. Many households may have already noticed an increase in their energy bills.

A thermometer shows an outdoor temperature reading of 116 degrees in Ivins, Utah, July 6, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Don Arthur Anderson, St. George News

According to a press release from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, the state’s Home Energy Assistance Target program now provides year-round energy assistance so that eligible households can get help with cooling costs. HEAT also helps eligible households pay for home heating during the winter and other energy costs.

“With rising costs associated with housing, many families are struggling to make ends meet,” Housing and Community Development Division HEAT Program Manager Sisifo Taatiti said in the press release. “Helping clients through this difficult time is important to us, and we believe it improves the quality of life for our fellow citizens across the state.”

To qualify, a household must earn below 150% of the federal poverty level or about $39,750 per year for a family of four. Priority for HEAT assistance is given to households with the highest energy burden in relation to the household income while considering vulnerable individuals such as young children, individuals with disabilities and elderly family members. Individuals can apply now for assistance if they haven’t applied with the program since October 2020.

Last year, HEAT assisted more than 32,000 Utah households with their utility bills.

The Housing and Community Development Division within the Utah Department of Workforce Services administers the HEAT program through a statewide network of local community-based organizations. Funding for HEAT is provided by the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program grant administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here or call 211.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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