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Illinois utility shutoff moratorium ends April 1, Project Now offering heating bill assistance

With utility shutoff returning to the state at the beginning of April, a local organization is offering help to citizens still in need.

The State of Illinois's moratorium on the shutoff of utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic is ending, and organizations are offering help to those who still need it.

The state is resuming staggered shutoffs for people who owe utility bills and haven't reached out for assistance on April 1st.

In the wake of the period ending, several utility companies have worked with the state to negotiate more generous payment options, and other organizations will be offering aid.

Project Now, local Community Action Center, is offering the assistance of its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) program, with funds still available for residents of Rock Island, Henry, and Mercer counties living at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level for help with heating bills.

The organization offers five assistance programs under LIHEAP:

  • One Time Benefit Payment
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP)
  • Reconnection Assistance
  • Emergency Furnace Assistance
  • Cooling Funds

To schedule an appointment call one of the local Project Now offices or visit the online form:

  • Rock Island Administration - (309) 793-6391
  • Rock Island Senior Center - (309) 788-6335
  • Moline - (309) 764-8092
  • Aledo - (309) 582-2644
  • Kewanee - (309) 852-4565

"We're prepared for you and ready. We know this is a difficult time for many and we want you to know that you don't have to journey through this difficult time by yourself. We're here to help... One of our receptionists will start their process with them. They'll ask a few questions and then move them to the category they need to be in to help facilitate that need," says Dwight Ford,  Executive Director of Project Now.

The organization says that they saw a 26% increase in energy assistance applications over the course the past year, with over 7,600 submissions.