DES MOINES, Iowa — There is a high likelihood of a La Niña this winter, and global patterns indicate it could be colder and wetter than average in Iowa.
With a colder and wetter winter on the horizon, a rise in heating costs is expected - at least 54% higher for propane users and at least 30% for natural gas users.
For those whose wallets could be severely hurt by the rise in energy costs, Iowa began accepting applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program on Monday, Nov. 1.
Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until April 30, 2022, or until funding is exhausted.
LIHEAP, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is a federally funded program that helps low-income families with costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.
To be eligible for the funds in Iowa, according to the state's Department of Human Rights, the applicant must be a homeowner or renter whose total household income is at or below 200% of the 2021 federal poverty guidelines.
Households with a member 60 years or older, those disabled and those in crisis were able to apply during an early application period that began Oct. 1, according to the Iowa department.
Illinois began accepting applications for its program on Sept. 1, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and it will continue to accept applications until May 31, 2022, or until funding is exhausted.
To apply for LIHEAP support in Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's website to find an administering agency in your county.