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Economy

Energy Assistance Available

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With summer almost over, Project NOW is preparing for this year's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP.

For residents of Rock Island, Henry, and Mercer counties, it began scheduling appointments on Monday, and will begin accepting applications on Wednesday.

Community Services Director, Ron Lund, says last year Project NOW provided assistance to 8,300 households. And this year he's expecting a nearly 40 per cent increase to 9,000.

"Part of it is they upped the income guidelines with COVID, normally this program is 150 per cent of federal poverty level - they've increased that to 200 per cent."

For a family of four, 200 per cent of the federal poverty level equals a maximum total monthly income of 4,400 dollars.

LIHEAP applications must be submitted "remotely."

"When we say remotely, what we mean is we're going to take the application over the phone. Our offices are all still open if they want to bring their documents down to us we can photocopy them. Otherwise this year LIHEAP will allow you to upload directly into your application if you choose to."

Applications must include social security numbers, photo ID, proof of income, and a recent utility bill. And will be accepted through next May (2022).

LIHEAP funds are sent to the utility company and not to the applicant.