Cleco is encouraging eligible customers who need help paying their electric utility bills to apply for supplemental funds added to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
LIHEAP, a federally funded program, helps low-income households with their home energy bills by providing payment and/or energy crisis assistance. Each state receives funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so programs vary by state. In Louisiana, funds are administered by the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) and distributed by community action agencies throughout the state.
The CARES Act earmarked $900 million for LIHEAP which is in addition to funds already appropriated for fiscal year 2020.
"While Cleco has temporarily waived service disconnects and late fees to help customers cope with the effects of COVID-19, we want to make sure our customers are aware of benefits available to them through LIHEAP," said Andre Guillory, director of metering, billing and revenue collection. "This program and the additional funding are specifically designed to help low-income households, including the elderly, disabled and families with children who need temporary assistance paying their electric utility bills."
To apply for LIHEAP funds, customers must contact their local community action agency. More program information and a list of the agencies are available on the LHC website at www.lhc.la.gov/energy-assistance or by calling LHC at 1-888-454-2001. Customers must provide copies of their electric utility bills, along with other personal information and meet federal income guidelines to be eligible for assistance.
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