Winter in Idaho poses significant challenges for many households, as they contend with high heating bills and various other difficulties throughout the year. The Department of Health and Welfare’s Division Self-Reliance offers a variety of programs to ease the burdens faced by individuals and families in Idaho.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) plays a crucial role in helping households with their heating costs during winter months and in times of crisis. The program provides support to a diverse range of energy sources including electric, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and wood.
In the last program year (October 2022-September 2023), LIHEAP successfully processed applications for 30,915 households for regular heating assistance, and 11,637 households for crisis benefits, bringing the total number of benefits issued to 42,552. The average benefit amount for regular heating assistance was $370.28, while households facing immediate heating emergencies received an average crisis benefit of $641.39. Each recipient receives this benefit as a one-time payment per program year.
Weatherization Assistance Program
Weatherization, a program with more than 40 years of operation, stands as the nation's largest “whole-house” energy efficiency initiative. Its purpose is to enhance the energy efficiency of homes occupied by low-income individuals. This is achieved by reducing overall energy expenses and enhancing health and safety conditions, particularly for vulnerable groups like the elderly, disabled, and children.
In the last program year (April 2022–March 2023), Idaho successfully weatherized a total of 270 homes using dedicated weatherization funding and additional available resources. The comprehensive weatherization services included repairing or replacing primary heating sources, upgrading water heaters, adding insulation to walls, floors, and attics, as well as weather-stripping and caulking doors and windows.
The Division of Self-Reliance at DHW offers vital assistance to Idaho households. These programs reduce heating costs, address crises, and enhance energy efficiency. To find out more information or apply, visit https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/financial-assistance/home-heatingutility-assistance.
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