Households can receive up to $8,000 in heating assistance through rebates, tax credits, or financing programs. Programs may be offered by the government, state, or supplier and those who don’t qualify can find ways to lower their bills. Four nationwide programs are available, but state programs may vary by income or location.
The Inflation Reduction Act, implemented by the Biden Administration, provides tax rebates as incentives for upgrading home energy systems, electric vehicles, solar equipment, and home improvements. CBS News stated in their article on September 13, 2022, that tax credits include 30% of solar equipment costs, up to $4,000 for households and $8,000 for low-income households for appliances and improvements, and up to $7,500 for electric vehicles. To claim, complete Form 5695 and more information on the White House website.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance for energy bills and home repairs to low-income families and is funded by the federal government, according to Administration for Children and Families in their article published on November 2, 2022. It is a grant and does not need to be repaid.
Eligibility for LIHEAP is determined by the state, with a limit of up to 150% of the federal poverty level or 60% of the state median income, but must be at least 110%. Visit your state’s website to apply.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) improves energy efficiency for low-income households resulting in reduced energy costs, and an average savings of $372 annually, as stated by the United States Department of Energy. Upgrades include weather-stripping, insulation, heating system improvements, lighting upgrades, and refrigerator replacements.
To get WAP assistance, apply through your state administrator. Eligibility is based on income or government aid, with priority given to the elderly, families with children, and households with members with disabilities.
The Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a type of financing that can help lower energy costs and allow borrowers to afford a larger mortgage. It can be applied for through government-insured or conventional loan programs, and some states have programs specifically for their residents. A home energy rating can also help qualify for an EEM, it’s a rating scale of 0 to 150 given by a certified professional energy rater.