Beginning Thursday, low-income families in Illinois can begin applying for state assistance on their natural gas, propane and electricity bills.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, has $300 million available. Families can apply by visiting helpillinoisfamilies.com or by calling 1-833-711-0374. Information on other state assistance programs can be found on that website as well.
In Chicago, the local agency administering this utility bill assistance is the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA, located at 567 W. Lake St. More information can be found here: www.cedaorg.net/find-services/gas-and-electric
LIHEAP provides one-time payments directly to energy service providers on behalf of recipients.
Families who earn up to two times the federal poverty level are eligible for LIHEAP. That works out to a 30-day gross income below $2,265 for a one-person household, $3,052 for a 2-person home, $3,838 for a three-person home, $4,625 for four people, $5,412 for five people and $6,198 for six people.
The level of assistance received is needs-based, and last year’s LIHEAP recipients received an average of $1,330 per household, according to the governor’s office.
A state rebate program for the purchase of an electric vehicle remains open through Sept. 30, and the state announced this week a new rebate application window will open on Nov. 1.
The current round of funding opened on July 1, offering a $4,000 rebate for individuals purchasing an all-electric vehicle and a $1,500 rebate for an all-electric motorcycle. Applications for the first round of funding must be postmarked by Sept. 30 and submitted within 90 days of the vehicle’s purchase.
The next round will open on Nov. 1 and run through January 2023.
The rebates do not apply to hybrids or vehicles not licensed for Illinois roads. It also does not apply to rented or leased vehicles.
The purchaser must reside in Illinois on the date of the vehicle purchase and it must be purchased at a state-licensed dealer. Documentation requirements include a copy of purchase invoice, proof of purchase, vehicle registration, and IRS W-9 or W-8 forms. The purchaser must also own the vehicle for 12 months.
As of July 1, the fund paying out the rebates had a balance of $17.9 million, and rebates were subject to funding availability.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the rebates, gives priority to low-income applicants whose income does not exceed 80% of the state median income and expedites grants to those individuals. Thus far, as of Aug. 25, according to IEPA, the state has received 72 low-income applications and approved 22 of them. It had received 898 that didn’t meet the low-income threshold.
More information can be found here https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/ceja/Pages/Electric-Vehicle-Rebates.aspx.
Herald staff contributed from Chicago. Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.