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ERBA announces start of Energy Assistance Program

LIHEAP is available for all income-qualified households beginning September 1, 2021.

The Embarras River Basin Agency (ERBA) as administrator of the Home Energy Assistance Program in Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland, is pleased to announce that funds are available to assist income-eligible households with their natural gas, propane, and electric bills and furnace assistance. 

The program will begin September 1, 2021 for all income-eligible households. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis through May 31, 2022. There will be no priority groups this program year. Households in need are encouraged to apply. 

Households must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level to receive a benefit from the LIHEAP program. Beginning September 1, there will be an option to accept a one-time payment to utility provider, or to enroll in PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan) which consists of a monthly benefit you will recieve as long as you make your monthly payment that will be determined at the time of intake. PIPP is available for LIHEAP eligible households who are customers of the following utilities: Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas, North Shores Gas and Peoples Gas. PIPP applications will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis and the program will be offered until March 30, 2022 or when ERBA has reached the maximum capacity of households for the program. 

The guidelines are as follows: 1-$2,147, 2-$2,903, 3-$3,660, 4-$4,417. Go to www.erbainc.org to know income limits for households with 5 members or more.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time benefits to income-eligible homeowners and renters to help with energy bills and for reconnection of energy service. Propane customers are encouraged to apply when the program opens in September to take greater advantage of lower propane prices. Propane prices typically increase during the winter months so by applying early propane users will see their LIHEAP benefit go further. 

Applications will be taken at each of our outreach offices (see below), by phone when necessary and there will be an electronic pre-application on our website after September 1. 

To submit an application, you must submit all documentation required:

1. Proof of gross income from all household members for the prior 30-day period beginning with the date of application.

2. Proof of Social Security numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for all household members. Individuals without SSN or ITIN can still apply and ERBA will advise accordingly.

3. A copy of current heat and electric bills within the last 30 days.

4. Other documents may be needed based on your household situation. If you have questions regarding this, please call our office.

5. A copy of rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contract. 

Please call ERBA at 217-923-3113 for outreach locations and hours, and for information on what documents are needed to apply and different ways to submit your application.

Outreach Location 

Douglas County: 107 W. South Central, Tuscola, IL 61953; 217-253-4434.

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