Beat the heat 

Feds deliver on winter heating assistance

The Ada County agency tasked with handing out record federal heating assistance grants is experiencing record numbers of calls this winter.

The El-Ada Community Action Partnership is taking 65 to 70 applications a day for heating assistance, said agency energy assistance director Jenifer Scott.

"We have a situation in Ada County where our appointment line is very, very, very busy," Scott said.

Anticipating high winter energy costs and increased need, Congress approved $5.1 billion in heating energy assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, just before the election. Idaho's share of the funds is about $27 million, some of which goes to Idaho Indian tribes and some to fund weatherization.

The bulk of it, $17.9 million, will go to help low-income Idahoans pay their heat bills, potentially increasing the average benefit by more than $100 over last year.

"Besides having more money to keep people warm, we're changing the eligibility guidelines so more low-income folks will have access to assistance," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter stated.

Call 208-322-1242 in Ada County to make an appointment to apply for assistance and see for eligibility requirements.

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