NBC10- Daralene Jones
Pennsylvania has started accepting applications today for the federal energy assistance program, known as LIHEAP. In Philadelphia, more than 1 in 3 residents are eligible. But as NBC10's Daralene Jones reports, fewer dollars are expected from the federal government.
This year’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications from low income households on November 4. In Philadelphia, more than 1 in every 3 residents are eligible for LIHEAP, which means their income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. For Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), approximately 150,000 of its customers are eligible for LIHEAP.
"The value of LIHEAP extends well beyond helping low income customers pay bills during the winter," said Denise Adamucci, vice president of regulatory compliance & customer programs. "Over 80% of PGW customers who received a grant were able to remain current on their gas bill for the entire year." On the other hand, of those eligible customers who didn’t receive a grant, over 50% of them were not able to keep up with their bill.
PGW also advises its customers to submit their LIHEAP applications now as the grants are first-come, first-served.
PGW urges customers to visit www.pgworks.com or one of the company’s customer service centers to apply before the grant money runs out. In an effort to increase the number of families who apply for LIHEAP assistance, PGW is also conducting outreach to neighborhood organizations, churches, elected officials, and other community leaders to educate the community and support eligible households in applying for LIHEAP.
“Since federal funds are limited, we want customers to know that PGW will help with their applications,” said PGW’s Adamucci, “and the sooner they act the better.”
PGW representatives will be available to help customers with their applications for LIHEAP at the company’s customer service centers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the days listed below.
To apply, customers need to bring social security numbers and proof of household income for the last 30 days for everyone living in the home. More information is available at www.pgworks.com and PGW’s LIHEAP hotline, which is 215-787-HEAT (4328).
Applicants for LIHEAP assistance must meet the 2013-2014 eligibility requirements, which means they must have a household income at or below 150 percent of the Federal poverty level (as shown in the table below). The LIHEAP program is set to end on April 4, 2014.
Household Size Maximum
Gross Monthly Income Maximum
Gross Annual Income
1 $1,436 $17,235
2 $1,939 $23,265
3 $2,441 $29,295
4 $2,944 $35,325
5 $3,446 $41,355
6 $3,949 $47,385
For each additional person $503 $6,030
A federally funded block grant program implemented at the state level, LIHEAP assists low income customers with their winter heating costs. LIHEAP grants for PGW customers are applied directly to the "Please Pay" amount of their bill.
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) is also offering a Crisis Exception grant, beginning November 4, for households that are without heat because their service is off. Customers who wish to apply for the Crisis Exception grant must apply in person at the Philadelphia County Assistance Office (1348 W. Sedgley Avenue).
Founded in 1836, Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) is owned by the City of Philadelphia and is the largest municipally owned gas utility in the country. It manages a distribution system of approximately 6,000 miles of gas mains and service pipes supplying approximately 500,000 customers. PGW's operations are managed by a non-profit corporation, the Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation (PFMC). More information about the company is available at www.pgworks.com.