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With colder temperatures upon us, Columbia Gas reminds its eligible customers that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, is now accepting applications to provide one-time grants to income-eligible households to assist with winter heating bills.

“LIHEAP is an important resource to keep our at-risk customers safe and warm this winter,” said Deb Davis, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania manager, Universal Services. “Customers are not automatically enrolled in the program, and many who qualify for assistance don’t even know it’s available to them.”

LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. It provides cash grants ranging from $200 to $1,000 to assist in paying winter heating bills. Also available are crisis grants, ranging from $25 to $600, to assist households without heat or in danger of being without heat.

“Anyone who needs assistance with a heating bill and meets the income guidelines should apply as soon as possible,” said Davis.  “You don’t have to be behind on your bill to receive assistance.  It’s a one-time grant, so you don’t have to repay it.”

The income eligibility limit for the 2019-2020 program is 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. This means individuals with an annual income of up to $18,735 are eligible to apply. A family of four can earn an annual income of up to $38,625. Households can apply for grants until April 10, 2020. Last season, more than 21,000 Columbia Gas customers received LIHEAP grants to help with their energy costs.

Natural gas customers in western Pennsylvania can call 1-866-857-7095 to learn more about LIHEAP. Customers are encouraged to apply online through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Service website (COMPASS) at www.compass.state.pa.us.

In addition to LIHEAP, Columbia Gas offers other assistance programs to help customers struggling with household budgets. Customers can contact Columbia Gas at 1-800-537-7431 to learn more.

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If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, have carbon monoxide symptoms or have some other emergency situation, go outside and call 911 and then call us at 1-888-460-4332.