Thousands of Iowans could lose gas and electric services next week

MidAmerican Energy Power Meter

Des Moines, Iowa – Tens of thousands of Iowans are at risk of having their utility services disconnected next week when a winter heating moratorium comes to an end. Christine Taylor, with the Iowa Department of Human Rights, oversees the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

Under Iowa law, utility customers approved for LIHEAP cannot have their natural gas or electric service cut off due to unpaid bills between November 1 and April 1. Taylor is encouraging those customers to contact their local community action agency if they’re unable to catch up on their utility debt.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program. Iowa households that qualified this winter received an average payment of $450 to help them pay for utilities. According to Taylor, Iowans who qualify for LIHEAP could also avoid losing gas and electric service with a note from their doctor.

All utility customers in Iowa, including those who don’t qualify for energy assistance, can often maintain their service by entering into a payment agreement with their provider to pay accumulated debt over time.

To learn more about LIHEAP, follow this link.

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