Jan 24, 2022 - News

Thousands of Iowans seek help with heating bills

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Thousands of Iowans are seeking assistance to pay heat bills as natural gas prices soar, records obtained by Axios show.

Why it matters: Limited natural gas inventories and production, along with an increase in demand globally, are driving prices up, MidAmerican Energy stated.

  • A shutoff moratorium runs until April but, after that, Iowa families unable to pay their bills could get cut off.

State of play: Nearly 62,000 Iowans applied to Iowa's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) between October 2020 and mid-January of 2021, according to state data requested by Axios.

  • That's up by more than 25% from the same period the previous year.

By the numbers: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has allocated around $133 million to LIHEAP for the federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

  • That's almost 145% more than the previous year due to pandemic-related assistance.

How to help: IMPACT helps metro residents apply for LIHEAP and other utility assistance programs.

  • Meanwhile, donations to MidAmerican Energy's I CARE program are matched 25%.
A photo of a heating bill.
Axios Des Moines reporter Jason Clayworth's most recent heating bill was nearly $300, more than double from the same period last year. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

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