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Louisville’s summer cooling program helps cover high electricity bills

 A thermostat set to 63 degrees is affixed to a white wall.
Dan LeFebvre
The one-time benefits range from $50 to $250 dollars depending on income.

Louisville Metro’s Office of Resilience and Community Services opens applications for its summer cooling program on Tuesday. It can help low-income residents get a one time payment to put toward their electricity bill.

The cost of staying cool in the summertime is expected to increase nearly 12% this year as summer temperatures reach record highs around the country, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.

Collectively, U.S. consumers owed $19.5 billion to utilities in March 2023, reflecting the higher costs of home heating over the winter.

Now as the summer heat sets in, Louisville’s Office of Resilience and Community Services, and community action agencies around the state, are set to begin accepting applications for the summer Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also called LIHEAP.

It’s a federally funded program designed to help people with low incomes offset the cost of higher utility bills.

Applicants for Louisville’s summer subsidy must be county residents with a household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. The income limit is around $3,750 per month for a household of four. The one-time benefits range from $50 to $250 dollars depending on income.

They’re also offering a similar program for water utilities called the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program. That benefit ranges from $50 to $100.

“The LIHEAP and LIHWAP programs are crucial to so many of our neighbors,” said Office of Resilience and Community Services Interim Director Laura Grabowski in a press release. “Our office is proud to administer these vital programs, which will help hundreds of people stay cool in the summer heat.”

Here’s information from the Office of Resilience and Community Services on how to apply:

Jefferson County residents wishing to apply must schedule an appointment utilizing the automated appointment system. Appointments can be scheduled by phone by calling 502-991-8391 or online at louisvilleky.cascheduler.com. The toll-free service is currently open and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Required documentation includes:

  • Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of the household.
  • Proof of all household’s (all members) income from the preceding month. (Ex. Food Stamp award letter, Social Security Award Letter, pay stubs, etc. or other proof of $0 income). Note: Zero Income forms are available at the LIHEAP locations or online at www.louisvilleky.gov/LIHEAP
  • Most current electric bill, water/wastewater bill, or statement from your landlord if electric and/or water/wastewater is included in your rent, or statement from utility company if you participate in a Pre-Pay Electric Program. The account number and name on the electric bill must also be provided.

There are seven LIHEAP locations for the 2023 LIHEAP Summer Subsidy program:

  • South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 40215
  • Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave., 40211
  • Bridges of Hope Neighborhood Place,1411 Algonquin Pkwy., 40210
  • Newburg Community Center, 4810 Exeter Ave., 40218
  • Cane Run Neighborhood Place, 3410 Lees Lane, 40216
  • Northwest Neighborhood Place, 4018 W. Market St., 40212
  • Charmoli Neighborhood Place, 9100 Marksfield Rd., Ste. 100, 40222
Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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