KYUK: Feds award $19M in grants for Alaskans facing high energy costs

The federal Department of Health and Human Services has allocated just over $19 million to help Alaskans facing high energy costs.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said in a Wednesday statement that over $11 million is coming from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. That money is intended to help low income households lower their energy bills this winter. The other $8 million is aimed at helping tribes in Alaska with high energy costs.

LIHEAP is a congressionally funded program that provides financial assistance for heating costs, and is administered by the state and 13 tribal agencies across Alaska.

The program includes two components: heating and crisis assistance grants. Heating assistance grants help households meet heating costs, while crisis assistance grants are meant to help resolve home heating crises. Examples of the crises would be if someone is unable to pay their heating bills, or if their heater breaks and they can’t afford a new one.

Applications are available at Public Assistance offices throughout the state and online at www.heatinghelp.alaska.gov. Households can help determine if they are eligible for assistance by using the LIHEAP Eligibility Tool on energyhelp.us.

During Fiscal Year 2023, a total of 4,251 households and 13 tribal organizations across Alaska received non-crisis heating assistance grants through LIHEAP.

By:  Sunni Bean
Source: KYUK