Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

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291 Beaufort Street, NE Aiken | (803) 648-6836
650 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce | (803) 794-6778
Litchfield Street, Barnwell | (803) 259-3145


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was authorized by the Low Income Home energy Act of 1981 (Title XXVI of Public Law 97-35; Omnibus reconciliation Act of 1981).  As stated in section 2602 (a), the program was authorized to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs.

Locally, in Aiken, Barnwell and Lexington Counties, the LIHEAP program helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist with energy costs.  LIHEAP also helps families to manage expenses associated with home energy costs and energy crisis, especially during extreme temperatures during the winter or summer months.

LIHEAP services are targeted to families with high energy burdens and to those most in need.  Additionally, assisted families receive energy counseling in an effort to help them reduce energy costs through the use of low-cost energy conservation measures which also can foster and promote greater energy efficiency.

In our three-county service area, customers who have a documented financial emergency and are threatened with termination of their heating or cooling supply are assisted under the Emergency Intervention Crisis Project (ECIP Heating or Cooling Project).  Eligible families qualify to receive financial assistance toward their energy expenses to alleviate their immediate energy crisis.

The Direct Energy Assistance Project (DA) allows for eligible households to qualify and receive a one-time energy payment to their established energy vendor to assist with the costs of heating or cooling their home.  Minimum assistance is established statewide with additional supplements based on age, disability, energy burden and income.

All projects operate each calendar year with limited funding within each county. Customers must meet income and program eligibility, and assistance may vary with household situations.   Income eligibility is based on annual Federal Poverty Income Guidelines and is determined by the previous thirty days gross household income.  Additionally, prospective customers must be able to document and establish federal, state and county residency through officially issued IDs and Social Security Cards.