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Press Release

PUC Joins PA Department of Human Services to Kick Off Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Season

Published on 10/30/2020

Filed under: Consumer Education Electric Gas

PUC Encourages Families to Enroll in LIHEAP and Explore Utility Customer Assistance Programs Other Energy Affordability Options

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today joined with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to mark the start of the application process for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the 2020-21 winter heating season.  The new LIHEAP season begins on November 2, 2020.

“This year, more than ever before, we encourage families to explore all the options available – including LIHEAP and PUC-required utility customer assistance programs,” said Public Utility Commission Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “Working in combination, these essential programs help hundreds of thousands of households across the Commonwealth every year.”

LIHEAP is an important tool for helping families across
Pennsylvania stay warm and safe during the winter


“We know that the pandemic and economic downturn have made it difficult for many to keep up with home energy bills. As winter approaches and we prepare to spend more time indoors, these bills may only get more expensive. That's why Pennsylvanians should know that LIHEAP is here for them if they need it,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller.

“DHS administers safety-net programs like LIHEAP to help some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens make ends meet and get through times like these,” Secretary Miller added. “I encourage anyone who needs help, or anyone who has loved ones or neighbors who could benefit from this program, to apply at  You do not need to know your own eligibility in order to apply – DHS will take care of that part.”

Public Utility Customer Assistance Programs

In addition to making use of LIHEAP assistance, the PUC encourages consumers to contact their utilities for more information about various utility-operated Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) that may be available.

“Last year, utilities across Pennsylvania spent more than $391 million on universal service programs, not counting LIHEAP,” noted Chairman Dutrieuille. “Collectively, these utility programs reach over 290,000 electric customers and approximately 160,000 natural gas customers, reducing monthly energy bills; promoting weatherization and other improvements to cut energy consumption; and supporting hardship programs.”

PUC-required utility customer assistance programs reached about
290,000 electric customers and 160,000 natural gas customers
last year, totaling more than $391 million (not counting LIHEAP)

PUC “Prepare Now” Campaign

The PUC’s annual “Prepare Now” winter heating campaign, which was launched earlier this week, underscores the importance of consumers, businesses and utilities working together during this unprecedented time.  It emphasizes that PUC safeguards – including this year’s recently enhanced protections for income-qualified households and small businesses – are a starting point for assistance that public utilities can offer.

PUC Consumer Outreach & Education

The PUC consumer-educator team partners with various statewide community groups, state government agencies, legislators, human service providers, utility companies, community based organizations and many other partners to help educate, spread awareness and share many useful programs, tools and resources.

To schedule a virtual presentation or for more information, email the PUC’s consumer-education team at

About the PUC

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

Visit the PUC’s website at for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.

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