Montana Shows Increase in Heating Assistance Need

February 23, 2018 – Montana has seen an increase of residents in need of home heating assistance by 14.4 percent since 2016, according to state officials. Montana approved 16,303 households for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) as of February 15, which amounts to 724 more households than in 2017.

The Montana LIEAP, in addition to providing heating bill assistance, provides weatherization services and assistance in emergency situations dealing with furnaces or water heaters.

Karl Seaman, executive director of the nonprofit Opportunities Inc., said, "This is what helps individuals, especially the elderly, to maintain themselves rather than move into nursing homes. LIHEAP is so important, especially in our area."

Opportunities Inc., through LIEAP, assisted 1,537 with heating assistance and 120 households with weatherization. They also helped 828 households with emergency fuel or emergency payment for energy. 514 people used LIEAP to repair their home heating system.

State officials report that seventy-six percent of the residents who received lIHEAP are elderly, disabled, or have a child in the household. The average benefit per household was $500.

Source: media reports