Area IV’s Energy Assistance Program available for low-income families

Kim Widner with the Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action visited News 18 at Noon on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, to talk about the Energy Assistance Program. (WLFI Photo)
Kim Widner with the Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action visited News 18 at Noon on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, to talk about the Energy Assistance Program. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It’s the time of year when temperatures tumble and the heat comes on. But what happens when you have trouble paying the bill to keep the heat on?

Kim Widner, Area IV’s energy assistance manager, visited News 18 at Noon on Monday to talk about the Energy Assistance Program which is just kicking off for the season.

“[It’s] a program that assists low-income families to help offset the costs for their heating for the winter,” Widner explained. “So anybody that’s at 150 percent of poverty or less can qualify for the program.”

She said a one-time payment is made to the client’s utility companies. If the client has gas and electric, Widner said the payment would be split. But a majority of the payment would go toward the gas company.

People interested in assistance should apply because the whole process takes some time.

“It usually takes about six weeks, by the time the application is complete and everything’s sent to the utility companies to make them aware that their client did get approved for the program,” said Widner.

Area IV serves around 3,400-3,500 clients per year.

“We serve four counties,” Widner explained. “We do Tippecanoe, Clinton, Carroll, and White [counties, and] we have an office in each one of those counties.”

If you think you may qualify for the Energy Assistance Program or would like more information, please call the Lafayette office at 765-447-7683 or visit the Area IV website. Widner said applications can be mailed out or picked up at the Area IV Office, 660 N. 36th St., in Lafayette.