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Help with Heating Bills: Applications for Assistance Begin Dec. 1


It's getting cold. That means heating bills will soon come due.

Mecklenburg County residents who have trouble paying their winter heating bills can get help from the Department of Social Services (DSS). The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is one of several programs administered by DSS that help low-income households with their immediate energy needs, so they do not need to choose between heating their homes and other basic needs.

Mecklenburg County will begin taking LIEAP applications on Dec. 1 for senior citizens aged 60 and older or disabled individuals who get help through the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services. All other households can apply beginning Jan. 3, 2023.

APPLY: Visit or call 704-336-3000 to begin the application process.

Residents can apply for LIEAP through March 31, but there are other programs that can help year-round. They do not have to be behind on their energy bills to receive a one-time LIEAP payment in the amount of $300, $400 or $500 based on their primary heating source. Applicants must meet income guidelines, be responsible for the bill, provide their account number, and show proof of income.

Households must meet the following criteria:

  • At least one eligible U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Cash resources of $2,250 or below
  • Be responsible for the heating cost
  • Income at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Limit

In addition to the application, an interview is required, and applicants must provide: 

  • Identification, such as a driver license, State ID card, or passport
  • Utility bill
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of income

If approved, a one-time payment will be made directly to the applicant's utility company. Payments will not be made to the applicant.

There are several programs to help Mecklenburg County residents pay their heating or cooling bills, including the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP). To learn more, visit