Applications for help with electricity bills for low-income families across Hawaii open up on Thursday.
The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will accept applications from Hawaiian Electric and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative customers from Thursday until June 30.
LIHEAP provides qualifying low-income households with a one-time credit on their electricity bills. To qualify, individuals must have annual household incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level.
The applications are accepted annually only during the month of June by the Honolulu Community Action Program, Maui Economic Opportunity, Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council and Kauai Economic Opportunity.
Last year, Hawaiian Electric said more than 7,500 residential customers from across the five islands it serves received a record $8.1 million in LIHEAP credits; 257 KIUC members received $321,200.
The amount of credit awarded to applicants will vary each year, the utilities said, based on factors including income level, the total number of people per eligible household and available funds.
The agencies also accept LIHEAP Energy Crisis Intervention applications year-round for households facing service disconnection but tend to get an uptick in demand in June. A limited number of approvals for these are granted each month.
Households may only receive one type of LIHEAP assistance per program year.
Instructions on how to apply are available by the agency at:
>> Honolulu Community Action Program: hcapweb.org
>> Maui Economic Opportunity: meoinc.org
>> Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council: hceoc.net
>> Kauai Economic Opportunity: keoinc.org/services/energy-assistance