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Arkansas receives over $8 million to go toward energy bill help, air conditioning program

Arkansas will receive an $8.2 million in coronavirus relief funding that will go toward enhancing the LIHEAP program which helps residents with home energy bills.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Arkansas will receive an $8.2 million in coronavirus relief funding that will go toward enhancing LIHEAP programs which helps residents with home energy bills and provides cooling services to vulnerable, low-income Arkansans.

Mitchell Simpson, the director of the Arkansas Energy Office, spoke at Governor Hutchinson's daily COVID-19 press briefing about the additional help.

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There are two programs funded by the CARES ACT. The first is the Supplemental CARES Act Crisis Program. $6.9 million will be allocated to help people pay overdue energy bills and help with winter fuel resources, like wood and propane. 

The three changes to the program:

  • Adds housing energy help in winter months, no longer just summer
  • The maximum is now $1,500 in benefits as opposed to $500
  • You can submit a past due notice, no longer a present shut-off notice

The other $1.23 million of the CARES act will be allocated to the Summer Cooling Program, an air conditioning program that will help qualified residents. 

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If you don't have an air conditioning unit or it's broken, this program allows you to get repairs or installation. The qualifications include elderly, disabled, children aged 5 and younger, and/or a medical condition that can be verified.

Both programs will launch Monday, July 27.

The Central Arkansas Development Council, which funds LIHEAP has helped more than 17,000 people this year alone. They also provide rent and emergency food box assistance. 

To request a LIHEAP application, you can click here for your local Community Action Agency.

Credit: Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality
Credit: LIHEAP