Utah residents may get relief from HEAT

FILE PHOTO - Digital Thermostat set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

SALT LAKE CITY — June and July have brought record high temperatures throughout Utah, and there has only been a trace of rain since late May. Some residents are also seeing higher than normal energy bills as they try to keep their homes or apartments cool amid the relentlessly high temperatures. There is relief in the form of Utah’s Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) program.

The program provides year-round financial assistance so that eligible households can get help with cooling costs in the summer and home heating in the winter. The program is administered in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties by the Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG).

To qualify for the assistance, a household must earn below 150% of the federal poverty level or about $39,750 per year for a family of four. Priority for HEAT assistance is given to households with the highest energy burden in relation to the household income while considering vulnerable individuals such as young children, individuals with disabilities and elderly family members. Individuals can apply now for assistance if they haven’t applied with the program since October 2020.

With rising costs associated with housing, many families are struggling to make ends meet,” said Housing and Community Development Division HEAT Program Manager Sisifo Taatiti in a release. “Helping clients through this difficult time is important to us, and we believe it improves the quality of life for our fellow citizens across the state.”

Last year, HEAT assisted more than 32,000 Utah households with their utility bills.

Funding for HEAT is provided by the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program grant (LIHEAP) administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit jobs.utah.gov/heat or call 2-1-1.

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