Palmetto Community Action

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)


What is LIHEAP?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (aka LIHEAP) is a Federally-funded program that helps economically disadvantaged households with their home energy bills. LIHEAP can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of health and safety problems (such as illness, fire, or eviction). A few more fun facts about LIHEAP:

  • LIHEAP is a grant you do not have to repay for the help you receive.
  • You don't have to receive public assistance to qualify.
  • You don't need to have an unpaid electric bill to receive help.
  • You can either rent or own your home to qualify for LIHEAP funds.
  • You do not have to have income to qualify for help.

Am I eligible for LIHEAP?

You might be eligible for a utility assistance grant through LIHEAP if you are an economically disadvantaged resident of Berkeley, Charleston or Dorchester county. To know if you’re income-eligible, call us and we will make a determination on your program and income eligibility over the phone. LIHEAP determines income eligibility based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Since each family’s circumstances are different, we assess them individually. LIHEAP also looks at income differently than some other federally funded programs so make sure you let us tell you if you qualify instead of assuming that you will or won’t.  LIHEAP program participants may receive assistance once per year when funds are available.


What services are available?

LIHEAP is primarily used to assist households with a utility assistance grant made directly to the energy provider. In some cases, our program may also be able to assist you in the repair or replacement of an unsafe, inoperative, and/or dysfunctional heating ventilation and air conditioning system.


Where do I apply for LIHEAP?

Applications are completed in person at one of our four offices around the Tri-County area. Unfortunately, we cannot take walk-ins. To apply for LIHEAP, you must schedule an appointment through our hotline or our website. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-844-769-6448 or visit the Schedule An Appointment section of this site.


How often can I apply for LIHEAP?

You can apply for a LIHEAP utility assistance grant twice per calendar year and not within 30 days of receiving assistance.


Does it matter what my heat source is?

It does not matter what your heat source is. Our program awards energy assistance grants regardless of fuel type. We assist households with electric, gas, propane, oil, coal, and wood.


Do I need to provide documentation?

Yes. The following documents must be presented to staff to complete an application for a LIHEAP utility assistance grant.  Failing to present a required document will result in an incomplete application.  Incomplete applications will be voided and assistance will be denied.

All clients must:

- Be residents of Berkeley, Charleston or Dorchester County

- Meet federal income guidelines

- Present a state-issued picture ID with current address for applicant.

- Present a legible social security cards for all household members.

- Present total income for all household members within the past 30 days prior to application

- Provide 3 most recent energy bills

The bill must have a balance due within last 90 days.  Names must match on all documents. Palmetto CAP cannot assist if there is a credit or zero balance on the account


How much money will I get?

YOU will not get any money. Your energy provider will receive a payment from Palmetto CAP on your behalf. The amount of money awarded to your household will depend on multiple factors. Funding received is based on a set formula. Palmetto CAP can assist with up to $1,000 in some instances.