Community

Funds from Louisville’s energy assistance program have been exhausted, forcing residents in need to turn to the community for help.

The city’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) regularly provides resources to residents, paying for their utility bills and arranging payment plans. The program normally ends in late March, but Public Information Specialist Debbie Belt said Louisville’s cold snap increased demand for the program.

During LIHEAP’s crisis phase, Jan. 8 to March 7, the program spent $2.5 million and gave an average of $225 to 9,000 Louisville households, Belt said.

“It’s to try to help avoid a crisis – avoid people from having their utilities disconnected or avoid people from getting evicted. That’s why this program is so vital,” she said, assuring residents could get help through community ministries or a Neighborhood Place.

“They have programs that can kick in and help fill the gap,” said Belt.

Residents in need can call Metro United Way’s 211 help service or MetroCall 311 to find their nearest community ministries or a Neighborhood Place location. LIHEAP will also help residents in need to arrange a payment plan with LG&E.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.