WINTER IS ALMOST OVER! Southwest CDC is here to help with LIHEAP

LIHEAP/CRISIS PROGRAM WILL BE ENDING APRIL 9, 2021 now is the time for you to come in and apply for the grant to assist with paying your energy bills.


The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. This federally funded program provides grants to low income eligible household to pay down their heating bills.

The winter of 2020 / 2021 has been especially difficulty, the triple threat of a Pandemic, a stay at home order and the loss of employment has created financial hardships for residents across the city. Some resident’s loss employment through no fault of their own and now they stand in jeopardy of losing their unemployment benefits because their eligibility has been exhausted. The city of Philadelphia has been under a Winter Moratorium since December 1, 2020. The Winter Moratorium is put in place to help residents get through the winter season without the threat of having their utility services shut off, but the Moratorium ended March 1, 2021. Now the utilities companies PGW/PECO can start sending out SHUT OFF NOTICES. The Philadelphia Water Department has announced that they will not issue Shut OFF Notices at this time.

If you are having a problem paying your water bill you may be eligible for a UESF Grant and you should apply for the TAP-offered by PWD.

All of these facts have created financial hardships for residents across the city in every community. Southwest CDC is the Neighborhood Energy Center Intake site serving the West and Southwest Philadelphia communities’ .SWCDC is in place to help community members’ access city and state services that will enhance the quality of their lives.

SOUTHWESTCDC is here to help you.

Applying for LIHEAP/CRISIS is the first step to receiving financial assistance to pay down your utility bills. If LiHEAP/CRISIS does not cover the total amount you may be eligible to apply for UESF.

I have listed information below on all of the utility assistance programs available. SWCDC will assist you in applying for these and all of the support programs provided through each utility company.

UESF provides financial assistance to low income individuals and families who are facing utility terminations or who have had their utilities shut off. PECO, the Philadelphia Gas Works, and the Philadelphia Water Department match each dollar we provide.

The Utility Grant program is designed to bring a customer’s delinquent account up to date. UESF’s financial assistance, the matching utility bill credit, and any contribution by the individual must zero out the utility bill. Families and individuals are eligible to apply for assistance every two years.

To be eligible for a utility grant, your total household income must be at or below 175 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines. Eligibility will be determined at the time of application.

Click here for UESF’s network of Utility Grant neighborhood intake sites to find one near you.

To be eligible, individuals and families must:

  • Have a notice of termination or be off service for PECO, PGW or PWD.
  • Be Philadelphia residents.
  • Have not received a UGP grant in the past 24 months.
  • During LIHEAP season, have applied for LIHEAP Cash and Crisis program first, before coming to UESF.
  • Owe an amount that is not in excess of the utility grant. All grants must be applied to the utility account and reach a zero balance. If the amount surpasses the maximum grant allowed, the applicant is responsible for the balance.
  • Be at or below 175% of Federal Poverty Level (to be determined at the time of application).

Philadelphia Gas Works support program CRP-Consumer Responsibility Program

CRP is a Customer Assistance Program that can help low-income customers better afford their PGW bills and keep gas service on. CRP provides discounted bills for eligible customers. CRP customers pay a budget amount based on their gross household income

Philadelphia Electric Company-CAP

PECO’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) can give you a monthly credit on your PECO bill. The credit is based on your household’s gross income and energy use.

Your monthly CAP credit is based on the following information:

  • Monthly gross household income – Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  • Annual energy usage – The amount of energy you used in the past 12 months.
  • Energy burden – The percentage of household income that goes to energy costs.

PECO uses these three pieces of information to determine your monthly CAP credit. That credit amount is applied to a CAP customer’s PECO bill each month. Energy usage can change due to the weather. So, CAP customers will receive a larger credit during months they use more energy.

Philadelphia Water Department TAP

TAP is for residents whose income falls below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which is equivalent to $3,075 in monthly income for a four-person household.  However, higher household incomes with a Special Hardship, may still qualify.  But customers don’t have to figure out which program they fall into because trained representatives will do that for them.  All customers who are struggling to pay their water bill should apply.

“The TAP program offers a great opportunity to assist those who are struggling to pay their water bill.

Don’t let the opportunity to get help with your utility bills pass you by, SouthwestCDC is her to help you maintain a safe and comfortable home.

Please call to make an appointment to complete LiHEAP/CRISIS applications and any applications for the programs listed.

Nanzetta L Bostick

Program Assistant



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