The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Division of Energy Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR), is introducing the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). LIHWAP is designed to provide direct financial assistance to reduce arrearages charged to eligible drinking water and wastewater utility customers.
The LIHWAP was authorized under two separate federal appropriations as part of an emergency effort to respond to the possible future disconnection of water services due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial assistance for water and wastewater bills is provided for in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The focus of the program will be restoration of services and prevention of disconnection.
Households eligible for LIHWAP will be required to first complete a Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) application. The federal Health and Human Services agency recently approved Wisconsin’s implementation plan. Energy Services Inc. (ESI) is the agency responsible for administration of LIHWAP benefits in the State of Wisconsin, and the agency expects disbursements for water bill assistance to begin in September 2021. ESI will disburse an amount on a one-time basis to the utility, which will be responsible for applying the assistance to an eligible customer’s bill.
Customers interested in applying for LIHWAP or seeking more information should contact Energy Services at 1-800-506-5596.
Customers may also go online to complete a WHEAP application at https://energybenefit.wi.gov/.