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The RI Department of Human Services (DHS) recently received federal approval to give $100 summer electricity grants to our Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) customers who were given heating grants this past heating season that ended in May 2020 and have an older individual or disabled family member living with them.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for using cooling aids, such as fans or air conditioners, this summer because several older Rhode Islanders and those who may have underlying health conditions may be isolating or in quarantine. As a result, people who ordinarily go to cooling sites during the hot weather may be staying in their homes or apartments instead, and their electric bills will be higher.

Using federal LIHEAP funds, these grants to about 14,000 households are another measure proactively sought by DHS to help Rhode Islanders.

LIHEAP customers do not need to apply. They will be sent a letter in August from the Community Action Program (CAP) agencies that help DHS administer LIHEAP and worked with the families for their heating assistance. The letter will say they are getting this grant, and that it will go directly to their electric company (National Grid or Pascoag Utility). They will see the amount as a credit in their electric bill in the fall.

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