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Energy Crisis Assistance Program

The Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP) makes payments only during open enrollment or a life-threatening energy crisis. The household must show that it is experiencing an energy crisis and meets program requirements.

The following chart summarizes the requirements for ECAP.

Energy Crisis Program

Program Requirements Open-enrollment ECAP​ Life-threatening ECAP
Application Period
The open enrollment usually begins in March and ends when funds run out.

DHS accepts requests year-round when a household member needs energy to address a life-threatening energy crisis.
How to Apply?
​A household member submits an online, telephone, email, or paper application.

When a life-threatening energy crisis exists, the household provides verification and speaks to LIHEAP staff, but it does not need an application.​
Required Verification​
The household must
  1. verify an energy crisis and

  2. prove it meets program factors.


The household must verify
  1. a household member is experiencing a life-threatening emergency due to an household energy crisis and

  2. the household meets program factors.

Processing Time Limit
48 hours from the complete application

Within 18 hours of the household providing all required verification
Payment Amount
DHS may pay either a heating or cooling bill. The bill paid must resolve energy crisis.
DHS pays the minimum amount needed to resolve the crisis. We will not pay old debt that is being collected from a previous service address or utility account.
For a prepaid or cash advance utility account, DHS pays the household's average usage for one month plus, if applicable, the reconnection fee.
DHS may pay the heating or cooling bill, but the bill paid must resolve the life-threatening energy crisis.​
DHS pays the minimum amount needed to resolve the crisis. We will not pay old debt that is being collected from a previous service address or utility account.
For a prepaid or cash advance utility account, DHS pays the household's  average usage for one month plus, if applicable, the reconnection fee.
Maximum Benefit
The amount DHS approves for ECAP each year cannot exceed the maximum benefit amount in the Appendix C-7-A. The year runs from October 1 to September 30. The current maximum is $500. A household may be approved more than once as long as the total amount approved each year is not more than the maximum amount.
When it takes more than the maximum benefit to alleviate the crisis, the household must explain how it will secure payment for the amount DHS is not paying. When the household cannot develop a feasible plan to prevent cutoff or restore service, LIHEAP staff will deny the application.
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