Energy Assistance
Do you cringe at the thought of the summer months because of the expected rise in your energy bill? Do you struggle with paying your energy bill every summer? The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to assist you.

The effects of the expected August temperatures and high humidity levels could prove dangerous to children, the elderly and those affected with respiratory illnesses. Although air conditioners and fans may be readily available, the thought of balancing the high costs associated with energy bills and regular monthly expenses may deter those most vulnerable from using them.

The Administration for Children and Families has established the LIHEAP to assist eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, and, if the state chooses, with their home weatherization. The LIHEAP program is administered by state and local authorities and criteria varies from state to state.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance is highlighting the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to assist you with your energy costs. The federally administered program description is available at Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. In addition, many states have their own LIHEAP programs on the site. Check the programs in your state to see if your state's specific LIHEAP information is available.

To locate information on your state's LIHEAP office, email the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project at; Include your city, county, and state along with your e-mail address, or you may contact them at 1-866-674-6327.

In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the following safety tips to get you through the summer as coolly and as safely as possible.

Summer Safety and Cool Tips
? Check on the elderly and disabled
? Drink plenty of water, stay away from caffeine and alcohol
? Eat light and healthy, stay away from salt
? Review the Air Quality Index before planning outdoor activities
? Limit exposure to outdoor and indoor heat
? Stay in doors, and if possible, spend time in air-conditioned buildings, such as shopping malls, libraries, and movie theaters
? Limit outdoor activity to morning and night
? Cut down on exercise
? Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
? Don't forget hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher