Quinn Announces Additional Relief for Propane Customers


By Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - The state of Illinois is offering more help to low-income households struggling to heat their homes because of a shortage of propane.

Earlier this week, Gov. Pat Quinn declared the shortage in Illinois an emergency. He relaxed rules on truck drivers so they could travel out of state in search of propane supplies.

On Friday, Quinn announced other steps, including an additional credit of $1,000 for each household taking part in a program that helps low-income residents with home energy bills.

The governor says no one should have to choose "between feeding their families and heating their homes."

In another change, the state will temporarily waive inspections of trucks carrying propane shipments to speed up delivery.

Officials are also asking consumers to report any suspected price gouging.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will offer an increase of $1,000 to each Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) eligible household for the purchase of propane to ensure uninterrupted delivery during this emergency. Over the next several days, DCEO will automatically credit the $1,000 increased benefit to the accounts of existing LIHEAP customers.

The increased benefit will also be available to all new eligible applicants that sign up for LIHEAP. It may take several days for the benefit to appear on DCEO's electronic system, so LIHEAP customers who check their status online are encouraged to be patient as the updates are applied to the system. This increase will at least double the typical annual energy subsidy for a household depending on their circumstances.

Also effective today, DCEO will temporarily waive the $75 Good Faith Effort fee for LIHEAP applicants using propane to heat their homes. This is a fee used during ordinary circumstances to ensure applicants are not abusing the system, but during times of economic hardship and rising prices can be an obstacle to participation in the program. Waiving this fee for LIHEAP eligible households using propane will ensure the greatest possible access to the program during this severe weather period.


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