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Energy Program (LIHEAP)

  • Overview

    Keeping the lights and heat on at home.

    Community Action Marin is the local administrator of the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Our Energy Program also acts as a conduit to other energy assistance and residential conservation programs. Reaching over 800 households each year, our Low-Income Energy Assistance Program ensures that families get assistance with utility payments, wood and propane home energy costs.  We also provide weatherization services so that low-income households have access to free services that will make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient.



    energy program, by the numbers

    Average dollar loss annually if energy assistance were not provided to households
    Percentage of LIHEAP recipient households who have at least one child 5 or under
    The median earnings in the Canal District of San Rafael, a heavily Latinx area, are comparable to those in Arkansas and Mississippi.

    Rising energy and housing costs put such a strain on me and my family, it was a struggle every month to pay my utility bill. They helped me make it through some difficult circumstances.

    Tom > LIHEAP Beneficiary

    Success Story

    Coming Home - Kelli's Story

    Originally from Marin, Kelli was building a modestly successful career as a musician on the Big Island of Hawaii and working on her third album when the volcano on the island erupted.  She was forced to evacuate with her two young sons, and leave most of their possessions behind.  She returned to Marin, where her mother still lived, but the cost of housing had skyrocketed and she struggled to find a place she could afford.  At first, she was moving the kids back and forth from her aunt’s place in Fairfax to her mom’s place in Cotati while also working to scrape up enough money to get into a place of her own.

    “I was working three different freelance jobs doing social media and marketing, working at night after I finally got the kids to bed,” she said. “I was trying to get the money together, and every time I check Craigslist, the rents keep rising. In Marin, it could be $7,500 that someone needs to come up with just to get into a place.”

    She was referred to Community Action Marin, and we helped her gain assistance through our Emergency Family Needs program.  With a grant to cover her deposit and first month’s rent, Kelli was able to lease an apartment in Highlands of Marin, just east of Highway 101 in San Rafael.

    Today, Kelly shares a one bedroom with her boys Kín, 5, and Che, 1.  She feels like she has come full circle, since her earliest memories are of going to the Marin Civic Center to watch her maternal grandfather, Peter Allen Smith, preside over the Superior Court.  “I just love that Frank Lloyd Wright building,” she said. “It’s really beautiful and nostalgic for me..”  Her mother, Anne Marie Smith, is an oncology nurse at Kaiser Permanente, which is even closer. “It’s a blessing for all of us,” Peterson said.

  • FAQ

    Do I qualify?

    You may qualify for the LIHEAP program if your gross monthly household income is less than:

    • $2,431.09 for a family of 1
    • $3,179.11 for a family of 2
    • $3,927.14 for a family of 3
    • $4,675.17 for a family of 4
    • $5,423.19 for a family of 5
    • $6,171.22 for a family of 6
    • $6,311.48 for a family of 7
    • $6,451.73 for a family of 8

    Is LIHEAP a one-time payment?

    Yes, LIHEAP helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. It is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company or fuel provider and will appear as a credit on your bill.

    How long does LIHEAP take to pay?

    Once an application is complete, we will notify you of approval or denial within 30 days. All payments are made within 45 days after approval of an application.

    How many times can you apply for energy assistance?

    The amount you may receive depends on your eligibility. You will be informed on the amount of assistance that you will receive at the time of your appointment. You can only apply for emergency assistance once in a year from October 1 – September 30.

    How do I apply?

    Applications can be requested by calling our intake specialist at (415) 526-7550 or to schedule an appointment. You may also apply directly through the California Online LIHEAP Application.  Eligibility and assistance level is based on household size, gross monthly income, and program priorities. See our FAQs for this program.

    What information do I need to apply?

    To apply, you’ll need the following:

    • Recent copies of your utility bill. (Must include all pages and show 30 billing days.)
    • Final Utility Termination Notice (if you’ve received a 14 day, 48 hour, or shutoff notice from your energy company should be included with your utility bill).
    • Recent pay stub’s or other proof of income that shows your current monthly gross income. (This must account for 30 consecutive days of income.)
    • Documentation showing income from Social Security, Cal Fresh, Unemployment Insurance, Pension Funds, disability, etc. (Examples: Notice of Action, Passport to Services, most recent bank statement showing direct deposit, copy of current check, dated annual benefit letter, payee letter showing income amount, Form 4926, Form 2458, HUD statement with a SS amount.)
    • Other income sources: Self-employment, Child Support, odd jobs requirements (current copy of ledger/journal, or a signed self-employment statement showing monthly gross income).
    • For households with zero income: a self-declaration of zero income attestation form will be requested. (Please speak to an intake specialist to request a copy of this form.)
    • For Wood or Propane assistance a recent invoice is required (the invoice must match your service address listed on your application).
  • Get Started