Durham County

Durham County program helps qualifying residents with energy bills

Durham County residents who don’t know how they’re going to pay this month’s energy bill may be able to get relief through Durham County’s Department of Social Services.

The DSS’ Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is free for residents who qualify, said Pamela Purifoy, a senior public information officer for DSS.

“Since the weather has been so up and down, we’re hoping that people realize that we are still here to help those who are having difficulties paying their energy bills,” Purifoy said.

The National Weather Service reported Tuesday’s high near 76 degrees but cooling to 32 degrees by Wednesday night.

DSS is aware sudden fluctuations in weather is translating to higher bills, Purifoy said.

DSS has spent 60 percent of its budget for the program, which is financed through grant money, and has until the end of the month to spend the rest.

“We want to spend it all helping those who need it most,” Purifoy said.

Residents do not have to be DSS clients to qualify.

To apply, the household must meet an income test, cannot have resources more than $2,250, must be responsible for its heating bills and the resident must be a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant.

Priority in eligibility is given to disabled residents receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services.

Call 919- 560-8000.

Rachael Riley: 919-419-6646, @RachaelRiley85