SALT LAKE CITY — Applications are being accepted for a program that helps low-income Utahns and other vulnerable people with their heating, cool and weatherization expenses.

Applications for the Home Energy Assistance Target or HEAT will be accepted through the end of April 2013 or until funds are exhausted. For more information, call 211 or visit the state Housing and Community Development Division's website at The division oversees the program, which is federally funded.

“Falling temperatures put even more pressure on families as they weigh the need to turn on their furnaces,” said division director Gordon Walker.

“The energy subsidies we are releasing this season will help more families afford heat and avert difficult choices too many Utahns face between paying for heat and paying for other essentials like food and medicine.”

To qualify, a family must earn below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, about $34,572 for a family of four.

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Households with the highest energy burden in relationship to household income may receive priority, as well as vulnerable populations such as the seniors, disabled and families with children under six years of age. The average HEAT benefit is a one-time annual payment of $317. 

The HEAT program is administered by the State Energy Assistance and Lifeline office through a network of community-based organizations. Last year, the HEAT program helped more than 41,500 low-income Utah households with their utility bills.

The HEAT program is Utah’s version of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. HEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.