The WinterCare Energy Fund program is funded by corporate contributions from utility companies as well as by private individuals and the business community. Monies distributed from the fund are intended to supplement the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help low-income families meet their winter heating needs. The program is administered across much of the Commonwealth by the Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Inc., through a cooperative agreement with the WinterCare Energy Fund.
Disbursement of the funds must be coordinated with the LIHEAP program as the funds are to be used as a “last resort” and only after LIHEAP funds are exhausted. Payments may not be made to applicants, but must be made directly to the applicant’s utility or fuel vendor on the applicant’s behalf.
Applicant households receiving assistance generally must have a total gross annual income of no more than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The maximum assistance that may be provided to each eligible applicant household is $300 per assistance period.
Each local distribution agency must ensure funds received from participating utilities are used only for assistance within the county or counties served by that utility.