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Programs begin to keep Mid-Missouri homes energy efficient

Temperatures are dropping in Mid-Missouri, which for many means utility bills are on the rise.

In Columbia, it is not too late to sign up for heating assistance for those who are in need.

The application period for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, has opened.

It is available through March.

This year Columbia Water and Light and Boone Electric are teaming up again for the Enhanced Home Performance with Energy Star Program.

The program is managed by Central Missouri Community Action and works in conjunction with LIHEAP.

“We are giving them money to help make these homes more energy-efficient,” said Connie Kacprowicz, utility service specialist with Columbia Water and Light.

Those who qualify for LIHEAP can also apply for Enhanced Home Performance.

“We are in houses sealing up air leaks so they are not losing all of their heated air, as well as adding heating insulation so it’s lowering their heating and cooling bills, so if they are getting energy assistance those dollars go further,” said Kacprowicz.

Kacprowicz told ABC 17 News Water and Light learned it was cheaper to buy efficiency from their customers than it is to produce power that is going to be wasted.

“We are still benefiting from the fact that their electric use is less because they are having this energy efficiency,” said Kacprowicz.

Kacprowicz said the funding for this program comes from Water and Light’s energy efficiency budget.

So far this year, 85 homes have been looked at.

To qualify for LIHEAP and the Enhanced Home Performance with Energy Star Program, a person needs to have an income at a certain percentage below the poverty level, about $27,000 a year for a family of three.

You can apply for these programs at Central Missouri Community Action in Columbia or online.

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