Heating crisis grants are now available to families through the national Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Now that temperatures have really started to drop, the LIHEAP program in Pennsylvania offers grants up to $1,000 to help heat homes for low-income families in need. LIHEAP is a two-part program helping families either by paying part of their heating bill, or by offering what they call a crisis grant that kicks off January 2.
"If a family is going to run out of fuel, or if a piece of heating equipment is broken, the crisis grant goes towards that," says Anne Bale, Deputy Press Secretary with the PA Department of Public Welfare.
The program says it's already assisting around 3,000 families in both Franklin and Fulton Counties.
"In Pennsylvania, you aren't allowed to turn off someone's heat in the winter months, because that does become a life-threatening situation. So there is a law in place that no one would actually go without heat," says Bale.
So even though homes are heated, LIHEAP helps fund the bills if a family is not making enough money.
"When someone applies for the LIHEAP program, it is always our intent to have the program available to them within a few days. When it gets really cold, we have a lot of applications, and then it will take a little longer," adds Bale.
For many Americans, turning up the thermostat cannot be taken for granted.