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Winter heating season is here and it’s not too late to prepare.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is offering tips to help pay steep winter heating bills.

Several types of financial assistance and resources are available.

The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program assists qualifying consumers each winter. Indiana statute protects participating customers, and those who have applied for LIHEAP, from disconnection from Dec. 1 through Mar. 15. Consumers can learn more and apply on the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s website at www.in.gov/ihcda/homeowners-and-renters/low-income-home-energy-assistance-program-liheap. Consumers without internet access may call IHCDA toll-free at 1-800-872-0371 for more information.

Local township trustees also provide assistance and many utilities offer their own assistance programs.

Consumers seeking financial assistance can call 2-1-1, the state’s helpline which can connect you with local-level resources.

In addition to payment arrangements, many utilities offer budget billing, which provides a consistent monthly payment.

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