IOWA – The weather is forcing many to turn up the heat in their home, and you’ve probably noticed your heating bills go up too.

Because of that, IMPACT Community Action Partnership is seeing more applications this winter for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP.

Terri Mork Speirs, chief development officer for IMPACT, said the average award this year is $475 per family, which is $13 more than last year. While it only pays for a portion of heating costs, she said it will help with the higher prices.

“For families who are struggling, it’s a huge help and it can make a big difference but it doesn’t take away the foundational struggle of poverty,” Mork Speirs said. “It really puts a spotlight on what families who live in poverty, what they go through.”

Families in Boone, Jasper, Marion, Polk, or Warren Counties interested in applying for LIHEAP, can click here or call (515) 518-4770.