FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on Energy Conservation

Weatherization

What is the Weatherization Assistance Program?

HACAP's Weatherization Assistance Program improves approximately 200 local houses annually, bringing a $476 average first year energy savings per property. We work to reduce personal utility costs by improving the housing stock of low-income individuals and families. The program provides services to people on fixed-incomes and children living in low-wage households. HACAP's Weatherization programs are currently serving residents in Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington Counties. You can contact HACAP Weatherization Program at info@hacap.org or call (319) 393-7811

In addition to improving local housing, weatherization also improves the local economy by providing a $1.53 return for every $1 invested, while reducing cases of homelessness and demand for public assistance. Weatherization programs also help reduce the export of local energy dollars, keeping more household dollars in the community. Weatherization creates local jobs and improves air quality and health.

How/where can I apply?

You can contact HACAP's Weatherization Program at info@hacap.org or call (319) 393-7811. Our offices are located at 1515 Hawkeye Drive in Hiawatha.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Eligibility is determined by income and household utility usage. Individuals that apply to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) have their cases referred to the weatherization program for eligibility determination. You can apply for weatherization year round. 

I’ve been approved for weatherization, when are you going to get it done?

Households applying for weatherization go through a priority selection process which is highly based on the history of the household's energy use, followed by members of households. Elderly, disabled, or household with small children are first priority. 

Energy Assistance (LiHEAP)

When is my LiHEAP Payment going to be credited towards my utility bill?

HACAP guarantees funds to vendors on a weekly basis, payments are made to vendors approximately every 30 days based on funding availability and time of application.

Where do I apply for LiHEAP and what do I need to bring with me?

See LiHEAP_Application_FY17

What to bring:

  • Most recent copy of your household's gas and electric bill.
  • Social Security Number verification for each member of your household
  • Income Verification for the household, see attached checklist to determine what type of documentation you will need to provide with your household's application.

My electric bill is always higher than my gas bill. Can’t LiHEAP pay for my electric instead?

Iowa's Low Income Household's Energy Assistance Program is designed to aid qualifying low-income households in the payment of a portion of their residential heating costs for the winter heating season. If your household has an excessive credit with your primary heat vendor exceeding two (2) times your household usage for the previous year, it may be considered for payment to your secondary vendor. State approval is required.

I am heat in rent and subsidized, can I be protected through the winter moratorium period?

Residents of publicly-assisted housing units who are not billed directly for their primary heating source by a utility company and whose rent is established as a percentage of their income, which includes utilities, are not eligible for LiHEAP assistance or moratorium protection.

Financial Literacy

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial Literacy is a basic understanding of Finance. You need to know some basic things. Here's a list:

  1. What is an Interest rate?
  2. What is an Amortization schedule?
  3. What are my Loan Terms (Interest Rate, Term, and Amount) for my loan?
  4. What is a CD?
  5. Do I have a checking account or a savings account? How can I get one?
  6. Do I know how to budget? Do I have a budget?
  7. Do I know what my Credit Score is?
  8. What is my Credit Limit on my Credit Card? What is my fee structure on the card if I'm late or I go over my limit?

How much does the Financial Literacy service cost?

This service is free.

What is an amortization schedule or installment loan?

An amortization schedule is just your repayment schedule to the institution you received the loan from. It is computed using the interest rate, the term (age of loan), and the loan amount. You should know the term (number of years of loan), the interest rate, and of course the loan amount.

What is a good credit score?

Any score above 700 is considered good. 740 and above is considered excellent.

What is the lowest score a bank or credit union will take for a mortgage loan?

It depends on the institution, but it is usually around 620. Conventional Loan: Non FHA loan, Non VA loan.

How do I get a free credit report?

You can go to www.annualcreditreport.com. It is free. if they ask for a credit card, you are at the wrong site.

How do I rebuild my credit?

Two things:

  1. Pay your bills on time. Most Important.
  2. Don't exceed your credit limit when borrowing (Try to use a just 1/3 of your Credit Limit. if you use more, pay it down as soon as you can).