ROCKFORD, Ill. – State Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, is inviting residents of Winnebago County to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides residents with assistance for energy, gas and other utility bills based on income and eligibility. 

“This program was developed to make sure that families do not have to choose between putting food on the table and keeping the house heated,” Vella said. “Applications opened in September, and will remain open until May 31, 2023, but funding can be exhausted. I encourage eligible households to take care of the application process now instead of waiting.” 

In Winnebago County, LIHEAP provides a one-time credit, which can be paid to the utility company directly, or to the applicant if utilities are included in their rent. These credits can be used on past due amounts, or for covering future payments. Households that have a combined income of 150% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible to apply, and may apply for the program once each year. 

“With the winter months approaching, I want to make sure that all households are aware of this program so that they are able to receive some well-deserved relief, whether it helps with past due or future bills,” Vella said. “No one should have to struggle between paying for utilities and gas for the car, and during these cold winter months we get here in Illinois, it’s crucial to have your home properly heated.” 

Residents of Winnebago County may call the Rockford Human Services Department at 844-710-6919 on Fridays starting at 8 a.m. to make an appointment for the next week. All appointments are done over the phone. Eligibility and application requirements can be found at: 

Vella’s office is also available to help residents if they have questions about state issues, and can be reached at 815-329-6741 or

Rep. David A. VellaRep. David A. Vella

(D-Loves Park)
68th District

Springfield Office:
242A-W Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0455

District Office:
4007 N Mulford Rd
Loves Park, IL 61111
(815) 329-6741