The D.C. Energy Office is accepting applications from low-income households for funds available through the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help pay home heating bills.

The program provides one-time payments to eligible households for bills covering their major source of energy, which may be gas, electricity, oil, coal or wood. The amount of the payment is based on family size, household income and type of housing.

The District, which last year provided heating assistance to about 11,000 households, is expected to receive approximately $5.7 million for the program this year.

Income guidelines range from a maximum of $7,020 for a single person to $18,570 for a family of six. Households in which one or more persons receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Suplemental Security Income, Unemployment Compensation, food stamps, payments under certain veterans' programs or retirement benefits may also be eligible.

The Energy Assistance Program also provides funds for long-term conservation efforts that help low-income households permanently reduce energy bills and provides weatherization kits that contain low-cost conservation items such as plastic window covers and pipe insulation.

It also sponsors a limited program to modify furnaces to improve their efficiency and a roof repair service.

To apply for assistance, residents may schedule appointments by calling the D.C. Energy Hotline at 724-2100 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays. Applicants must bring to their appointment proof of income and a recent bill for the type of energy used. The D.C. Energy Office is in Room 500, 420 Seventh St. NW. Appointments for homebound residents may also be made by calling the hot line. Deaf people may call 727-3323 on TTY telephone systems.