Applications for heating grants for qualifying households are being accepted by the District's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

The city anticipates having about $6.9 million for the fourth year of the federally funded program, an increase of almost $1 million from the federal government over last year's allocation for the District.

The program also provides some emergency heating assistance, and it provides cooling assistance to qualifying households with medical need. In addition, some funds are set aside for furnace improvements and other measures to reduce energy consumption and to provide energy conservation information to recipients.

Heating grants are available to households with annual incomes of no more than $7,470 for a single person; $15,300 for a family of four and $20,520 for a family of six, or no more than $2,610 more for each additional family member. The payment depends on family size, income and housing type.

The average payment per household during the last fiscal year was $358. The one-time payment, which is made about 45 days after the application is submitted, is made directly to the household in cases in which heating costs are included in the rent.

People who want to apply for the energy assistance program may make an appointment by calling the D.C. Energy Hotline between 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. weekdays at 724-2100, or (TTY) 727-4323 for hearing impaired callers. People with emergency fuel needs also must call the hotline for an appointment.