Free Fans, Cooling Assistance Programs Available to Some Nebraskans


Lincoln – With summer on the horizon the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is again distributing free fans and offering other cooling assistance programs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

DHHS has partnered with organizations to distribute fans purchased with federal funds to Nebraskans in need. A list of fan distribution locations can be found on the DHHS website. To be eligible for a fan, households must have an active LIHEAP case. Households can assist the partner organization in the eligibility determination by providing the LIHEAP approval notice of action.

In 2019, partner organizations purchased 3,863 fans for distribution across the state, up from 3,321 in 2018. Due to COVID-19, there will be less distribution locations than in previous years. Those looking to participate in the program should call their nearest community partner provider first to see what policies that provider has put in place for safe distribution during the pandemic.

In addition to LIHEAP, DHHS also has other programs to help those who struggle to keep cool during the summer months.

  • The Cooling Assistance Program provides bill payment aid.
  • The Crisis Program assists with emergency energy payments.
  • Deposit Assistance helps with energy deposits and reconnections.
  • The Window Air Conditioning Unit Assistance program pays for window air conditioners.
  • The Repair/Replacement Program benefits homeowners who need central air system repairs.

These programs are available to Nebraskans who qualify for LIHEAP, but each program also has other eligibility requirements. Qualification guidelines and more information about the programs can be found on DHHS’ LIHEAP web page.

To see if you qualify for LIHEAP, or any of the DHHS cooling assistance programs, go to or call Access Nebraska in Lincoln at (402) 323-3900, in Omaha at (402) 595-1258 or statewide at 1-800-383-4278.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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