Energy Assistance Programs – Get Help with Utilities

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Energy assistance programs.  The LIHEAP assistance program is a federally funded energy program that helps pay utility bills for disadvantaged households.  Get help with gas, water, or electric bills.  Call the Numbers in this Post or go to Local Church Assistance

This program offers low-income grants that give families a check to help with utility bills.  If you live in a warm state, they help with cooling costs.

Home heating grants help disadvantaged residents pay for Winter heating bills.  According to Welfare Statistics and Demographics, 21% of the US population receives assistance from the government assistance.  The Federal government spends $158,200,000,000 annually on poverty welfare programs.   

During the winter, many low-income families will be eligible for help paying for heating.   August is the time to sign up for this assistance program!   (NOTE:  The time to apply for this free government money is the Summer).

LIHEAP Energy Assistance

If you qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you may receive a check for up to $350 to help with utility bills. The program began in 1981 as an assistance benefit to the poorest families with home cooling bills.  Congress later shifted the purpose of the funds to include warm-weather states as well. 

Free Home Heating Oil Assistance Programs

Home heating assistance grants are funded with a yearly subsidy to the Dept of Health and Human Services.  On October 15, 2014, ACF awarded approximately $3.05 billion for energy assistance grants.  

This funding is distributed among all states, territories, and tribal governments.  This is done through the US Department of Health and Human Services.  The President receives additional funds each year to use for heating assistance at his discretion. 

Each state that wishes to receive this grant must apply for a block grant.  The Home Weatherization program helps families make energy-saving home repairs in conjunction with heating assistance.

How Home Heating Assistance Grants Help Families

There is nothing worse than coming home to a cold house.  People in the U.S. go without heat every Winter. Often, families without electricity use kerosene heaters that cause deadly fires.  There are sad stories of older adults freezing to death in their homes.  You may qualify for help with electric bills or eviction prevention. 

If you receive help from a government assistance program, talk to your caseworker about receiving heating assistance.  Find out how to get help with rent payments.  Find out if you qualify for money for home heating bills through the Home Energy Assistance Program. 

Are you Eligible for Energy Assistance?

To be eligible, your income should not exceed 150 percent of your state’s poverty level. Each state has different criteria for determining your eligibility. You also may receive help if your family receives any aid from the government. 

Call or contact your local Department of Social Services or The National Energy Assistance Referral Project at 866-674-6327 for questions about eligibility.  You are eligible for your gross family income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  

Or if you are receiving help from a government program such as  Food Stamps/SNAP, Medicaid On Section 8 or Federal Public Housing, Emergency Rent Assistance, TANF- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income SSI.

Am I Financially Eligible for Energy Assistance? 

It would be wonderful if everyone who needed help could get it, but it doesn’t work that way.  These poverty programs assist the poorest citizens.   I know people who have worked hard and need help but can not get it because they make 50 or $100 too much.

This doesn’t seem fair, but this is how the system works to ensure the most vulnerable receive aid. You also may qualify but cannot get help if funding is unavailable.  Each state receives a block grant to distribute to agencies that help disadvantaged families.  Resources are not infinite, and help will not be available when they run out.

Programs that Help With Energy Assistance

If you are having trouble paying utility bills, some organizations will help.

1. Catholic Charities 

Catholic Charities is a non-profit, faith-based organization that works with the government to distribute funds to those needing financial help.  Depending on the amount you own, this organization will make at least a partial payment on your behalf.

Church Assistance Programs

2.  Department of Social Services

The Department of Social Services provides one-time emergency assistance with utilities and rent.  You do not have to receive aid presently, but you must qualify financially.  Any payments are paid directly to the utility company.

3. HUD

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development not only helps with housing.  They also help low-income households with utilities, rent, home purchases, security deposits, etc.

4. Utility Companies

Contact your utility company to ask them about their financial assistance programs.  Many utility companies will have programs that help or can refer you to another agency.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

If you want to apply for assistance, contact the US Department of Social Services or a community action agency.  Funding is limited and helps low-income families with children and the elderly get preferential assistance when funding is limited.  You can also find out how to get Christmas toys.  Or find out how to get financial assistance for single moms.

The government funds each state to distribute this grant to those who apply and qualify for the grant. The Home Energy Assistance checks are sent the first week of February.  Money is given on a first-come-first-served basis, so applying from August to September is important before it runs out.

The program assists with the following:  

  • Power Bill Payment
  • Energy crisis assistance (prevent utility disconnection)
  • Home Weatherization Grants and energy-saving home repairs

Where to Get Help with Energy Assistance

National Energy Assistance Referral Project:   866-674-6327


LIHEAP Energy Assistance Program
Aerospace Building, 5th Floor West
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447
Phone: (202) 401-9351
Fax Number: (202) 401-5661

In Conclusion

When you apply for help with energy assistance, heating bills, and utilities, apply early.  Each program has its requirements, so find out what they are.  Bring proof of income, your ID, and proof of address.  You can get help when applying depending on available funds.  Depending on the amount you owe, you may have to go to two or more programs to pay your bill.  Do not get discouraged. It is a process.  Always refer to other organizations for other needs you may have. 

53 thoughts on “Energy Assistance Programs – Get Help with Utilities

  1. Rachel, I understand the pressure of caring for kids and trying to make ends meet. With your recent injury consider applying for public assistance until you are better. We have many articles that can help. like Free Toys for Christmas, Emergency Rent Assistance and more. Please look around the site.

  2. I am a single mother with of 6 and 8 year old boys. Once they started school I was able to work every second they were there but no matter how much I worked I was unable to pay for any more child care. Over this past summer, and every one before, I have to stop working so that I’m able to watch my children over the summer. This year, right before school resumed I had a major injury that paralyzed most of my right side and made the work I had been doing impossible. I’m always trying to find work but I can’t keep up with my bills, kid’s school supplies, gas and there’s nothing under the Christmas tree. I need help terribly for them but I’m clueless about what I can do. Any suggestions are accepted and appreciated. Bless you all,

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  16. I am a senior citizen. My furnace cracked and cannot be repaired. Can I receive assistance with furnace replacement? I don’t think I qualify for low income consideration?? Are there any considerations for middle income, disabled individuals? I am a New Jersey resident. Your response would be welcome. Presently I am using heaters but I don’t feel safe.

  17. Hello
    My power was cut off in July and we have been living on a generator
    Its starting to get cooler weather can we get help with getting it turned back on
    they are wanting us to pay 1,295.00 plus a deposit and i only receive 733 in disability due to a heart condition
    I have kids also…I am in Kentucky

  18. I need assistance with my utilities. I am currently pregnant and not making a lot of money for rent either. I am due by the end of 9/27/16.

  19. I need help with rent that is do in 3 days before they put me out I need help with my light bill I been out work for 5months Now.

  20. Hello, Kayesha. I am sorry to hear you have lost your utilities. Please go the Department of Social Services for emergency assistance. Also, call 2-1-1 which is the number for the United Way. The will know all the assistance programs in your area.

  21. i need help with my utility bill they cut me off today my bill is 301..i only get 250.00 a month…125.00 every two week check split every 2 weeks

  22. I currently am needing help with water and gas bill just got a job but my bills are off and I have a 10 yr old with me anything would help ty…

  23. Hello, Riva. Contact the United Way who will give you references to other resources. Salvation Army and Department of Social Services. All programs can help with food and water bill. All check out this list of Food Banks in your area. Good luck Riva!

  24. Hello, Mr. Walker. Do everything you can to keep your home. When getting assistance for rent contact the Department of Social Services. They offer once a year emergency help with bills. Also, check with Catholic Charities and Salvation Army. Many assistance agencies will not help with rent unless you can prove you are able to continue to pay rent ongoing. Look for work where you can walk to your job.

  25. Hello, Ashley. If you have children these ages, you would qualify financially if your gross family income is at or below federal poverty guidelines. Please contact the Department of Social Services. Also, check these church charities.

  26. I’m a single parent and my daughter is going to college I lost my job and my water bill need to be paid and it’s off I’ve been getting water from my friend house. I’m in need of help please. Don’t have no food been eating hot dogs only.

  27. I don’t know how to begin, I’m à student in school, I work over nite.things was go good for a while my car broke down had someone to fix but h wasn’t fixing it he steal parts off my car had lose my job I’m looking for another one my landlord is being a pain like I’m not trying to do anything don’t know where to turn for help.please help I really need it I’m not like some of these people got the money bout just want to keep they money in they pocket..

  28. Hi my name is Ashley O’Connor how can I get help I have three kids under age I 7,4,1

  29. Hi, Olivia Many people have to where to turn for help. However, you can get help! There are a few places to go. First, apply for unemployment benefits. When you go for assistance, it will depend on your gross family income. Also, visit the DSS to see if you qualify for emergency assistance, WIC for you and the baby and expedited food stamps. Contact the agencies in this post to see what help is available to you. Take a copy of your electric bill. Local Help with Bills. Good Luck!

  30. I am seven months pregnant and I had to quit my job due to complications in my pregnancy. Last week,my husband lost his job and we have absolutely no Money to pay our light Bill this month… We need help because we both do not have anyone in our families that will help us.

  31. Hello, Rashida. Our organizations help anyone regardless or race, religion. Unfortunately, our programs are located in the US and can only help those living in America. You may want to consider contacting some of the Christian Catholic or Protestant programs in Pakistan. Catholic Charities is one place I would call. Hope you can get the help you need.

  32. Are you in Pakistan? Because I’m Pakistani Christian woman and need help to pay rent of home.

  33. Hello Patricia. First contact you utility company to find out if they have a program to help those having problems with bills. Also call the agencies below.

    Salvation Army Corry County, (843) 488-2769.
    Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council, Inc., Conway, SC (843) 234-4100

  34. Hello my name is tanesha i rent a apartment and im a single mother needing help paying my electric bill

  35. I am a single person living by myself,I wrk part time mostly 12 -15 hours per week,I am finding it very challenging to pay my rent at times n to even feed myself,I am seeking some form of assistant that will help me get by on a day to day basis,please help me.
    Thank u.

  36. Hello Victor. Thank you for writing Free Financial Help. Concerning receiving a toy for your little one, It is too late to register, but the larger denominational local churches are a place I would suggest contacting. The Lutheran church does a lot of outreach to the community. Perhaps you can find some help there. Sorry we could not send you to the help you needed.

  37. Patricia, you didn’t say what state you live in or if you have any children. If you have children you may be eligible for TANF. If you do not have children, you can get emergency assistance and food stamps from the government. When you go to DSS request emergency food and you can receive groceries and a list of Food Banks in your area. Good luck.

  38. I know it’s probably a little bit too late to try to get help with Christmas but I have a family of six I have 3 girls and 2 boys ages 1615 and 11 are the girls my son he is autistic and his age exactly 20 but he has in the mindset of an 11 year old demand my wife’s name is Shannon and I we’ve tried and going through all kinds of other organizations and they said were too late but we’re just asking if anybody could please help us with Christmas we would greatly appreciate it our phone number is 828-9740 address is 861 East 23rd Street Merced California

  39. Hello Patricia, I am sorry to hear about your recent illness. Try contact Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, 1‐800‐256‐1489,, when you find a place, you can also get help with your security down payment from HUD also try, Catholic Charities, and St. Vinecnt de Paul Catholic Church. God bless you.

  40. Please can someone lead me in the right place.. I am 28 years old and have been diagnosed with cancer . My husband and I are needing assistance in little rock arkansas getting into a home. He works everyday that he can but having to pay for us a hotel room everyday to make sure i am Ok doesn’t leave room for saving. Please!!! Someone help him. He is trying to so hard but can only do so much as one man. Please!

  41. Can someone help me find places to help me with my sec dep l live in Philadelphia pa I need help.

  42. Hello Selma. You are a good daughter to help your MOM. I do not not if you are working or what your income level is. Most assistance programs are set up to help very low income families. They will help if you are about to be evicted or have your utilities turned off. If you are facing eviction or loss of utilities, try contacting the organization in the article below to see if you qualify for help. Good Luck

    Local Assistance Programs

  43. Could someone please send me some information on where I can get some emergency help please I reside in Atlanta Georgia 30315

  44. My name is Selma. I live in St louis Mo. I am a single mom of 16 years old boy and I need some help. I am in very bad financial situation ,I took a couple of loans to help my mom for her breast cancer surgery. She lives in my country and I sent it her money to save her life. Now I am not able to py my bills. I really need your help. Thank you.

  45. Hi,

    I am Edwin from the Philippines and my family runs a small business. It’s is very unfortunate that our business is slowing down because of some crisis issues here and our local government could not help us. We are in debt of over 2 million pesos and that is a really big number here. My family really need you. I wish to hear from you soon. Thank you very much!


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