Energy Assistance Programs – Get Help with Utilities

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Energy assistance programs, notably the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), support disadvantaged households. These programs offer indispensable aid in managing utility bills, including gas, water, and electricity.  We will look into the specifics of these programs, offering help and hope for those struggling to meet their energy needs.

In warm states, the focus shifts to cooling costs, while home heating grants are pivotal in supporting winter heating bills. Shockingly, 21% of the U.S. population relies on government assistance, with an annual expenditure of $158.2 billion on poverty welfare programs.

Organizations Offering Utility Bill Assistance

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities is a non-profit, faith-based organization. They work with government agencies to distribute funds to those needing financial aid. This organization assesses each applicant’s situation and often makes partial or sometimes total payments directly to utility providers for the individual or family in need. This organization’s widespread presence across various communities makes it an accessible option for many seeking assistance.

2. Department of Social Services

The Department of Social Services is a governmental body dedicated to offering emergency assistance, including help with utilities and rent. This assistance is not limited to current aid recipients but extends to anyone who meets the financial criteria. The department’s approach is direct and efficient, making payments straight to the utility companies, thus ensuring that the assistance provided is immediately impactful.

3. HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

HUD, primarily known for its housing assistance programs, substantially supports utilities. This assistance encompasses utility bills and extends to rent, home purchases, security deposits, and more. HUD’s programs particularly benefit low-income households, offering a comprehensive range of services beyond energy assistance.

4. Utility Companies

Many utility companies offer financial assistance programs for customers struggling to pay their bills. These programs can vary from deferred payment plans to temporary rate reductions. It’s always advisable to contact your utility provider directly and inquire about any available assistance programs. They often have dedicated departments to help customers in financial distress and can also refer to other agencies providing similar assistance.

5. Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP, a federally funded program, is specifically designed to help low-income families with their energy needs. The program prioritizes families with children, older adults, and those with disabilities, especially when funding is limited.

LIHEAP assistance can range from one-time grants for utility bill payments to weatherization services, helping to make homes more energy-efficient. The program’s impact is profound, as it assists in immediate bill payment and contributes to long-term reductions in energy costs.  (202) 401-9351; Fax: (202) 401-5661

Additional Considerations:

  • Community Action Agencies: These local organizations are a vital resource for energy assistance, offering services tailored to community needs. They are often the first contact point for individuals seeking help with utility bills.
  • State-Specific Programs: Various states have energy assistance initiatives that can provide additional support. Given the significant federal spending on welfare, these state programs often complement federal efforts to aid low-income households.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: A myriad of non-profit organizations offer targeted utility bill assistance. These organizations may cater to specific groups, such as veterans, older people, or families with young children, and are an essential part of the network providing utility assistance.

The Tragic Reality of Inadequate Home Heating

The consequences of inadequate heating are dire, from the risks of using alternative heating sources to the heart-wrenching stories of older adult individuals succumbing to the cold. LIHEAP and similar programs strive to prevent such tragedies.

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 eligibility. You may also receive help if your family receives any aid from the government.  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. Depending on available funds, you can get help when applying.  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.

If you have questions about eligibility, call or contact your local Department of Social Services or The National Energy Assistance Referral Project at 866-674-6327. You are eligible if your gross family income is 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.

 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. 

 In Conclusion

 

Pamela Lipscomb

We understand that finding financial assistance can be overwhelming and stressful. Our site provides information on potential programs, eligibility guidelines, and more. Please remember that this information is for guidance only, and we cannot guarantee assistance. For personalized advice and support, we strongly encourage you to consult with financial advisors, legal professionals, or the program providers directly.

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

  1. 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. I need help terribly for them but I’m clueless about what I can do. Any suggestions are accepted and appreciated. Bless you all,
    Rachel

    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.

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  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    1. 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.

  20. 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…

  21. 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.

    1. 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!

  22. 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..

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  24. 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.

    1. 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!

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

    1. 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.

    1. 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

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

  26. 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.

    1. 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.

  27. 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

    1. 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.

  28. 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!

    1. Hello Patricia, I am sorry to hear about your recent illness. Try contact Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, 1‐800‐256‐1489, www.ohfa.org, 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.

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

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

  31. 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.

    1. 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

  32. 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!

    Regards,
    Edwin

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