The temperature has dropped and the winter weather has certainly taken hold of our region. At Morris Heating & Air Conditioning we know that New Englanders are a hardy bunch who can handle all that Mother Nature can throw at us, but even the toughest are not immune to freezing weather. The New York Times, estimated that more than 10 million people across the country are likely to need help heating their homes this winter and many may be eligible for fuel assistance. If you are having trouble paying your heating bills this winter, there are options available to you including nonprofits that offer grants, government assistance programs at the state and federal level and low-income assistance programs. Many local utility companies also have special programs to help families in need. Additionally, there are funds available for emergency financial aid as well as systems in place that offer legal protection against shutting off heat for non-payment.
Please consult one of the following resources for complete information and restrictions. No one should suffer in a cold home. There is help available. Reach out if you need it. You are not alone.
Here is a list of resources if you find that you are struggling to keep your family warm this winter.
- Government Programs – Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant is funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and provides two basic types of services – financial assistance to pay utility bills or weatherization programs to improve energy efficiency in each home. LIHEAP programs are offered for families that are considered low income and are facing either an emergency disconnection or are perilously low on home heating fuel. For more information Massachusetts LIHEAP and New Hampshire LIHEAP .
- Utility Company Assistance – Most utility companies and energy providers located around the nation provide their customers with a large number of financial assistance programs. Some offer payment plans, flat rates per month, cash grants and financial assistance programs. Ask your home heating company what options you may have to help you get through the winter.
- Non-Profit Assistance – Many charities, nonprofits and social service agencies offer cash assistance programs. For example, the Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program has delivered millions of gallons of discounted and free home heating oil to elderly households and those lower income households that are struggling. There is support for those living in poverty or impacted by an emergency, such as a job loss. Another example is the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund which has been helping residents in crisis with paying energy bills and heating homes for 32 years.
- Free Legal Assistance to Halt Disconnection – Most states have non-profit law firms that can advise low to moderate income individuals, the elderly, and disabled on their legal rights when it comes to utility service disconnections. Read more.