Are you worried about keeping your heat on all winter long? If so, you are not alone. There are many Americans that share your concerns. Thankfully, there are assistance programs out there that are designed to help those that are struggling. I know about the programs because I am a former family advocate. It was once my job to refer needy families for assistance. Here’s a quick look at a few of the programs available:
Utility Company Assistance Programs
Believe it or not, there are utility companies that offer homeowners assistance with winterizing their home. For instance, Georgia Power has two programs that offers homeowners energy improvement related rebates. The programs are part of the company’s EarthCents Program and can save homeowners over $2,000 on their heating and cooling improvements. There are also utility companies that offer eligible people assistance with paying their utility bills and purchasing appliances. Southern California Edison is one such company. They have a multitude of programs including the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program, the Medical Baseline Program and the Energy Savings Assistance Program. The best way to find out whether or not your utility company has such a program is to contact them directly and ask.
Energy Assistance Loans
There are also companies that offer home energy loans. One such company is called AFC First Financial Corporation. It is located in Pennsylvania and offers loans under the moniker Keystone HELP. The HELP stands for home energy loan program. Qualified homeowners are able to use the loan money to insulate their homes and complete other weatherization tasks. The best way to locate such programs in your area is to do an internet search.
Community Action Agencies
Many community action agencies have programs that help low-income families with their heating costs as well. In many areas, the program is known as LIHEAP. There is also a program known as H.E.A.T. You can find out more about the LIHEAP and H.E.A.T programs in your area through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.
In addition, there are non-profit organizations that have similar programs. One of them is called Project SHARE. Project SHARE is a program managed by the Salvation Army. The best way to apply for the Salvation Army’s program is to contact your local Salvation Army’s office. The United Way also has heating assistance programs. The United Way’s programs are often referred to as EAF and GAF. Folks interested in applying for the United Way’s programs should contact the United Way located in their area.
Source: Personal Experience
Killeen Gonzalez is a former family advocate. She has a history of referring low income families to assistance programs.
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