Most of the financial assistance and conservation programs offered by Gas South are done so in partnership with other non-profits or government organizations. The energy company does try to help as many Georgia customers as possible with paying their bills and avoiding a disconnection of their service. So while they work with customers, the main resource available involves them providing referrals to some of these other agencies or government programs. Those are the main tools that Gas South uses for struggling families.
Most of the financial assistance and cash grants are provided by the federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. Gas South will often direct and refer low income and struggling customers to this program. It is run through your local community action agency as well as the Georgia Department of Human Services.
Applications will need to be submitted and reviewed. The families income and expenses will be reviewed and it will also take into consideration the number of people in the household. Families with children and senior citizens receive priority. They can not only apply before others, but they also get preference when it comes to funds from the LIHEAP program. The enrollment period normally opens up in the mid to late fall months. To qualify for utility bill assistance from this resource, eligibility requirements must be met and your financial status also needs to be documented.
Gas South also provides qualified customers, that are aged 65 and older, a discount on their services. The company will provide qualified customers with special senior rates. When eligible, this will provide them with a discount on natural gas consumption charges. Those senior customers will need to inquire and apply for the program, as it is not automatic. They may also be eligible for a $14.00 monthly discount as well as other discounted customer services charges on their charges for other accounts. Main phone number is 1-877-332-5442.
Another program is the Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT). It is offered across the state for all energy companies, including Gas South. Customers will need to dial 678-406-0212 or contact your local community action agency to apply. When facing a crisis, including a disconnection, if there is funding for this program and you meet conditions that money may be distributed. It relies on donations and private citizens and the natural gas industry provide funding to HEAT.
Project SHARE is another resource for income qualified Gas South customers. This particular program is run by the Salvation Army for low income and working poor customers. It can provide grants and cash assistance for a number of needs, including utility, heating, or natural gas bills.
When applying for help, each and every application will be reviewed. You will need to have full documentation to support the reason and cause for your hardship, including income, expenses, and more. Each decision made by the Salvation Army social worker will be based on the nature of the circumstances that caused the crisis. If you are approved for assistance, the amount paid out will be based on available funds, your exact need and what it will take to resolve the crisis for both the short and long term. Call 1-800-257-4273 for more information.
The United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta may also have referrals. This non-profit does not pay out funds for Gas South accounts, but rather they provide information and work with other non-profits and charities that are in the companies service area. 404-614-1000.
The Budget Bill Payment Plan can help even out your bills over the course of the year. It is a program that will estimate your total annual cost and then divide that amount by 12. So a customer will be responsible for paying the exact same dollar amount each month. This means that those that enroll will not face increases (or decreases) in their monthly bills.
Gas South can help customers with those and other assistance programs. Customer service representatives may also explore other payments plans and conservation measures as well. The bottom line is that the energy company will try to work with customers or refer them to local or national energy assistance programs. Dial 877-472-4932.
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