Pittsburgh families can receive disconnection prevention services, emergency funds for paying heating bills, and other aid, such as weatherization. Government resources can help, as well as financial assistance programs offered by companies such as Columbia or Peoples Natural Gas. Find extensive details on the Pittsburgh area heating assistance programs below.
A non-profit organization to call for help is The Dollar Energy Fund and the Hardship Program they offer. The resources administered can help pay heating and natural gas bills for lower income families and individuals in Pittsburgh, including the elderly. The program terms are loosely based on certain, pre-determined Federal Poverty Guidelines. So some cash grants can be disbursed for paying bills, in particular when you are out of fuel or faced with a shut off.
Representatives from the Dollar Energy Fund may also be able to assist consumers with signing up for various energy and heating bill company programs. So families can learn about those resources available from Peoples Natural Gas, Peoples TWP, as well as other companies. You can also get support in processing applications to these programs, and also services offered by other non-profits in Allegheny County and Pittsburgh. Call 1-800-851-3838.
The Dollar Energy Fund also relies heavily on donations from the community. So you can help your neighbors stay warm by contributing. Call your energy provider such as Peoples Natural Gas to sign up. You can donate as little (even a $1) or as much as you would like.
LIHEAP/Low Income Energy Assistance has two main components for families. The first is the regular, or Cash component, and the second is Crisis. The regular assistance is offered to pay heating bills during the fall, winter, and spring, and is more for your regular monthly bills. Tens of thousands of Pittsburgh residents benefit from this service every year. Often times the benefit will be paid out as a credit on your account.
LIHEAP Crisis is, as the name implies, is for an emergency. If a qualified low income household is facing a disconnection or experiencing a heating emergency, if they are out of fuel, or if their furnace has broken, then grants can be paid out to the individual for addressing these needs. Any assistance paid out for these winter heating costs is only offered as a one time benefit.
Some of the western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh energy companies provide CARES/Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Service as well as the CAP/Customer Assistance Program. Call your company such as Columbia Gas to apply. They will provide customers access to social workers and case managers who can assist. They focus their support on low-income, senior citizens or otherwise needy households with either a long-term or temporary reduction in budget payments.
Also look into the EAP/Energy Assistance Programs. Depending on your company, this can provide reduced payments on your heating bills. Other services may include budget management, home visits, payment plans, energy conservation, and other support for low income Pittsburgh families.
Some of the main energy companies in Pittsburgh include Columbia Gas (1-800-272-2714), Peoples Natural Gas (1-800-400-9276) and Equitable, which can be reached at 1-800-644-8090.
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