Residents of Long Island New York can look into resources that can help with paying heating bills. Programs are available from the government, non-profits, and energy companies such as Long Island Power and they cover the counties of Nassau and Suffolk.
The main non-profit sponsored program is Project Warmth. This is offered in partnership with the United Way on Long Island. While it relies heavily on donations from corporations and individuals, assistance can be provided to qualified low income families, the elderly, and disabled. It is an emergency financial assistance program that can help families in a crisis with their heating bills, and it usually runs from January to March, or until funding is used up.
Project Warmth will pay for any type of heating bill, whether you use oil, gas, electric, propane, or another type. In very limited cases it can pay for some repairs to a furnace during the winter months. A one time cash grant is paid out for those Long Island families who qualify.
The application process may change, but in general people need to be faced with a crisis, have a Suffolk or Nassau County address, and be out of options. Applicants also need to have a disconnect notice, or maybe their heat was already shut off. People can’t be able to obtain any other heating oil/propane/kerosene assistance from any other charity or government benefit. The program even extends to parts of Queens New York, including Rockaway.
Federal government resources include LIHEAP. This is the primary heating bill assistance program. The amount paid out will depend on your income and how many people live in your home. You can get your ongoing energy bills paid, or emergency assistance if you are faced with a crisis. In addition there may be some funding available to pay for the repair or replacement of your furnace or heating system. A formal application process is in place, and everything is reviewed on a case by case basis.
An Emergency HEAP Cash Grant can be paid out by this government resource. This can be for people who have had their heat shut off, or assistance may be offered if your heating equipment is not working, needs maintenance or repair work, or is unsafe.
A conservation program for Long Island homeowners is Weatherization and also EmPower New YorkSM. Between these two, you can get help in the form of free updates to your home, such as extra insulation, repairs to windows, or weather stripping. EmPower can provide for things like lighting and refrigerator replacements and health and safety measures.
These programs are free to consumers, and can help people save hundreds of dollars on their annual heating expenses. Some studies have shows that weatherization has resulted in savings between 20 to 25% of a consumers bill.
For these government programs above, apply at your local social service office or aging center.
Another conservation program is offered by Long Island Power, and is called Residential Energy Affordability Partnership. The energy company will provide income qualified customers with an audit on their home or apartment, and they will then help consumers save money on heating costs by offering advice, tips, and other energy efficiency measures. It will also make your home healthier and safer.
People age 62 and older who live on Long Island may also benefit from the Senior Energy Assistance Program. It is a credit that is paid out, and is based on program funds. If available, up to a $200 credit will be provided on your winter electric bill. There are income guidelines in place as well.
Long Island Power Authority or your local energy providers has information on many of these programs. They can be reached at 1-800-263-6786. Or call your local social service office as indicated above.
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